C-DAC Innovation Park inaugurated by honourable Minister for Electronics and IT

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September 03, 2016

Adding another beacon to the Pune landscape, Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, Hon'ble Minister for Law & Justice and Electronics & IT, Government of India inaugurated 'C-DAC Innovation Park', the new state-of-the-art research centre of C-DAC at Pune, today. Also present on the occasion were Shri Anil Shirole, Hon'ble Member of Parliament (MP), Smt Aruna Sundararajan, Hon'ble Secretary, MeitY, Govt of India, Prof Rajat Moona, Director General, C-DAC, Dr Hemant Darbari, Executive Director, C-DAC, Pune, and other senior officials.

As part of the programme, Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad also launched e-Hastakshar, C-DAC's e-Sign service that enables signing of digital documents in a legally acceptable manner.

In his inaugural address, Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad expressed his pleasure "to be in the city of Pune amongst scientists and intellectuals from C-DAC. Pune is a city of intellectuals and scientists and an important IT hub of the nation. With the SMART city vision of Pune having been ranked second out of 100 cities, the city is all poised to transform itself into a SMART city soon. Amidst these developments, I am glad to add a new landmark to the city with the launch of C-DAC Innovation Park. The new research centre will mark a new development for C-DAC which has always been a torch bearer of several national initiatives and has proven its mettle through its far reaching contributions to the domain of electronics and IT. The new research centre will augment C-DAC's infrastructural capabilities in spreading its wings further into new and associated areas while also providing an incubation platform for innovative technology development."

Talking about e-Hastakshar, he added that "as technology becomes simpler, the concern for security becomes equally important. It is a given fact that the level of security will finally determine the trust quotient of any technology offering. Here, technology solutions like e-Hastakshar will enable citizens to avail of hassle free services and transactions without any legal liabilities. I am confident that as our citizens adapt to the digital revolution, services like e-Hastakshar will become more imperative for the common good. I wish all the members of C-DAC the very best in their new campus and hope that they shall continue to keep the good work going."

Terming C-DAC as the pride of Pune, Shri Anil Shirole said that the "evolution of C-DAC as a scientific institution is synonymous with the development of IT in the nation. Right from developing India's first indigenous supercomputer to proliferating Indian languages on the computer, C-DAC has been the pioneer of the Indian IT revolution. C-DAC's contributions to heritage computing, free and open source software, health informatics, e-Governance and even Education & Training are unprecedented examples of its inherent capabilities, and we are thankful that C-DAC could put Pune on the IT world map much before the IT revolution had hit India. C-DAC Innovation Park is the outcome of its perseverance and hard work, and I extend my heartiest congratulations to C-DAC for their new premises. I also extend my best wishes to the new e-Hastakshar project and hope that that all citizens take advantage of its offerings. I am confident that we shall continue to see C-DAC achieve more success in the future."

Delivering the keynote address, Smt Aruna Sundararajan said that ICT has continued to perform its role "as the most consistent growth driver for the economy. Emergence of information technology and telecom sectors has fuelled globalization to India's advantage. Digital India is a reality and as technology evolves, more and more services can become available to citizens which will eventually lead to closing the technology gap that exists today. With people adapting quickly to mobile phones, it has opened up a whole new platform for offering digital services. C-DAC is one of the flagship organizations of the MeitY to implement some of the thrust area initiatives identified by the Ministry. e-Hastakshar is one of the major initiatives that has been endorsed by the Ministry for its ease-of-use, thereby acceptability by users. The e-Hastakshar solution adds a fresh perspective to earlier norms. Unlike other traditional Certifying Authorities (CA) that requires verification process by a personal visit which causes inconvenience to users, C-DAC's eSign service provides ease of service on-line based on Aadhaar based e-Authentication. eSign is an online service and with this, traditional hardware-tokens are not required anymore. No doubt, it is a historic day for C-DAC to witness the launch of e-Hastakshar as well as move into its new home. We at the MeitY are happy that we could help towards making this long standing wish of C-DAC to come true. In the future too, C-DAC can continue to count on us for our support as we partner together to etch the IT roadmap of the nation. My best wishes to C-DAC and all its members."

Addressing the media, an elated Prof Rajat Moona expressed his happiness at the inauguration of the new premises and said that it is "a moment of great pride for every C-DAC member to start operations afresh from our very own campus, We are indeed grateful to the Ministry of Electronics and IT, Government of India for having supported our long standing dream and for enabling its realization today. The C-DAC Innovation Park is a memento of our perseverance and sacrifice made by our members, both erstwhile and existing, over the last 29 years. And as such, the ownership and accountability of this campus will lie on each one of us. Having proved ourselves in the field and having earned the trust of our fellowmen, it becomes inevitable for us to enhance and expand the research competencies in emerging areas of Information Technology in the country. We are also grateful to our Hon'ble Minister, Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad for releasing e-Hastakshar today. e-Hastakshar holds the promise of changing the whole idea of how we transact and do business. With time at a premium and geographies reduced in this digital era, the faster we transact our business will determine our success. Our e-Sign service epitomizes this concept by combining integrity with trust and safety with usability. We have also upped the ease-of-use factor literally to provide authentication based on multiple ways such as One-Time-Password (OTP, received through registered mobile in Aadhaar database) or Biometric (fingerprint or iris-scan). We look forward to the whole nation to register with our services. Pune is a declared Smart city project and we are collaborating with PMC to integrate e-Hastakshar in various citizen centric applications. This shall be a unique first proposition to make the city even smarter."

Dr Hemant Darbari added that as a "founder member of C-DAC, to move into C-DAC Innovation Park was like living a dream. The experience is indeed surreal when you compare your dreams to the reality in front of you. I am indeed glad that we could finally have a place to call our own. The new premises will be a morale booster for all our members and we look forward to start our operations from this location. Our happiness has also received a booster shot with the release of e-Hastakshar, today. This e-Sign service will be highly beneficial to the common man as any person with a valid Aadhar card will be able to use this facility. This is a monumental shift for technology providers as it gives them a level playing field to compete from. While security is ensured through the unique Aadhar identity, the eSign service ensures the privacy of the signer by just requiring the hash of the document instead of the complete document."

Currently, many applications or forms submitted by a citizen require physical signature of the citizen. A digital signature takes the concept of traditional paper-based signing and turns it into an electronic "fingerprint." This "fingerprint," or coded message, is unique to both the document and the signer and binds them together. In short, a digital signature has the same function as that of a handwritten signature. Wide-scale usage of ICT devices coupled with range of ICT services being available for users has raised the need for authentic records and documents online. Present methods of obtaining Digital Signature Certificates and e-signing document are cumbersome.

The objective of eSign service is to offer on-line service to citizens for instant signing of their documents securely in a legally acceptable form. Two major challenges involved are (a) authentication of the user and (b) Trusted method of signing. Aadhaar based authentication is carried out to address the first challenge and Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) is used to securely sign the user document and establish the trust. C-DAC through its e-Hastakshar initiative enables citizens with valid Aadhaar ID and registered mobile number to carryout digital signing of their documents on-line.

Citizens with Aadhaar ID will be able to upload their documents to eSign service to obtain them digitally signed. At the backend, validation of user is carried out using Aadhaar service and generates a key pair (a public key and a private key) for the user and signs the document. The user is provided with the digitally signed document and the Digital Signature Certificate.

Nestled within the greenery of the Pashan Hills, C-DAC Innovation Park is located in the peaceful Panchavati area off Pashan Road.


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