For the first time after SARAS has been introduced, schools have been asked to submit their application authenticating with the Digital Signatures. Kindly read my post about how to get CBSE Affiliation here. So how does a school get Digital Certificate.
The board on the SARAS website is asking for Digital Signature in the form of .PFX or .P12 file
So lets understand what is Digital Signature, what are the kinds and what are .pfx/.p12 files?
What is a DIGITAL SIGNATURE (DSC)
Digital Signature Certificates (DSC) are the digital equivalent (that is electronic format) of physical or paper certificates. Few Examples of physical certificates are drivers’ licenses, passports or membership cards. Certificates serve as proof of identity of an individual for a certain purpose; for example, a driver’s license identifies someone who can legally drive in a particular country. Likewise, a digital certificate can be presented electronically to prove one’s identity, to access information or services on the Internet or to sign certain documents digitally. This is from the Govt’s website.
How does one get DSC (Digital Certificates)
• Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) Applicants can directly approach Certifying Authorities (CAs) with original supporting documents, and self-attested copies will be sufficient in this case
• DSCs can also be obtained, wherever offered by CA, using Aadhar eKYC based authentication, and supporting documents are not required in this case
• A letter/certificate issued by a Bank containing the DSC applicant’s information as retained in the Bank database can be accepted. Such letter/certificate should be certified by the Bank Manager.
Who are the Certifying Authorities
There are certain entities who have been granted licences to issue Digital Certificates, some of them are – National Informatics Center (NIC), IDRBT Certifying Authority, SafeScrypt CA Services, Sify Communications Ltd., Code Solutions CA, E-MUDHRA,
CDAC, NSDL, Capricorn, Pantasign, IDSIGN. You can go their websites and explore the pricing and options.
Where else as a SCHOOL, I would be needing DSC
CBSE has already issued a CIRCULAR regarding (tough deferred for the Academic year 20-21) that Principal can now approve of the LOC (List of Candidates) for Secondary and Higher Secondary Exams through the DSC. This is ow going be the Norm from now on.
What is .pfx or .p12
A PFX file, also known as PKCS #12 , is a single, password protected certificate archive that contains the entire certificate chain plus the matching private key. Essentially it is everything that any server will need to import a certificate and private key from a single file.