The Ministry of Corporate Affairs under the MCA21 program, has made e-filing with Digital Signature certificate mandatory. Class 2 Digital Signature Certificate is the minimum standard Digital Signature Certificate required for e-filing on the MCA21 portal. All the authorized signatories of company under MCA21 require Digital Signature Class 2. Similarly any document filed by CA, CS, CWA and TAX PRACTIONERS under MCA21 require Digital Signature Certificate Class 2. The digital signature certificates are typically issued with one year validity and two year validity. These are renewable on expiry of the period of initial issue.
Why do I require a Digital Signature Certificate ?
A digital Signatur certificate (DSC) provides an electronic means of proving your identity. It also provides a high level of security for online transactions. You can use certificates to encrypt information so that only the recipient can read it. You can digitally sign information to provide assurance that the recipient has not been modified in transit, and allow verification that actually sent the message.
How does Digital Signature Work ?
Digital Signature Certificate, in simple terms, is a file created by a Licensed Certifying Authority through encryption and is then issued to you, in the USB eToken. When signing any particular document this file is accessed, which acts like a 'key' (Private Key) and locks & secures the document being signed (through encryption). [This is similar to using a key in a physical lock to secure your valuables in a bank locker - a lock can only be opened by its own key].
In addition to locking the document being signed, this file also adds a Digital Certificate to it containing your identity details, viz. name, Organization's name, email ID, etc.
It also adds a key code (known as public key) which is the same key that resides in the certifying authority server, thereby allowing the other party to validate the authenticity of your DSC. Contrary to popular myth, the DSC does NOT contain a scanned copy of your physical signature.