E-procurement in India is widely used by various government organisations and their departments to purchase goods and services from vendors online. With new technology and security-related features, e-tendering in India has become more than just a system to purchase online. It helps connect companies and their business processes directly with suppliers and manages all the online activity between them. The e-tendering portal includes information on tenders, bids, tender-related documents, etc. An efficient portal helps in communication with potential suppliers during a business process. Through the Government of Assam e-procurement portal, the physical tendering activity is completed using the internet.
As per the Information Technology Act, 2000, digital signature certificates (DSC) are mandatory for individuals, companies and organisations who wish to participate in e-tendering, e-ticketing with IRCTC, e-procurement, e-filing of income tax returns, patent and trademark filing processes etc., in India.
Digital certificate is the digital equivalent of physical certificates in an electronic format. Just as documents such as driver’s license or a passport are used to verify the identity of the holder, digital signatures are used to confirm the identity of the bidder. Just like physical tender documents are signed manually, e-tender documents for the Assam Government e-tendering process have to be signed digitally using a signature certificate.
Class 2 digital signature certificates ensure secure and transparent online transactions. They are available in two categories – signing and encryption. Signing digital signature certificates are used to sign the documents electronically. The encryption digital signature certificates ensure that the information shared online, by the user, is stored in an encrypted format. Only authorised personnel can decrypt and view the information. The certificates are available with a validity of one year and two years.
A valid DSC purchased from a licensed certifying authority is mandatory to bid for Assam Government e-tendering. SafeScrypt Sify, a reputed software giant in India, is licensed to sell class 2 and class 3 digital signature certificates to individuals, organisations and companies. Sify verifies the identity of the user before issuing DSCs to them.
In case a vendor loses his/ her DSC due to a virus attack on the computer, system failure or any other cause, he/ she would be unable to bid for Assam Government e-tenders, with the same certificate.