Are DSC Valid for Accessing the MCA21 Program?

Digital signatures are now considered the norm. It is given the same significance as handwritten signatures. This blog will explain you about the digital signature certificate and how it can validate you for the MCA21 program.

For internet access or local machine usage, while a third party needs permission or access,  Digital Signature Certificate (DSC)  is used to ensure statutory security. Nowadays, digital signatures have become an acceptable norm. It is being given equal status at par with handwritten signatures. An electronically signed document is treated just like any other hand-signed paper document. Get to know more about MCA21 program.

However, it must be noted that a digitally signed document and a scanned copy of a physical written signature are not the same. A physical written signature cannot be authenticated legally. On the other hand, a digital signature has the requisite legal backing. 

DSC is a legally accepted technique used to sign any documents electronically. This process is followed to ensure security for anyone signing documents on paper. Presently,  different government agencies are using digital signatures. It is considered a statutory requirement for any digital application.

A digital signature uses methods of asymmetric cryptography to stimulate this feature. Using two algorithms, viz secret or private key and the user’s public key, DSC signature schemes complete the actual signing and the verification process. And the output of these two combined algorithms is the digital signature.

Click here to register digital signature certificate.

Different Classes of Digital Signature Certificates

There are mainly three basic DSC types, each serving unique purposes.

  • Class 1 Certificate

Class 1 certificates are used for private subscribers or individual users. These certificates validate users’ identities like –  their name (or alias), addresses, pin codes, country, respective e-mail addresses, etc. Finally, they are tallied with the database of the certifying authorities.

  • Class 2 Certificate

Class 2  certificates are used by business personnel and also private individuals.  These certificates will check the subscriber information as per the application. It will check for any contradiction of this information when tallied with other well-known consumer databases.

  • Class 3 Certificate:

Class 3 Certificate is used by individuals and also by organisations. This certificate uses asymmetric cryptography to ensure the highest security properties of a handwritten signature done on paper. These are treated as high-assurance certificates. These certificates are mainly used for e-commerce applications. 

These certificates are believed to be the most secure and safest digital certificates. For that reason, these are used when the process requires the highest level of security, in the case of online trading, online financial transactions, e-filing, etc. Normally these kinds of transactions involve high-value or financial obligations. Therefore, to ensure the highest form of security, which contains confidential information Class 3 digital signature is issued.  

Usages of Various DSCs 

  • Sign

Sign DSC is used only to sign documents. These types of DSCs are used to include signatures in PDF files for filing tax returns and for giving corporates, other professionals, and even the citizens of India easy and secured access to the Ministry of Company Affairs services. 

DSC signing guarantees the integrity of the signers. It also ensures safe and secure data handling. Thus, it authenticates that the data are untampered and unaltered.

  • Encrypt

Encrypt DSC ensures security by converting the information or data into code. This is done mainly to stop unauthorised access to data. The tender portal uses TDSC, where confidential data are first encrypted and uploaded. 

Mainly for legal documentation or e-commerce documents that handle high security and confidential information, encrypted DSC is used.  

Click here to know in detail: Digital Signature in Cryptography

  • Sign & Encrypt

Sign and encrypt DSC serves both the purpose of signing and encrypting. Thus, these certificates authenticate and ensure a high level of confidentiality to stop unauthorised information sharing. Mainly for filling up government application forms, these certificates are used. 

Who Are the Users of DSCs?

DSCs are used by individual users, corporate entities, legal professionals, governmental organisations, traders, foreign individuals, foreign organisations, etc. The purpose of the usage is also varied- 

Thus, for various MCA  services in a safe and secure manner, DSCs are extensively used. This has brought great efficiency and user satisfaction without sacrificing safety and confidentially protocol. 

DSCs are helping to implement MCA21 programs more efficiently. They are making their MCA21 programs more accessible and secure. For that, it is using the method of electronic signing and incorporating encryption facilities that ensure the maximum level of confidentially. 

What is MCA21? 

Ministry of Company Affairs (MCA) has taken up several e-governance initiatives to permit the citizens of India and various corporate bodies to avail easy and secured access to various MCA services. MCA21 application is one such instrument used to validate the user’s identity for availing of such services. Such validation automatically enforces compliance with statutory requirements per the Companies Act, 2013. 

Thus, the MCA21 application works as a  single point of contact. It serves multiple purposes- 

  • Allows businesses easy and quick registration facilities and helps them file statutory documents. 
  • Makes public documents accessible. 
  • Public grievances can be addressed much faster and more effectively. 
  • Brings transparency through proactive and effective compliance concerning pertinent laws and regulations of corporate governance. 
  • Helps the  MCA employees to deliver the best quality services.

Are Class 2 and Class 3 DSCs valid for accessing the MCA21 program? 

According to  Information Technology Act, 2000, you can use DSC during the electronic submission of documents. This ensures your authenticity and also guarantees security.

MCA21 application requires self-registration.  Such registration allows you to file eForms and view various public documents. 

To start your registration process, you have to create a profile, and you will be given a USER ID and password.  You also have the option of using your digital signature certificate. If you are a  company director/professional user, you must provide your DSC. 

You need to attach your valid DSC in the place mentioned for the digital certificate field.  

You will be asked to choose a ‘hind question’ to ensure maximum security. You have to remember your answer to this hind question. If you forget your password, this hind question option will be a backup to check your authenticity. 

The person authorised to sign these documents on behalf of your company or LLPs can use DSCs under MCA21 e-Governance Programmes. 

The steps to be followed for attaching DSCs:

Step 1:  Choose the MCA Services tab. The dropdown will show the list of MCA services available.

Step 2:  From the DSC Service menu, choose the Associate DSC menu. It will display the associate DSC page.

Step 3: Opt for the relevant option from the role drop-down list. 


In short, DSC has enabled the authentication process to access various MCA21 programs by validating personal information details. Not only that,  previously, application through the submission of hard copy documents used to be time-consuming, which made the process slow and costly. Including digital signatures in PDF files has made the process more efficient. In addition to that, it ensures data integrity and safety. 

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