New Delhi: A National Academic Depository (NAD) for school certificates, degrees and academic awards will be operationalised within three months, wherein students and employers can access the verified documents digitally.
The move is also expected to check the menace of fake certificates and degrees.
NAD will provide digital or a printed copy of the degree or academic award with security features to students or other authorised users. It will verify academic awards online on the same day of request initiated by any authorised user.
The Union Cabinet, chaired Prime Minister Narendra Modi, accorded its approval for establishment and operationalisation of NAD.
"NAD would be established and operationalised within the next three months and would be rolled out throughout the country in 2017-18," an official statement issued after the Cabinet meeting said, adding that the move is "aimed at bringing another dimension and enhancement of the vision of Digital India".
The Depository would be operationalised by NSDL Database Management (NDML) and CDSL Ventures (CVL) - two of the wholly owned subsidiaries of the Depositories registered under Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) Act, 1992.
Academic institutions would be responsible for the authenticity of data digitally uploaded by them into the system. The depositories will ensure the integrity of data.
The Depository will register educational institutions/ boards/eligibility assessment bodies, students and other users/verifying entities like banks, employer companies, government agencies and academic institutions.
"Requests for access to academic awards, for example, from potential employers, and academic institutions would be only on the basis of consent of the student," the release said.
NAD will maintain the authenticity, integrity and confidentiality of its database. It will also train and facilitate academic institutions/boards/ eligibility assessment bodies to efficiently lodge academic awards in the database.
Finance Minister in Budget Speech of 2016-17 had announced to set up a digital depository for school learning certificates, degrees and other academic awards, on the pattern of a Securities Depository.