The Union Cabinet on October 27 decided that within the next three months, a national academic depository (NAD) which would be on the lines of a security depository, would be set up.
This NAD would digitally store all school learning certificates, degrees and other academic awards of institutions of higher education.
“The decision aims at bringing another dimension and enhancement of the vision of Digital India, the NAD would be operationalised by NSDL Database Management Limited (NDML) and CDSL Ventures, Limited (CVL) — two of the wholly-owned subsidiaries of the Depositories registered under Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) Act, 1992.”
The cabinet also said that this depository would be established and operationalised within the next three months and would be available throughout India from 2017-18 onward.
NAD was first mentioned by the Finance Minister earlier this year, when during the Budget speech in February, he had incorporated the commitment to establish a Digital Depository for school.
This Depository will store all the school learning certificates, degrees and other academic awards of higher education institutions and would be set on the pattern of a Securities Depository.
All the academic institutions would be responsible for the authenticity of data that would be digitally uploaded by them into the system and the depositories will only ensure the integrity of the data in the NAD.
NAD will also register all educational institutions, boards, eligibility assessment bodies, students and other users such as verifying entities like banks, employer companies, government agencies and academic institutions.
It will provide a person with a digital or a printed copy of their academic award with security features which only the student or other authorised users would be able to access.
Upon request, NAD will then verify the person’s academic awards online that same day and the student or the authorised person would then be able to access it within hours.
To make this access secure, requests for access to academic awards from any potential employers, and/or academic institutions would be provided after the student has given his or her consent for the same.
To maximise the security of the feature NAD will maintain its authenticity, integrity and confidentiality and will train and facilitate academic institutions to efficiently lodge these academic awards into their database.