National Academic Depository (NAD)
Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister approved the establishment of a National Academic Depository (NAD). The government is creating an online database NAD where all academic certificates will be available in digital format by the end of next year. In NAD all academic degrees, certificates and awards would be digitally available for verification. The NAD would be established and operationalize in three months and would be rolled out throughout the country in 2017-18.
Academic institutions would be directed to upload and authenticate all documents in digital form.
The database will be established in an electronic format by an identified registered depository, with all institutes, including school boards, the Indian Institutes of Technology, the National Institutes of Technology and polytechnics from different States having linkages to the depository.
Who will operationalize NAD?
NSDL Database Management Limited (NDML) and CDSL Ventures Limited (CVL), wholly-owned subsidiaries of the Depositories registered under the Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) Act, 1992, would operationalize the NAD.
Would it require a Bill?
No. After the nod from the Union Cabinet the measure would be implemented with this decision and it would not require the introduction of a Bill.
What are the security features in NAD?
1. It will provide digital or a printed copy of the academic award with security features to the students or other authorised users.
2. NAD will verify academic awards online on the same day of request initiated by any authorised user.
3. 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.
4. NAD shall 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.
The database will help the administration effectively deal with forged certificates and fake degree rackets, and enable online verification and easy retrieval of particulars of academic qualifications. Students will also benefit for, they need not worry about spoilage of certificates over time and getting their certificates attested.
How will it improve the current situation?
Once NAD will be operationalize fake degrees would become a thing of the past. However, only recognised institutions would be asked to upload the degrees.
Benefits of NAD
a) Students & Certificate Holders
• Early receipt of online certificates as compared to physical certificates.
• Online, 24/7 access to all certificate records and no risk of losing, mutilation etc.
• Easy acceptability of online verifiable certificates without requiring attested copies, original presentation.
• Easy facility for applying for and obtaining duplicate copy of the certificates.
• Easy facility to submit verifiable copy of the certificate to employers, higher educational institutes.
• Admissions, Jobs, Loans becomes easier.
b) Academic Institutes
• Digital front-end for academic institutes to deliver online services for academic certificates.
• Reduction in the cost and efforts for certificate issuance and verification activities.
• IT Back-end for maintaining updated data of certificates.
• Reduces the menace of Fake & Forged Certificates.
• Reports & Analysis
c) Certificate Verification Users
• Centralized system enabling verification of academic awards of various academic institutions at a single place.
• Online verification of academic awards thereby reducing the time and cost involved in verification.
• Quicker processing of underlying Job application, Loan application and Admission application.
• Fully Online, Transparent and Auditable system reduces the need for intermediation and associated risks.