Indian Higher Education system is a large and growing system with approximately 60 school boards, 416 state universities, 124 deemed universities, 54 central universities and 364 private universities. Apart from these, there are 107 other institutions such as IISc/IITs/IIMs/NITs/IISERs/IIITs/NITIE and 12 other centrally funded institutions. These institutions issue academic awards to students including degrees, diplomas and certificates along with mark sheets and evaluation reports. Apart from these, institutions under various Ministries/Departments and other skill based institutions also dispense certificates, diplomas and advanced diploma.
Those who are entering into employment or pursuing higher studies require a credible, authentic and convenient mechanism for access, retrieval and validation of such academic awards. Retrieval of old academic records maintained in paper form is cumbersome. Academic records maintained in paper form are susceptible to hazards such as spoilage and forgery. Students often face difficulties in obtaining copies of their certificates/mark-sheets whenever they are lost or destroyed. Maintaining academic awards in a digital depository would enable educational institutions, students and employers online access/retrieval/verification of digitised academic awards and shall eliminate fraudulent practices such as forging of certificates and mark-sheets.
The Government has already made dematerialization of financial securities to ensure the trading of financial securities flawless and transparent. It had enabled trading and transfer of shares electronically without involving physical share certificates and transfer deeds, thus eliminating the paper work involved in scrip-based trading and share transfer system. The same can be effectively replicated in respect of academic awards as these are even more important guarantors of the future than financial securities.
Maintaining academic awards in an electronic depository would provide benefit to educational institutions, students and employers by enabling online access of academic awards which will eliminate the need for persons to approach educational institutions for obtaining transcripts of such awards or marks-sheets for verification. It would also eliminate fraudulent practices such as forging of certificates and mark-sheets, by facilitating online verifications thereof. The National Academic Depository aims at ensuring a credible and convenient mechanism for online lodging, verification and authentication of the academic awards issued by various educational institutions.
About National Academic Depository (NAD)
The vision of National Academic Depository (NAD) is born out of an initiative to provide an online store house of all academic awards. National Academic Depository (NAD) is a 24X7 online store house of all academic awards viz.certificates, diplomas, degrees, mark-sheets etc. duly digitised and lodged by academic institutions / boards / eligibility assessment bodies. NAD not only ensures easy access to and retrieval of an academic award but also validates and guarantees its authenticity and safe storage.
Digi Locker is a flagship initiative of Ministry of Electronics & IT (MeitY) under Digital India programme. Digi Locker aims at ‘Digital Empowerment’ of citizen by providing access to authentic digital documents to citizen’s digital document wallet. The issued documents in Digi Locker system are deemed to be at par with original physical documents as per Rule 9A of the Information Technology (Preservation and Retention of Information by Intermediaries providing Digital Locker facilities) Rules, 2016 notified on February 8, 2017 vide G.S.R. 711(E).
UGC-the authorized body
The Union Cabinet has approved establishing a digital depository of academic awards to be known as National Academic Depository (NAD) on the pattern of securities depository in its meeting held on 27th October, 2016.
Consequent upon the approval of Cabinet, the Government in exercise of powers conferred under section 20(1) of University Grants Commission Act,1956 has designated University Grants Commission (UGC) as an authorised body to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with DigiLocker as a Single Depository.
Features of NAD
- Operate in fully online mode
- Allow lodging of Academic awards in a digital format, maintaining the integrity of access to the database and of the awards lodged in the database.
- Allow students to retrieve their lodged academic awards at any time.
- Allow employers and other person with prior approval of the concerned student to verify the authenticity of any academic award.
- Maintain the authenticity, integrity and confidentiality of the database.
Stakeholders of NAD
- Students/other award holders
- Academic Institutions/Boards/Eligibility assessment bodies
- Verifying entities i.e. banks, employer companies (domestic and overseas), Government entities, academic institutions/universities/boards/eligibility assessment bodies (domestic and overseas) etc.
- Ministry of Education / University Grants Commission
- DigiLocker aims at ‘Digital Empowerment’ of citizen by providing access to authentic digital documents to citizen’s digital document wallet.
Academic Institutions to be covered under NAD
Academic Institutions to be covered under NAD shall be the institutions listed by name by the University Grants Commission amongst the following categories:
- Central Educational Institutions comprising:
- Central Universities
- Central Higher Educational Institutions and institutions empowered by an Act of Parliament or State Legislature to grant degrees
- Central Higher Educational Institutions awarding diplomas
- State Universities and Deemed to be Universities approved for participating in NAD by the University Grants Commission (UGC).
- Private Universities approved by University Grants Commission
- Institutions approved by the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) for participating in NAD.
- Central Board of Secondary Education;
- Other School Boards
- Eligibility test conducting bodies such as bodies listed by name by UGC and shall include University Grants Commission (UGC) for National Eligibility Test (NET) and CBSE for Teacher Eligibility Test (TET).
Academic Awards to be covered under NAD
Academic awards to be covered under NAD shall be the awards listed by the University Grants Commission amongst the following categories:
- Any certificate or degree or diploma including related mark sheets, transcript or evaluation reports or provisional certificates, as the case may be, granted by an Academic Institution
- Certificate, degree, diploma for skill development issued by approved institutions.
- All certifications by National Skill Qualification Framework (NSQF) aligned bodies which shall include all training courses/short term and long term certificate courses/any other courses as offered by institutions and as approved by the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE) for participating in NAD;
- Mark sheets, certificates issued by the school boards;
- Certificates issued by eligibility test conducting bodies.
Services being offered by the NAD
The NAD shall:
- Register Academic Institutions/Boards/Eligibility Assessment bodies
- Register students based on Aadhaar / Mobile Number
- Register verification users;
- Allow Academic Institutions/Boards/Eligibility Assessment bodies to upload the academic awards issued by them.
- Allow Academic Institutions/Boards/Eligibility Assessment bodies to map/link the academic award to the NAD Accounts of Students concerned.
- Allow students to view the academic awards linked to their respective account.
- Allow students to download/print an authenticated copy of the academic award.
- Allow verifying entities to verify the authenticity of the academic award (subject to prior student consent)
Roles & Responsibilities of DigiLocker for NAD implementation
- Create DigiLocker NAD Portal for Academic institutions.
- Facilitate the students to create a DigiLocker ID and provide a mechanism to AIs to create DigiLocker ID for students.
- To provide technical support to AIs for lodging of academic awards.
- Develop common file input formats and certificate templates for AIs.
- Provide academic awards in machine readable data formats to verifiers.
- Provide online helpdesk ticketing system for support and grievance handling.
Scope of Work for AIs:
- 1. Register Institutions: - AIs can register themselves in NAD portals.
- 2. Upload Data: - AIs can upload academic records in given format.
- 3. Choose Certificate template: - Templates of educational awards can be chosen from options available, as per convenience and suitability.
- 4. Publish Results: - Academic Institutions can publish results on their own without any hassle.
Roles & Responsibilities of Academic Institutions (AIs)
The AIs shall:
- Provide certificate templates, data masters etc. to the depository
- Provide data of academic awards for lodging the academic awards on NAD
- Are responsible for accuracy of data of academic awards
- Identify staff to be trained in NAD system
- Lodge Awards – Upload awards and seed with Aadhaar / Mobile Number
- Verified Digital Data in prescribed format
- Data format with certificate template / digitally signed images with data
- Include student identity with Aadhaar / Mobile Number
- Update Aadhaar / Mobile Number in a certificate record
Roles & Responsibilities of Students
- Register on NAD-Digilocker by providing Aadhaar details.
- Avails DigiLocker ID in case of non availability of Aadhaarr
- Submits Aadhaar / DigiLocker ID to AI for verification and seeding into award data
- Views and accesses all awards online at any time in single account
- Student can
- View / download digitally signed awards
- Request printed copy of the certificate
- Approve / reject request of any verifier for access to his / her certificate
- Send copy of certificate to any verifier
How to register on NAD?
The users of the NAD system are free to select Digilocker is a sole depository for NAD.
The users should select Digilocker is the preferred depository for register into NAD.The user may click on the link https://nad.digitallocker.gov.in , which shall re-direct them to the depository's website. Further details relating to the registration process is available on the website.
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