The Union Human Resource Development Ministry is working to ensure that degrees and certificates are given to students in digital format from the 2017 academic session onwards. “There is a need to take pledge and that pledge is by 2017, all degrees and board certificates, everything will go in digital format,” HRD minister Prakash Javadekar said.
He was speaking at the national conference for awareness on National Academic Depository here. Javadekar said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched Digital India campaign and wants to make the whole apparatus as digital.
He said apart from giving away certificates in digital format, every student will also get an opportunity to upload their other certificates and awards. “Every student will also get an opportunity to put other awards which he has won earlier on it after proper authentication. So his profile is available in one click,” Javadekar said.
According to reports, the HRD ministry has fast-tracked work on setting up a virtual database under which all academic records will be available in digital format, to curb the menace of fake educational degrees and marksheets.
The creation of a digital database will benefit recruiters who want to get the credentials of applicants and will also eliminate the need to physically approach the university.
Noting that there is a need to prepare the mindset to change, Javadekar said that the problem today was that although change is taking place at a fast pace in the world, minds are not changing with that pace.
“It is high time the academic awards are verified and authenticated, accessed and retrieved in a digital depository,” he said.
The minister emphasised on three things – change in mindset, absorbing “tried, tested and trusted technology” and enhancing transparency and authenticity.
The government intends to establish a digital depository of academic awards to be known as NAD on the pattern of securities depository which will help in validating the authenticity of these awards and ensuring their safe storage and easy retrieval.
Maintaining academic awards in a digital depository would provide benefit to educational institutions, students and employers by enabling online access and retrieval and eliminate fraudulent practices.
MoS HRD Mahendra Nath Pandey said that presently even the poorest of the poor are able to seek access to higher education, thereby increasing the number of individuals seeking educational certificates.
“The need for such a measure as NAD is well established. The initiative will be a footprint into a new era of 21st century,” he said.
Secretary (Higher Education) Vinay Sheel Oberoi asked all the academic institutions to get on board quickly and requested the participants to disseminate the experience with others involved in the process.
A presentation on NAD model was made by the depositories, where they explained the role of various stakeholders like academic institutions, students, verifiers and the depositories.
A live demo of uploading and lodging the academic awards on the NAD system was also made by the depositories.
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