A national academic depository (NAD) on the lines of a securities depository, is set to come up in the next three months to digitally store school learning certificates, degrees and other academic awards of institutions of higher education. The depository would be established and operationalised within the next three months and would be rolled out throughout the country in 2017-18, the Union Cabinet decided today.
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The Finance Minister’s Budget speech in February had incorporated the commitment to establish a Digital Depository for school learning certificates, degrees and other academic awards of higher education institutions, on the pattern of a Securities Depository, a statement issued after the Cabinet meeting said here.
“The decision aims at bringing another dimension and enhancement of the vision of Digital India,” the statement said. 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.
Academic institutions would be responsible for the authenticity of data digitally uploaded by them into the system.
The depositories will ensure the integrity of the data in the NAD. The NAD will register 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 digital or a printed copy of the academic award with security features to the students or other authorised users. NAD will verify academic awards online on the same day of request initiated by any authorised user.
Requests for access to academic awards from potential employers, and academic institutions would be only on the basis of the consent of the student.
NAD will maintain the authenticity, integrity and confidentiality of its database. It will also train and facilitate academic institutions to efficiently lodge academic awards in the database.
In another decision, the Cabinet also gave ex-post facto nod for the formation of an Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Berhampur Society and its operationalisation in a transit campus from the current academic year 2016-17.
It will involve a cost of Rs I52.79 crore, for the initial three years (2016-19).
The Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISER) have been declared as institutes of national importance and are envisaged to carry out research in frontier areas of science and to provide quality science education at the under-graduate and post-graduate level. Earlier there were five IISERs at Kolkata, Pune, Mohali, Bhopal and Thiruvananthapuram, while another IISER was set up at Tirupati in 2015.
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