NEW DELHI: The Union Cabinet on Thursday gave its approval to set up a National Academic Depository (NAD) on the lines of a securities depository that would digitally secure and store marksheets, degrees and all form of certificates, records of school boards and higher educational institutions.
The NAD, which is part of Narendra Modi’s government digital India programme, the Union Cabinet has decided that the NAD be set up in the next three months for which an initial outlay of Rs 60 crore has been granted.
Additionally, NAD would be rolled out pan-India in the 2017-18 financial year, the Union Cabinet has decided.
In his budget speech in February this year, Union finance minister Arun Jaitley announced the government’s commitment to establish NAD, according to an official statement issued after the Cabinet meeting.
The NAD would be operationalized 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 onus for the authenticity of data digitally uploaded into the system will be of the academic institutions.
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.
The NAD will provide digital or a printed copy of the academic award with security features to the students or other authorized users. It will also verify academic awards online on the same day of request initiated by any authorized users.
However, requests for access to academic awards from potential employers, and academic institutions would be only on the basis of 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.
The Cabinet has also given its approval to ex-post facto nod for the formation of an Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Berhampur Society and its operationalization 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 IISER have been declared as institutes of national importance. They do research in areas of science and come up with curriculum for quality science education at the under-graduate and post-graduate level.
There are six other IISERs at Pune, Mohali, Bhopal, Kolkata, and Thiruvananthapuram and Tirupati (set up last year).