The Union Cabinet has approved the establishment of a National Academic Depository (NAD).
The NAD - which aims to enhance the Digital India vision - will be established within the next three months and will be rolled out in 2017-18.
In the budget speech this year, the finance ministry had announced the plans 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.
The NAD will be operationalised by the NSDL Database Management Limited (NDML) and CDSL Ventures, Limited (CVL) - two of the wholly-owned subsidiaries of the Depositories registered under the Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) Act, 1992.
Academic institutions will be responsible for the authenticity of the data that they will digitally uploaded into the system. The NAD will register educational institutions/boards/eligibility assessment bodies, students and other users/verifying entities like banks, employer companies, government agencies and academic institutions. The 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, stated a communique from the cabinet.
Students or other authorised users will be provided with a digital or a printed copy of the academic award with security features. The NAD will verify academic awards online on the same day that the authorised user initiates the request.
Requests for access to academic awards, for example, from potential employers, and academic institutions will only be made available on the basis of consent of the student.