The Union Cabinet under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has accorded its approval for establishment and operationalisation of a National Academic Depository (NAD). The decision aims at bringing another dimension and enhancement of the vision of Digital India.
The NAD would be established and operationalised within the next three months and would be rolled out throughout the country in 2017-18.
The Finance Minister's Budget Speech of 2016-17, in February this year, incorporated this 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.
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/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 authorized users. NAD will verify academic awards online on the same day of request initiated by any authorized user.
Requests for access to academic awards, for example, from potential employers, and academic institutions would be only on the basis of consent of the student.
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.