Millennium Post

Govt to go ahead with digital depository plan to check fraud

The HRD Ministry has said that it will go ahead with digital depository plan to check forgery. Both public and private institutions will be stakeholders under the scheme, which aims at securing the necessary documents of students.

HRD Minister Smriti Irani said the ministry is working on it and soon institutions would start setting up digital depository to store academic documents, including school leaving certificates and marksheets, etc.

“Given that students face a lot of problems in safeguarding their documents, the institutions will participate in this scheme and digitise important documents of their students, which will be stored for lifetime in the depository,” she said.

“It will also help employers – both public and private – to authenticate the certificates of students digitally, but they (scrutinising agencies) would have to pay for it. Also, they cannot verify documents of students without their consent,” Irani said, adding the government is working on the charges, which would be finalised soon.

It is clear that the Ministry will bring depository scheme through an executive order rather than legislation as it was planned during the reign of the then HRD Minister Kapil Sibal in 2010. Sibal had mooted to bring the National Academic Depository (NAD), which was proposed to be an electronic database of academic records and awards to be maintained at no cost to the Central and state governments. The Ministry had also proposed the NAD Bill, 2010, to facilitate the digitisation of academic records.

In the Budget, Irani said, “A Higher Education Financing Agency with and initial capital base of Rs 1,000 crore is proposed to be set up, with additional contribution under CSR, donations, etc to facilitate institutions easy access to funds.” 
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