The human resource development ministry has fast-tracked work on setting up a virtual database, under which all academic records will be available in digital format, to curb the menace of fake educational degrees and marksheets.
The University Grants Commission will soon conduct a workshop in the Capital to train the authorities of centrally funded universities and institutions in creating, uploading and maintaining digital certificates on the National Academic Depository (NAD). These institutes will be covered under the first phase of the project.
The centralised workshop in New Delhi — to be attended by vice-chancellors, directors, representatives of the Central Board of Secondary Education, the controller of examinations and other important officials — will also create awareness on the importance of NAD. The programme is expected to be held later this month.
Besides negating the possibility of uploading fake certificates, the creation of a virtual database will benefit recruiters who want to get the credentials of applicants vetted by the universities concerned. It will also eliminate the need to physically approach the university or college for procuring attested certificates, as is the current practice.
“Allowing universities and boards to upload certificates online will eliminate every possibility of malpractice. These days, many students use fake certificates procured through touts to land jobs and gain admission in colleges. That won’t be possible once NAD comes into being,” said a senior official from the HRD ministry.
NAD will allow students to retrieve their academic documents at any time, and help employers verify their authenticity (with the students’ approval) at a short notice. Apart from this, it will also give boards and academic institutions greater access to the data.
“The move will also ensure that the documents remain secure, considering that academic awards maintained in paper form are susceptible to hazards like spillage and forgery,” said a senior official.