The ministry of human resource and development (MHRD) has urged the University Grants Commission (UGC) to integrate national academic depository (NAD) within the existing DigiLocker facility for storage of academic awards, mark sheets and certificates. It has further directed the commission to implement this as a permanent scheme inside DigiLocker.
Launched by the IT ministry in 2015, DigiLocker is one of the four essential layers of India Stack and has been a platform for issuance and verification of documents and certificates in a digital way, thus constituting the paperless layer of India Stack. The IT Ministry’s controller of certifying authorities had earlier launched eSign API to facilitate an Aadhaar holder to digitally sign a document.
In a series of tweets, DigiLocker official twitter handle stated that this would pave the way for nationwide digitization of academic awards, certificates, report cards and mark sheets in the education sector via DigiLocker for all institutions under MHRD. This would include central universities, state universities, private universities, other institutions and school boards.
“This is a big win for DigiLocker and will drive its adoption by students, teachers, professors, schools, colleges, universities – the entire education sector in India!”
The NAD was launched on July 9, 2017 and the UGC entered into a tripartite agreement with NSDL Database Management Limited (NDML) and CDSL Ventures Limited (CVL) in order to operationalise the depository.
However, as the period of tripartite agreement signed between UGC, NDML and CVL has ended on November 22, 2019, through the letter, the MHRD has clarified that NAD shall not be implemented through NDML and CVL.
“The NAD to be implemented as a permanent scheme without levy of any user charges, by Digilocker through the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (Meity) as a single entity. UGC to be authorised to implement NAD as a permanent scheme, in co-operation with the Digilocker,” said the MHRD notification.
With this, while all the applications that are linked with NAD through NDML and CVL portals will be delinked and the same will be linked through DigiLocker, said the HRD ministry. The MHRD has directed the UGC which is the implementing body of NAD to enter into a memorandum of understanding with Digilocker for smooth implementation of NAD and finalise various technical issues/various formats for uploading of academic awards/creation of student account, mapping of academic awards, procedures for verification etc in consultation with Digilocker.