Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) is the most prestigious institutions in India for research purposes. They are declared as institutions of national importance by the Act of Parliament and are often referred to as the IITs for basic sciences. IISERs are present at 7 locations in the country. They are Bhopal, Kolkata, Mohali, Pune, Thiruvananthapuram, Tirupati and the latest addition is Odisha.
What and How
There have been many cases in the country regarding fake degrees and tampering of original documents. This is mainly done to obtain job opportunities at various organizations. In many cases, the organization does not have a foolproof method to check the authenticity of the degree certificate. To eradicate this problem, the Human Resource Department (HRD) Ministry had proposed the setting up of a National Academic Depository (NAD). The NAD will have the capability to digitally store all the degrees, certificates, and various academic awards given by higher education institutions.
This proposal was approved by the Union Cabinet. HRD Ministry has confirmed that the National Academic Depository (NAD) will be set up in the next 3 months and it will be completely operational throughout the country by the academic year 2017-2018.
The various features of the NAD include the ability to store the certificates obtained by the candidate in the past, present, and the future. NAD will be handled by NSDL Data Management Limited (NDML) and CDSL Ventures Limited (CVL). Both these organisations are subsidiaries of Depositories that are registered under SEBI (Securities Exchange Board of India) Act, 1992.
The academic institutions would be solely responsible for the authenticity of the academic certificates uploaded into the system. In order to ensure that the data uploaded into the system is not forged, NAD will ensure the registration of various educational institutions, boards and students. There will be many verifying bodies present as well such as employer companies, banks, and various government agencies.
When an authorized user requests for an information, NAD will provide a digital or printed copy of the requested information on the same day after verifying the credentials of the student. Also, the copy of the academic certificates would be given to employers and academic institutions only after the student gives his/her consent for the same.
In another landmark decision, the cabinet has given the approval for the formation of the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) in Berhampur Society of Orissa. It will begin its academic operations from the academic year 2016-17.
HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar said that once the NAD is operational, fake degrees would disappear and also that this decision is an important one which will bring transparency in the education system. He said that the government was eager to expand education in the north east and improve the focus of research in India when he was asked about the new IISER in Odisha.
Arun Jaitley, Finance Minister, had said in his budget speech (February 2016) that a digital depository would be established to store academic awards and digital certificates.