In today’s digital age, where convenience and accessibility are paramount, the National Academic Depository (NAD) emerges as a groundbreaking initiative. Developed to serve as an online storehouse of all academic awards, NAD is a 24X7 platform that aims to digitize and securely store mark sheets, diploma and degree certificates and other important educational documents. By ensuring easy access, authentication, and safe storage, NAD plays a crucial role in transforming the way academic achievements are managed and verified.
The Birth of NAD:
NAD was initiated by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) with the aim of establishing a 24X7 online depository for academic institutions to securely store and publish their academic awards. The vision behind NAD is rooted in the need for a centralized and standardized system that can efficiently handle the ever-increasing volume of academic awards. It was conceived as a collaborative effort involving academic institutions, boards, and eligibility assessment bodies to address the challenges associated with the traditional paper-based approach.
- Convenience and Accessibility:
One of the key advantages of NAD is its ability to provide 24X7 online access to academic awards. Students and professionals can now easily retrieve their certificates and other important documents from anywhere at any time, eliminating the need for physical storage or lengthy administrative procedures. This convenience not only saves time but also reduces the risk of misplacing or damaging valuable documents.
- Digitization and Authenticity:
NAD ensures that all academic awards are duly digitized, making them easily searchable and shareable. By leveraging technology, NAD also guarantees the authenticity of these documents. Educational institutions and assessment bodies meticulously validate and verify the awards before they are lodged in the depository. This verification process adds an extra layer of security and credibility to the stored documents, safeguarding against fraud and misrepresentation.
- Safe Storage:
With NAD, the worry of physical document storage is a thing of the past. By digitizing academic awards, NAD offers a secure and reliable storage solution. The risk of losing or damaging important certificates is significantly reduced, as the digital copies are safely stored in the depository. Furthermore, the centralized nature of NAD ensures that the documents remain accessible even if the original issuing institution faces unforeseen circumstances such as natural disasters or closures.
- Simplifying Verification:
Prior to the existence of NAD, verifying the authenticity of academic awards often involved a cumbersome process of contacting various institutions and cross-referencing records. NAD simplifies this process by providing a centralized repository of digitized documents that can be easily accessed and verified. Institutions and employers can now authenticate academic awards quickly and reliably, streamlining the verification process.
Features of NAD: Empowering Access, Authentication, and Security
- Large User Base: NAD has millions of registered users benefiting from its services.
- Legally Valid Documents: The documents lodged in NAD hold legal validity, ensuring their authenticity and acceptance.
- Quick Verification: NAD enables instant verification of academic awards, saving time and effort.
- Global Recognition: The documents stored in NAD are widely accepted and recognized internationally.
Stakeholders related to NAD, as well as the broader context of digital empowerment through DigiLocker:
- Students/Other Award Holders:
Individuals who have earned awards, certifications, or degrees may need to provide authentic digital copies of their documents, including NAD-related certificates, to various organizations.
- Academic Institutions/Boards/Eligibility Assessment Bodies:
Educational institutions, examination boards, and assessment bodies are involved in issuing certificates and verifying academic qualifications. They may use NAD as a means to authenticate and provide digital copies of these documents.
- Verifying Entities (Banks, Employer Companies, Government Entities):
Entities such as banks, employers (both domestic and overseas), and government agencies require verification of individuals’ qualifications and certifications. NAD can be used to provide digital proof of such credentials.
- Ministry of Education/University Grants Commission:
Government bodies are responsible for overseeing the education system and regulating academic institutions. They may have an interest in implementing and promoting the use of NAD for digital document verification.
DigiLocker is a digital platform in India that aims to provide citizens with a secure digital document wallet. It allows individuals to store and access their authentic digital documents, making it easier to share and verify credentials.
Which Academic Institutions come under NAD?
The Academic Institutions covered under NAD are those specifically listed by name and approved by the University Grants Commission (UGC) from the following categories:
- Central and State Universities.
- Private and deemed to be Universities.
- Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) approved institutes.
- All types of School Boards along with the Central Board of Secondary Education.
- Eligibility test conducting bodies. E.g. – National Eligibility Test (NET) and CBSE for Teacher Eligibility Test (TET).
What type of Academic Awards comes under NAD?
The academic awards eligible for coverage under NAD are determined by the University Grants Commission and fall within the following categories:
- As per policy any certificate, diploma, with mark sheets.
- Transcripts, and provisional certificates granted by HEIs.
- Skill development course related certificate, degree, and diploma.
- All certifications by National Skill Qualification Framework (NSQF)
- Short Term / Long Term Training or courses approved by the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE).
- Mark sheets, and certificates issued by the school boards.
- Certificates issued by eligibility test conducting bodies.
What are the services offered by the NAD?
- Registration of Academic Institutions/Boards/Eligibility Assessment bodies.
- Registration of students based on Aadhaar, Mobile Number.
- Registration of verifying entities.
- Enable Academic Institutions/Boards/Eligibility Assessment bodies to upload academic awards.
- Allow mapping/linking of academic awards to students’ NAD accounts.
- Enable students to view their linked academic awards.
- Permit Download / Print of authorized academic awards to students.
- Enable verifying users to verify the authenticity of academic awards (with prior student consent)
How the National Academic Depository (NAD) benefits various stakeholders:
Example 1: University Document Retrieval
Amit, a recent graduate from ABC University, needs to apply for a job abroad. The employer requires verified copies of his academic documents. Instead of going through the hassle of obtaining physical copies and getting them attested, Amit logs into the NAD portal and requests access to his academic records. The employer, let’s say XYZ Corporation, receives a secure link to verify Amit’s credentials directly from NAD. This streamlines the verification process, saving time for both Amit and XYZ Corporation, and ensures the authenticity of the documents.
Example 2: College Admission Process
Priya is a high school student applying to multiple colleges for further studies. Each college requires her to submit verified copies of her academic records. With NAD, Priya can simply provide her unique NAD ID to the colleges. The colleges can then access her academic records online through the NAD portal, eliminating the need for Priya to provide physical copies. This simplifies the admission process for both Priya and the colleges, reducing paperwork and improving efficiency.
Example 3: Document Authentication for Employment
Arjun has recently completed her degree from XYZ College and is applying for a job at ABC Company. During the hiring process, ABC Company needs to verify Arjun’s educational qualifications. Instead of relying on physical documents that can be prone to fraud, ABC Company uses the NAD platform to verify Arjun’s academic records. They can directly access the digitized certificates, mark sheets, and degrees issued by XYZ College through NAD, ensuring the authenticity of Arjun’s qualifications quickly and securely.
Example 4: Migration to another Educational Institution
David, a college student, decides to transfer to a different university for better opportunities. The new university requires him to provide academic records from his previous institution. Rather than requesting physical documents from his previous college, David uses the NAD system. He grants access to the new university to retrieve his verified academic records directly from NAD, streamlining the transfer process and reducing the administrative burden for both David and the universities involved.
Example 5: Government Examination Verification
Riya is a candidate who has appeared for a government examination. The government agency responsible for conducting the examination needs to verify her academic records as part of the selection process. With NAD, Riya authorizes the government agency to access her academic records digitally. The agency can then validate her qualifications securely and efficiently, ensuring transparency in the selection process.
These examples demonstrate how NAD simplifies document retrieval, verification, and authentication processes for various scenarios, benefiting stakeholders.
The National Academic Depository (NAD) has emerged as a game-changer in the field of educational records management. Its birth marked the beginning of a digital revolution, streamlining the way academic records are stored, verified, and accessed.
With a fully online operation, digitized awards, on-demand retrieval, and robust data integrity, NAD ensures that students, employers, and authorized individuals can conveniently access and authenticate academic achievements. Embracing NAD will not only enhance efficiency and transparency but also propel the education sector towards new horizons of excellence.