Certificates in DMAT format to check forgery

The HRD Ministry will bring a bill in Parliament for creation of the depository where the certificates issued by school boards and universities would be stored in an electronic format for any future use.

"Forged certificate is a major problem. There is no verification process with the employer. The credibility of our institutes come under question. We are contemplating to establish a national database in an electronic format by an identified registered depository," HRD Minister Kapil Sibal told reporters here.

Under this initiative, the school boards, universities and certificate issuing institutions can have direct linkages to the depository. The certificates could be stored in a DMAT format.
"It would be a secured depository. Anybody who loses his certificate can get an authentic certificate. Anybody who wants to verify the authenticity of a certificate can do so by contacting the depository," he said.

As per the government's plan, the depository could be put in place from 2011.
The government has set up a task force headed by IIT Kanpur Director Prof Sanjay Dhande to prepare a roadmap for implementation of the initiative.

As per the plan, anybody who has already passed out before 2011 can also update his certificates in that depository.

The technology-based solution would ensure security and authenticity and enable online verification and easy retrieval of academic qualifications.

At present two depositories -- National Securities Depository Limited (NSDL) and Central Depository Services (India) Limited (CDSL) -- are registered with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).

"We are looking for a DMAT format with either of the NSDL or CDSL. Each institute will be registered with either of the two," Sibal said.

All institutes, including school boards, IITs, NITs, polytechnics and school boards from different states, will have linkages to the depository.

For verification or reissue of certificates, the applicant should pay a fee and get the service, he said.The initiative will not involve any spending on part of the government.
Another major benefit of the initiative is that it will held identify the non-recognised and fake institutes. The certificates of such institutes will not be available in the depository.

The task force will prepare detailed terms and condition for implementation.

The task force members include IIM Kozhikode Director Prof Debasis Chatterjee, AICTE Chairman Prof S S Mantha, CBSE Chairman Vineet Joshi and UGC Vice Chairman Prof Ved Prakash.

The task force will identify a registered depository to whom the work of creation and maintenance of the national database can be entrusted.

It will draft the legislation to provide legal mandate to the holding of academic qualifications in an electronic depository, Sibal said. It is expected to submit its recommendations by March 31.

This initiative would provide immense benefit to educational institutions, students, alumni and employers by enabling online access of academic qualifications, he said.

It will eliminate the need for persons to approach educational institutions for obtaining transcripts of such qualifications or for verification as well as reduce the need for institutions to preserve records related to academic performance of students over a long time.

Asked whether all state boards would agree to the proposal, he said there should not be any problem.

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