The Human Resource Development Ministry is pushing for the National Academic Depository Bill, which could go a long way in curbing the fake degree scams. It will also benefit employers to access a verified database for all academic degrees in India. Sources in the ministry have indicated that the government is planning to launch the scheme as early as August 2014.
The Bill was first introduced in 2011 by then HRD minister Kapil Sibal. The Narendra Modi government has made some changes which have been vetted by the Law Ministry and the Bill is awaiting Cabinet approval.
The National Academic Depository Bill will establish an electronic database of academic awards. The awards can be verified and authenticated and the database will include passing out certificates, marksheets from every academic institution. Class X, XII, Bachelors, Masters and professional degrees like engineering, law, medicine will also be included.
Unlike the original draft, the present government has done away with private agents. The government will bear the costs of setting up the hardware and software to manage the National Academic Depository. Students will not have to pay extra to access the database.
According to ministry sources, for now the CBSE will handle the NAD and could outsource some of the software development work to private agencies if need be. Sources also indicate that they are in a position to launch the scheme by August with all central institutions. Once the Bill is passed, it would make it mandatory for even state run institutions to contribute to this database.