What is DigiLocker?
DigiLocker is a flagship initiative of the Ministry of Electronics & IT (MeitY) under Digital India programme. DigiLocker aims at ‘Digital Empowerment’ of citizens by providing access to authentic digital documents to citizen’s digital document wallet. The issued documents in DigiLocker system are deemed to be at par with original physical documents as per Rule 9A of the Information Technology (Preservation and Retention of Information by Intermediaries providing Digital Locker facilities) Rules, 2016 notified on February 8, 2017 vide G.S.R. 711(E).
Benefits to Citizens
- Important Documents Anytime, Anywhere!
- Authentic Documents, Legally at Par with Originals.
- Digital Document Exchange with the consent of the citizen.
- Faster service Delivery- Government Benefits, Employment, Financial Inclusion, Education, Health.
Benefits to Agencies
- Reduced Administrative Overhead: Aimed at the concept of paperless governance. It reduces the administrative overhead by minimizing the use of paper and curtailing the verification process.
- Digital Transformation: Provides trusted issued documents. Issued Documents available via DigiLocker are fetched in real-time directly from the issuing agency.
- Secure Document Gateway: Acts as a secure document exchange platform like payment gateway between trusted issuer and trusted Requester/Verifier with the consent of the citizen.
- Real Time Verification: Provides a verification module enabling government agencies to verify data directly from issuers after obtaining user consent.
National Academic Depository (NAD) :
Digi Locker and NAD are initiatives of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and Ministry of Education (MoE) respectively. The concept of National Academic Depository (NAD) is born out of an initiative by MoE to provide a 24X7 online depository to Academic institutions to store and publish their academic awards. The digital depository not only ensures easy access to and retrieval of an academic award but also validates and guarantees its authenticity and safe storage.
Digi Locker is a provider of NAD services and aims at ‘Digital Empowerment’ of citizens by providing access to authentic digital documents to citizen’s digital document wallet. The issued documents in DigiLocker system are deemed to be at par with original physical documents as per Rule 9A of the Information Technology (Preservation and Retention of Information by Intermediaries providing Digital Locker facilities) Rules, 2016.
Maintaining academic awards in an electronic depository would provide benefit to educational institutions, students and employers by enabling online access of academic awards which will eliminate the need for persons to approach educational institutions for obtaining transcripts of such awards for verification. It would also eliminate fraudulent practices such as forging of awards, by facilitating online verification thereof and maintains the authenticity, integrity and confidentiality of the award.
It aspires to make the vision of Digital Academic awards for every Indian a reality.
DigiLocker for NAD implementation:
The initiative aims to create a DigiLocker NAD Portal for academic institutions to facilitate the creation of a DigiLocker ID for students. The portal provides a mechanism for academic institutions to create DigiLocker IDs for students and also provides technical support to AIs for lodging academic awards on DigiLocker.
The portal enables students to create a DigiLocker account and get immediate access to their academic records in a secure manner. Institutions have the facility to create DigiLocker IDs for students who have not yet created a DigiLocker account. This is beneficial for students who may not be able to access DigiLocker independently.
The DigiLocker-NAD Portal also provides machine-readable data formats for academic awards to verifiers, enabling easy validation of academic qualifications. This eliminates the hassle of physically submitting academic documents to various organizations while applying for jobs or further studies.
The portal also has an online helpdesk ticketing system for support and grievance handling for students and Institutions alike. This ensures prompt resolution of any issues faced by students or institutions.
It is important to note that DigiLocker only fetches data and does not store it. In contrast, NAD stores data, only academic documents for AIs, and is not accessible to students. Therefore, the portal focuses on providing access to academic data to students while enabling institutions to safely maintain and store academic records.
The DigiLocker NAD portal not only benefits students but also academic institutions who can maintain and submit academic records in a secure and efficient manner.
Role of Higher Educational Institutions :
The Institutions are required to register themselves in the National Academic Depository (NAD) portal. The NAD portal serves as a centralized repository for academic certificates and records. Once registered, the Institutions have to upload the data of academic records of their students in the given format.
The Institutions are also required to choose the certificate templates of educational awards from available options on the portal. They need to ensure that the templates are in accordance with the format prescribed by the NAD authorities. This ensures that the certificates are authentic and verifiable.
Additionally, the Institutions have to publish the results of the students on their own. They should update the results timely and accurately on the portal. This helps the students to access their academic records and certificates in a centralized and safe manner.
The Institutions are solely responsible for the accuracy and authenticity of the data of academic awards. They need to ensure that the information in the records is correct and verified. Any discrepancy or error in the data may lead to serious consequences for the students, such as rejection of job application, denial of admission to higher education, etc.
In summary, Higher Educational Institutions play a critical role in ensuring the accuracy and reliability of academic records of their students. They need to register in the NAD portal, upload data in the given format, choose appropriate certificate templates, publish results on the portal, and ensure the accuracy of information in the academic records.