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National Academic Depository (NAD)

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The National Academic Depository (NAD) is aninter-operable digital store house of academic awards (degrees, diplomas, certificates, mark-sheets, etc.),available on 24 X 7 online mode. It provides a system for lodging, retrieval, authentication and verification of academic awards in digital format for students, academic institutions, boards, eligibility assessment bodies and other user/verifying entities like bank, employer companies, government agencies and academic institutions. This was launched on 9 July 2017.

The Union Cabinet in its meeting held on 27th October, 2016, has approved Ministry of Human Resource Development’s proposal on establishment and operationalisation of the National Academic Depository (NAD) by entering into an agreement with NSDL Database Management Limited (NDML) and CDSL Ventures Ltd. (CVL)– both wholly owned subsidiaries of the Depositories registered under Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) Act, 1992 [1].This was infulfilment ofa commitment made in Finance Minister's Budget Speech of 2016-17.

NAD allows lodging of Academic awards in a digital format, maintaining the integrity of access to the database and of the awards lodged in the database. It allows students to retrieve their lodged academic awards at any time. In addition to ensuring authenticity, integrity and confidentiality of the digital database of academic awards, NAD wouldbe an effective deterrence to fake and forged paper certificates. Further, it would reduce a lot of administrative efforts.

The Academic Institutions would be responsible for the authenticity of data digitally uploaded by them in to the NAD system. The depositories are to ensure the integrity of the data in the NAD. Requests for access to academic awards for potential employers including government employers like Staff Selection Commssion (SSC), Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) and Academic Institutions would be only with the consent of the student.

Government has designated University Grants Commission (UGC) as theauthorized body to enter into a tripartite agreement on behalf of all Central Higher Educational Institutions (CHEIs), Institutions of National Importance (INIs) and Boards with the NDML and CVL initially, for a period of three years for the purposes of establishment of NAD.The UGC has signed a tripartite agreement with NDML and CVL for establishing and operationalizing NAD.

The Academic Institutions engaging with NAD at the moment proposed to include the following:




The National Academic Depository Bill, 2011 was originally introduced in the Lok Sabha onSeptember 5, 2011.  The Bill was referred to the Standing Committee on Human Resource Development which submitted its report in March 2012. However, the bill lapsed in 2014 with the change of Government.

The Bill proposed to make it mandatory for every specified academic institution to lodge every academic award with the depository.Depository would establishnetwork of facilitation centres for candidates to submit dematerialization requests of past academiccertificates and requests for authentication. Academic institutions may also become depository agents.The system would also have the necessary securityfeature to ensure that only authorized users had access to authorized functions. No expenditure from the Government side was expected as itwould be a fully user service charge-based service provision with users being educationalinstitutions, employers and other stakeholders.

In the present system, only academic institutions are authorized to upload the certificates in digital format into the NAD.

1. NAD comprises of two inter-operable digital depositories operated by the wholly owned subsidiaries of National Securities Depository Ltd (NSDL) and Central Depository Services (India) LtdNSDL Database Management Limited (NDML) andCDSL Ventures Ltd. (CVL) respectively.


Contributed by

Dr. K KTripathy(IES 1999) and Ms. Rose Mary K Abraham (IES 2006)

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