The Delhi High Court has directed the Delhi University to immediately draw up a mechanism or a protocol for issuing digital degree certificates along with digital signature and security features.
The Single Bench of Justice Prathiba M Singh has further directed the University to identify the officers who would be in-charge of such a digital facility within the DU to whom students can write emails and obtain the documents within a specified timeline.
The order has come in a writ petition moved by certain MBBS graduates from Lady Hardinge Medical College, who had graduated in 2018, but have not received their degree certificates yet.
Mr Sarthak Maggon, who appeared for the Petitioners, submitted that due to the non-availability of the degrees, the said graduates are finding out impossible to apply for their residence programmes in the United States of America.
It was further highlighted by Mr Maggon that the services of the National Academic Depositary, which has been set up under the aegis of the University Grants Commission, can be used by the Delhi University to digitise the process of providing degrees, marksheets and transcripts.
Delhi University, on the other hand, submitted that it has started the tender process and is at the final stage of finalising an agreement with a printer for printing degree certificates.
The University further submitted that the opening date for bids is August 03, and the final contract shall tentatively be finalised by the first week of August.
Mr Mohinder Gupta, who appeared for the University, informed the court that DU has already entered into an agreement with NAD and marksheets of Delhi University are available with NAD.
In light of these submissions, the court issued notice to the National Academic Depository and directed a senior official of update the court by way of an affidavit, as to the details of the agreement entered into between the DU and the NAD and the status of the data, already received and to be received from the DU.
The court further said:
'Since the NAD is a unique facility which is meant to be a national depository for academic records, to make the same easily accessible to students, it should be utilized effectively by the DU and immediate steps should be taken by the DU for transfer of all the existing data relating to students, to the NAD.'