HC directs DU to take immediate steps to prepare protocol for issuing degrees, marksheets online

By: |
July 23, 2020 5:25 PM

The high court had added that most institutions have made alternative arrangements during the lockdown period for issuance of digital certificates, digital mark sheets and digital transcripts online, along with the digital signatures and security features.

The high court also directed the varsity to immediately take steps to draw up the protocol for issuance of degree certificates and other documents including mark sheets and transcripts along with digital signatures and security features.

The Delhi High Court Thursday directed the Delhi University to take immediate steps to draw up the protocol for issuing degree certificates, mark sheets and transcripts online with digital signatures and security features. The high court remarked that it is clear that degree certificates are taking time to be issued due to delay in convocation, delay in sending of data and degree certificates for several years have not been given to the students by the Delhi University (DU).

Justice Prathiba M Singh, who was holding the hearing through video conferencing, issued notice to National Academic Depository (NAD), which is a digital database of academic awards provided by the Central government, and asked a senior official to join the proceedings on the next date to update the court about the agreement entered between NAD and DU.

The high court asked the NAD to also apprise it about the status of the data to be received by the DU. Since the NAD is a unique feature and to act as a national depository for academic records to make it easily accessible to the students, the same should be utilised effectively by the DU and immediate steps be taken by the DU for transferring all the existing data relating to the students to the NAD, the judge said.

The high court also directed the varsity to immediately take steps to draw up the protocol for issuance of degree certificates and other documents including mark sheets and transcripts along with digital signatures and security features.

The high court passed the order while hearing a petition by five doctors who graduated their MBBS course from Lady Hardinge Medical College, which is a part of Faculty of Medical Sciences, DU. The reason for them to approach the high court is that they graduated in 2018 but have not received their degree certificate till date.

The petitioners, represented through advocate Sarthak Maggon, submitted that they wish to apply for their residency programmes in the United States and to sit in the the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE). They said August 15 is the last date by which the degree certificates would have to be uploaded for processing to the My ECFMG’ mobile application.

The high court was informed by Joint Director of DU Computer Centre Sanjeev Singh that he will be able to place the protocol on record within five days. It said that in the process of preparing a protocol for issuance digital degree certificates, mark sheets and transcripts, if the university requires any technical assistance, it is permitted to contact officers of the IT Department of Delhi High Court.

The high court, which listed the matter for further hearing on August 4, directed that DU officer Singh shall positively get digital signature for himself before the next date so that the degrees can be emailed to the petitioners through his digital signature.

I do not want the doctors to come to DU in any manner, So you email them their degrees, Justice Singh said.
Dean (Examination) Vinay Gupta and Joint Director of DU Computer Centre Sanjeev Singh, who were present during the hearing, submitted that due to urgency they have issued a short tender for printing the degree certificates and it will be opened on August 3 and steps are being taken in an expeditious manner.

On Wednesday, the court had directed the varsity to take a pragmatic approach and seriously consider the option of setting up a special cell for entertaining students issues of digital certificates, mark sheets and transcripts. The high court had said students ought not to be forced to approach courts for issuance of their mark sheets, transcripts and degree certificates, which ought to be issued in the natural course within a reasonable time.

Students, especially doctors providing their services during the COVID-19 pandemic, ought not to have been forced to approach this Court for seeking their degree-certificates, especially when they graduated two years ago. Representation is stated to have been made by 25 students to the Dean of Examinations of DU but there has been no response, it had said.

The high court had added that most institutions have made alternative arrangements during the lockdown period for issuance of digital certificates, digital mark sheets and digital transcripts online, along with the digital signatures and security features.

It had said most of DU is under lockdown and there is very minimal physical interface between students and the administration. There is no reason as to why DU should not be adopting technically advanced methods to ensure that the students are not inconvenienced.

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