Will Give Digital Degrees To Pass Outs Who Haven't Received Them: Delhi University tells HC
Students will be required to register on the online portal www.digicerti.du.ac.in, and give their details including academic qualification and name of their college and after completion of the verification, the digital degree certificates will be issued by DU within a week.
In a relief to those who graduated from Delhi University up till last year but did not receive their degrees, the varsity has activated an online portal for issuance of digital degree certificates to speed up the process, the Delhi High Court has been informed. The university submitted before the high court that the students have to register on an online portal www.digicerti.du.ac.in, and give their details including academic qualification and name of their college and after completion of the verification, the digital degree certificates will be issued by DU within a week.
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The submissions were made before Justice Prathiba M Singh, who was hearing various petitions by 21 doctors who completed MBBS graduation in 2018 and 2019 from Lady Hardinge Medical College, Maulana Azad Medical College and University College of Medical Sciences, affiliated with the DU, but have not received their degree certificates till date on the ground that the contract with the printer had expired.
Regarding these petitioners, the court directed that the digital degree certificates for all of them be issued by email, on or before August 13, as they wish to apply for their residency programmes in the United States and to sit in the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE). August 15 is the last date by which the degree certificates would have to be uploaded for processing to the ‘My ECFMG’ mobile application.
In pursuance to the court’s earlier directions, the university prepared a sample digital degree with the assistance of officials from Digilocker, an initiative by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) and IT Department of the high court.
“The court has perused the digital degree certificate, which has been sent by e-mail and the court is satisfied with the contents of the same. The issuance of similar digital degree certificates duly verified by two officials of the DU and digitally signed by the authorised officer of the DU would in the court’s opinion, satisfy the purpose of the petitioners,” Justice Singh said.
The court said the doctors, represented through advocate Sarthak Maggon, are free to use the digital degree certificates for the purpose of their ECFMG applications and if the ECFMG authorities need any clarification, they may be addressed to the email IDs of DU officials Sanjeev Singh or Vinay Gupta. The court also asked the DU authorities to look into the question as to whether marksheets and transcripts of students can also be issued digitally and asked them to deal with this aspect in their affidavit and listed the matter for further hearing on September 7.
Regarding the other students, the DU officials told the court that the data of all the students who have graduated up till November, 2019 is already available with the varsity. The court noted that DU is working out modalities with the officials of Digilocker to transmit all the data relating to degrees awarded by it to Digilocker within a time bound manner.
“Let the above measures and timelines thereto be placed on record by means of an affidavit by DU. Let an affidavit be also placed on record by MEITY/ Digilocker as to what are the steps that DU needs to take to ensure that the data is made available to the students through Digilocker,” the court said and asked the varsity and the ministry to file the affidavits within two weeks.
The court also appreciated the effort of the officials of the high court IT team, Digilocker and DU for coming up with the template of the digital degree certificate in a timely manner to enable students to complete their formalities for their proposed post-graduate applications.
It said all such students who require their digital degree certificates due to any urgent deadlines are free to register on the portal and the officials at DU shall ensure that their digital degree certificates are issued within a period of one week from registration.
In case the portal is not working for any reasons, the details may be submitted on the e-mail addresses of joint director of DU Computer Centre Sanjeev Singh and Dean of Examination Professor Vinay Gupta and steps shall then be taken within the time prescribed, the court said.
Digilocker is an initiative under Digital India, in which the government aimed at transforming India into a digitally empowered society. It provides citizens a shareable private space on a public cloud and makes all documents or certificates available on cloud.
The court was earlier unhappy with the conduct of DU for not taking proper steps to issue digital degrees to students who have graduated and said there was a "complete collapse of administration" in the varsity and it reflects a "sorry state of affairs".
It had said 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.