Provide Digital Degree and Certificates to Students: Delhi HC

On Monday, the Delhi High Court, shown its displeasure on the action taken by the Delhi University in providing Digital Copie of Degrees and Certificates, as directed by the Court vide its order dated 07.08.202.

The Court observed that after passing of the order dated 7th August 2020, no effective action is taken by the DU. In fact, the purpose of creating the set up for issuance of online degree certificates is sought to be defeated by insisting on physical submission of documents. On 7th August 2020, the Court was categorically informed that the data of all students who graduated till November 2019 is available for issuance of the online degree certificates. However, on the date of hearing the DU officials completely resiled from this position. The Court observed that the fact that more than 30,000 students have applied for obtaining online degree certificates and not even a single certificate is issued, except for the Petitioners before this Court, establishes that the need of students is not being met.

The Court interacted with the members of the committee and recorded in its order that following facts have emerged so far:
1) After order dated 7th August 2020, insofar as the online portal of DU is concerned, more than 30,000 students have applied to obtain digital degree certificates and none of them have been issued the certificates.
2) The data of 28,000 students, which constitutes approximately half of the students who have graduated in 2017, has been uploaded on Digilocker. However, in order for the same to be accessed by students, the date of birth of the students is to be added to the Digilocker data.
3) The date of birth of all the students is to be obtained by the DU from all its colleges and transferred to Digilocker.
4) Insofar as the students who graduated in 2018 and 2019 are concerned, no data is available with the Examination Branch of the DU. Professor Rawat states that the said data has now been requested from the various colleges and faculties. He states that he has held a meeting with all the college principals last evening and he would be receiving the data of 2018 within a period of 4 days and for 2019 within 10 days. He also states that for 2019, the DU has decided to affix passport size photographs on the degree certificates, hence the longer time requirement.
5) Insofar as students who have an urgency issue either due to foreign admissions or employment or any other urgent requirement is concerned, Professor Rawat assures the Court that upon receiving an email from students with any documents in support, such students shall be issued their certificates within a period of 7 working days, without asking any further questions from the students or prescribing any further requirements.

Consdering above, the Court directed that DU shall henceforth not insist on physical submission of documents for the purpose of issuance of digital degree certificates. The said requirement in the auto-generated email which is sent to students who apply on the portal for the online degree certificates shall be deleted forthwith.

Considering the plight of students and the requirement of Degrees and Certificates for taking admission in further studies and employment, the Court issued the following directions:
“All the students who have an urgent requirement for digital degree certificates shall again forward the request they have already uploaded on the portal by marking the same under the subject header as `Priority/Urgent’ to the email address being digitaldegree@du.ac. in. Along with the said email, any document to establish the urgency may also be attached, such as a letter from employer, letter from any Indian or foreign University or any document showing a deadline. For such students, the degree certificates shall be issued, within 7 working days.”

The Delhi High Court has now fixed the matter for 11.09.2020.

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