The Supreme Court was unhappy that despite its earlier order, the university did not issue digital degrees to distribute to students and requested a physical copy of the evidence attached in the email requesting the document to be issued.
The judge also found that there was a lack of coordination between Delhi University and its lawyers who were not properly instructed by the university.
Justice Singh directed the university to separately submit the schedule by which digital degrees will be issued on urgent and non-urgent requests.
The Supreme Court said that those students who have already urgently applied for a digital degree on the DU website will need to re-email the university and attach any document indicating the urgency, including admission to one foreign university or for an employment purpose.
“Such students will receive digital certificates of completion within seven working days. The requirement for a physical copy of the documents will be removed with immediate effect,” said Justice Singh.
The Supreme Court was informed that 30,000 students have so far submitted applications for digital diplomas on the university’s portal.
It was noted that the Dean (Exams) Professor Vinay Gupta and the Joint Director of the Computing Center of Delhi University (DUCC) Dr. Sanjeev Singh had previously informed that all student data was available at the university by November 2019.
However, it was announced on Monday that the university only has data from students through 2017.
“This is a completely messed up situation. There are no data for 2018 and 2019,” the Supreme Court noted.
Previously, on Aug. 7, the Supreme Court ordered a series of petitions and put in place due process for the issuance of diplomas through an online mechanism to ensure that delays in diploma printing did not become an obstacle for students who need.
It then registered satisfaction with the digital certificate submitted by DU and found that an online platform www.digicerti.du.ac.in had also been set up to enable students to apply for such certificates to be issued.
It had ordered DU to ensure that students’ digital diplomas are issued within one week of registration.
However, on September 2, the Supreme Court was informed by law student Shubham Kumar Jain last year that he had graduated from Shri Ram College of Commerce, DU, in 2017 and was pursuing a digital degree for the undergraduate degree that has not yet been completed was issued.
He alleged that, despite filing the application for a digital diploma online and completing all formalities, the university insisted on physically filing a hard copy of the application.
He said he applied for the digital degree on Aug. 14, but it was not issued.
On Monday, the court was informed that data from 28,000 students, who make up half of the students who graduated in 2017, had been uploaded to DigiLocker, an initiative by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY).
However, the student’s date of birth is required to access it, and DU has yet to get it from the respective colleges, the court found.
A DU official told the court that he had a meeting with the principals of all colleges and that they will share the dates of the 2018 and 2019 batches of students in the next 4 and 10 days, respectively.
When DU’s attorney said it was not possible to give all students digital degrees at once and they could do so for the time being for the urgent ones, the court noted, “This happens if you don’t give students degrees in time each year. ”
The Supreme Court put the matter up for further hearing on September 11th before the university is required to file an affidavit.
It also asked the three DU officers who attended the hearing to be present with Dean (exams) the next day.
Lawyer Sarthak Maggon, who represents petitioner Dhritiman Ray, on whose plea passed the previous resolution to issue a digital degree, said he received his certificate of digital degree on September 3.
He said he received calls from around 80 students who applied for digital degrees but did not receive them.
The Supreme Court had previously stated that the purpose of issuing the certificates digitally and through an online mechanism was to waive the need for students to be physically present at the university during the COVID-19 pandemic and to make the process available to students who are not rationalizing in Delhi and need the document either for employment or for training purposes.