LAHORE: The Higher Education Commission (HEC) is going to introduce e-verification service of educational documents to end forgery and to make the process of attestation of various documents hassle free.
A task force on Civil Service Reforms and Austerity and Restructuring, led by Prime Minister’s Adviser Dr Ishrat Hussain, at a recent meeting advised the HEC to direct all degree awarding institutions under its supervision to immediately launch e-verification services for their issued educational documents.
It directed the HEC to maintain and supervise an online system where all degree awarding institutions automatically submit copies of issued degrees online as soon as the degrees are awarded.
HEC Chairman Tariq Banuri told Dawn he was not aware of the direction from Task Force but they had started the registration process of the documents few months ago.
He said e-verification was not possible without reliable registration and it would be in place soon.
Punjab Information Technology Board General Manager (IT) Burhan Rasool, a member of the Task Force on Civil Service Reforms and Austerity and Restructuring, made a detailed presentation on online verification and e-attestation of degrees of various boards and universities of the country.
He elaborated that on one hand forgery of academic documents was becoming rampant and on the other hand holders of genuine educational documents were facing a lot of problems during the attestation of various documents.
He proposed an online database that maintain the records of all educational documents issued by various degree and academic qualification issuing authorities.
Mr Rasool said it became a necessity to have verified and attested documents at your disposal 24/7 due to changing trends in the professional world, locally and internationally.He said it was becoming essential to digitize the verification of educational and professional degrees to ensure transparency and authenticity and e-attestation of the documents by gazetted officers would also help prevent degree and certificate-related frauds.
The online verification and e-attestation document plan available with Dawn showed that under the plan digitisation of verified and attested documents will be available on the portal and will be accessible across the country. Pioneering as Pakistan’s first online verification and e-attestation service, the portal will also provide regular updates and information.
It states that all boards of intermediate and secondary education, colleges, universities and all other degree-awarding institutes would digitize their student results and issued degrees on a regular basis while providing online degree verification services.
A digital copy of final results and issued degrees will also be submitted to the federal and provincial Higher Education Commissions every year on an annual basis for record safekeeping in proposed Intellectual Capital Data Bank for counter-verification purposes.
Citizens will have online access to their digitally verifiable degrees and results and it will also online verify on a publicly shareable tiny-URL. All the public and private institutes would have access to e-attestation of academic documents.
In order to stay abreast of the latest global trends and requirements, the repository would speed up the processes that depend on verified degrees and attested documents. The easy availability and accessibility of the documents would ensure transparency and the much-needed authenticity.
Published in Dawn, December 24th, 2019