IT Secretary directs educational institutions to accept e-documents

While the Tamil Nadu government is keen on giving a push to e-governance, educational institutions are yet to recognise the digital face of governance.

Ahead of the hectic admission season, the government has asked Collectors and all Secretaries to instruct the heads of departments under their control to accept digitally signed certificates issued by the competent authorities through e-district portal.

Information Technology Secretary T.K. Ramachandran has issued the directive after it was brought to the government’s notice that some educational institutions were not accepting the digitally signed certificates and insisted on manually signed certificates, causing students hardship.

The digitally signed certificates are valid as per the Information Technology Act, 2000, and the competent authorities issue them after scrupulously following the due procedures, he said in a letter to the heads of all departments.

As part of e-governance initiatives, the government has been implementing various mission-mode projects, including e-district.

On October 14, 2010, the Revenue Department issued an order for issuance of digitally signed certificates for five of its services — community, nativity, income, destitute women and ‘no graduate’.

Directive

Citing this order, the IT Secretary asked the department heads to treat the directive as most urgent and ensure that digitally signed certificates were accepted.

Official sources said the mission was being implemented throughout the State, but the level of awareness was low.

In Chennai, it was launched in February, and the government could not spread awareness much as the general election was notified.

As complaints poured in, the government acted in the interest of students, officials said.

The educational institutions could scan the 2D bar code to check for the originality of certificates, an official said.

The directive was significant as students should submit community certificate at the time of admission, and first graduates in their families should produce ‘No graduate’ certificate to avail themselves of subsidy, officials said.

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