I’ve noticed that merit badges already auto-populate into rank advancement for Star, Life, and Eagle, and for certain awards, such as the Complete Angler award. Auto-population should be implemented for other awards as well.
This should be done for any award that requires a certain rank or merit badge. For example, every National Outdoor Badge Device requires First Class (or equivalent for Venturing or Sea Scouts) and a certain selection of merit badges.
This could be done with NOVA, but it would probably not be simple as several NOVA awards offer the same merit badge as a choice. However, when a merit badge is chosen by the Scout, Scoutbook should auto-populate the date instead of the Scout having to search for it.
Some other awards where this could be implemented are Emergency Preparedness BSA and the International Spirit Award.
Some other posts where this is discussed: