January 09, 2015

CBCS Choice Based Credit System from 2015-16

The Telangana state and Andhra Pradesh are likely to implement the Choice Based Credit System in universities from the upcoming academic year. The Centre has exhorted states to implement the credits system in universities and indicated that it should be done from the 2015-16 academic year. The University Grants Commission too has written to universities across the country asking them to implement the system. 

The CBCS offers students the choice of studying subjects of their choice. Like history can be studied by engineering students. Under the system, if a course requires 100 credits for its completion, 60 credits would be for compulsory subjects. The remaining credits can be used by students to study other elective subjects of their interest,” a senior official TS education department explained.

However, sources said that the Centre has been informed of the existing loopholes in the system. The lack of adequate faculty, inertia from universities, requisite training are some of the problems. The HRD ministry said it will provide training, if needed,” sources said. If diverse elective courses are to be offered at the same place, then the faculty to teach them will also be needed. The universities have also been asked to facilitate immediate implementation of credit framework. However, the flexibility for students to complete a course at their own pace will not be offered now. 

UGC has asked all universities to take "quick action" towards semesterisation of course curricula and grading system against the backdrop of states agreeing to adopt choice based credit programme in colleges and universities from the coming academic session. The success of the 'choice based credit system' and 'credit framework for skill development' depends on early initiation of such measures to bring uniformity across board in academic structure. 

The other steps include standardisation of examinations across universities and switching over from numerical marking to grading system. The reforms would not only provide wider options of subjects across disciplines to students but also ensure seamless mobility across institutions.  In order to expedite the entire process, you may consider setting up of a working group of senior faculty members of the university which can develop a time-bound action plan for the successful implementation of the schemes," UGC chairman Ved Prakash said in a communication sent to all Vice-Chancellors. 

UGC would also set up a facilitation cell which would extend necessary assistance to the universities, he said. UGC, governing higher education in the country, has developed a broad template and formulated the guidelines to facilitate the implementation of the two systems. State Education Ministers at a meeting chaired by HRD Minister Smriti Irani here on January 6, had agreed for the implementation of the two systems from the coming academic session. 

A suggestion was also accepted at the State Education Ministers' conference here today to set up a joint working group comprising Central and state government nominees to sort out critical issues in implementing the choice-based credit system. The 'choice-based credit transfer' system will enable students to opt for courses of their choice, learn at their own pace, undergo additional courses and acquire more than the required credits and adopt an interdisciplinary approach to learning. Adoption of the grading system will facilitate seamless mobility of students across the institutions of learning in the country .