Indira Gandhi National Open University which enrols nearly 2.8 million students, is gearing up to deal with the choice-based credit system challenge.
According to Professor Debal Singharoy, director, academic coordination division of Ignou, “Ignou is not a conventional university. Many of the initiatives keeping in view the interests of students in the conventional system may not hold good for an open university. Ignou has taken the CBCS very seriously and has established a committee to examine the pros and cons of CBCS, which will come out with detailed recommendations.”
Singharoy says, many dimensions of CBCS like those of the introduction of learner’s choice, credit system, semester system, grading in evaluation etc are inbuilt in Ignou’s course curriculum for certain programmes. “Ignou’s bachelors’ degree programme has integrated all these dimensions in 1988. Besides the core competencies in the major domain, students are provided the option to go for application-oriented courses,” he says.
Students are allowed the space to complete their courses at their own pace. For example, they can take six years to complete a bachelors’ programme that is usually finished in three years. However, the university will have to work in key areas like the semester system for all undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, and introduction of grading system of evaluation in a 10-point scale etc. Ignou is already practising the credit transfer/recognition system for students coming from other universities. “Students who have completed courses from other varsities are already given credit equivalence to our system after their requests are thoroughly examined by the Credit Equivalence Committee. I am not sure that Ignou students are getting this treatment from other universities,” adds Singharoy.