After the University Grants Commission’s (UGC) issued guidelines to universities across the country to implement the choice-based credit system (CBCS), private universities are preparing for this change too.Noida-based Amity University, for instance, has been following the semester and grading system since last year. "The UGC as well as the National Knowledge Commission have recommended revamping of higher education through academic and administrative reforms to bring about qualitative improvement in higher education. Keeping this in mind, the university introduced the CBCS and credit transfer system in 2014-15," says Professor Balvinder Shukla, vice chancellor, Amity University.
The university offers various degree programmes which are grouped together and follow a model programme structure framework. This framework gives a course-wise credit distribution for the semester and the programme.
Explaining the process, Shukla says: “A model programme structure framework (consisting of core courses, open elective courses, credit transfer course, outdoor activities etc.) for all undergraduate, postgraduate, integrated and dual degree programmes has been defined. Options are given to students under the specialisation electives, open electives, domain electives and field-based learning electives to choose interdisciplinary courses from other institutions, which help them make their own basket of courses.”
The university claims that it has a well-defined credit transfer policy for transfer of a student from one university/course to the other. Elaborating how Shiv Nadar University (SNU) will prepare for these changes, Nikhil Sinha, founding vice chancellor, SNU, says: “We have been following the recently-notified CBCS since 2011.
Students have the option of pursuing programmes with major and minor combination, double majors and also have the option to change their major mid-way. The undergraduate programmes have been structured to allow flexibility to the students to design their own course and fulfil the credit requirements. This is in line with the UGC guidelines.”
According to Sinha, the new system would help in programme portability and institution portability. “However, it might be a challenge for a student of a small college to migrate to a university because of different accreditation processes. Thus it becomes imperative to strengthen the accreditation processes along with the credit system,” he adds.
Vineet Gupta, founder and pro-vice chancellor, Ashoka University, says that the curriculum at the university is on the lines of the UGC-notified CBCS. “We follow a multi-disciplinary approach which is in sync with the CBCS. Under the CBCS, students pursue three types of courses — foundation, elective and core. We also have a similar pattern. During the initial two years of coursework, students will complete 12 foundation courses. The students then pick up courses in their area of specialisation. We already have a semester system in place and are in the process of implementing a credit transfer policy too,” says Gupta.