While Delhi University waits for a directive from the University Grants Commission on the choice-based credit system (CBCS), there is no word on whether and how the system will be implemented in the School of Open Learning (SOL).
The SOL is a constituent of DU. Operating as a distance learning centre, it does not have a semester system. The CBCS requires a semester system in place.
Teachers at SOL are apprehensive of a recap of the four-year undergraduate programme (FYUP).
“There cannot be a dual mode in the same university which is why there was a protest against the FYUP. There was a fear that the SOL degree will be unrecognised. With CBCS, the same thing is going to repeat,”said JS Khuntia, professor at SOL.
There has been no word regarding the implementation of CBCS by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) and the Distance Education Bureau.
The government wants to implement this in this academic session with an aim to bring in uniformity across universities, help students study interdisciplinary courses and study the same course in different institutions.
This issue concerns distance education students even more as they are much greater in number as compared to regular course students. For instance, there are over 1.4 lakh students in SOL’s undergraduate programme and around 54,000 students in the regular courses.
However, even if CBCS is forcefully implemented at SOL, it will not be possible to do so without sufficient time.
“The syllabus will have to be changed and new study material will have to be created. New foundation course papers have to be written. This academic session, it is impossible,”said Khuntia.
Students of Krantikari Yuva Sangathan (KYS), the student body of SOL, gathered at Connaught Place to carry out a signature campaign against the CBCS.
“It is to be noted that CBCS is going to further devalue the degree of correspondence students. This system is FYUP in disguise. We do not have the choice of studying even basic honours courses like Hindi, History, Sociology and Economics. How is CBCS going to help us?”asked Subhash, a member of KYS.
However, even though the BJP-backed student group Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) had protested against the FYUP, they have come out in support of CBCS and said they will make sure it is implemented in the right direction.
Ambedkar University has been running CBCS since its inception in 2008. “At our university we offer several interdisciplinary choices to the students. It may not be in specific stipulations as outlined by the UGC but matches it by and large.
A student from BITS Pilani came to us after studying a year there. After analyzing his case with the equivalence committee, we let him continue at our university. For this system to work, credit allocation needs to be uniform. If units of credit are different, it won’t work,” said Shyam B menon, the vice chancellor of Ambedkar University.