Even when Delhi and Mumbai universities have the semester system in place, academicians in other universities feel there are challenges in the UGC recommendations on the Choice-Based Credit System (CBCS).
Mumbai University started the CBCS system three years ago and the system is in place across the university except the law faculty. University officials believe that the UGC’s move to bring in the credit system is aimed at benefitting the students, bringing the system at par with international education standards, and boosting the mobility of students within the university and outside.
“However, there are challenges such as drafting the entire new syllabus, defining the credit system, motivating and training staff for smoother implementation, encouraging students to stay involved throughout the term and improving attendance, and continuous evaluation. Our academic board has to play an important role to overcome these challenges and help in preparing the new syllabus in a definite time,” says MA Khan, registrar, Mumbai University.
Down south, Bangalore University has introduced a similar scheme at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels, on the lines of the UGC notification. Professor B Thimmegowda, vice chancellor of the university says the scheme they have introduced enables undergraduate students to earn up to 104 credits with 100 credits being the minimum requirement. There are also courses based on co-curricular, cultural activities, sports subjects etc. Papers on skill development allow students to earn credits. “Though we are on track when it comes to implementing the UGC notification, I feel the UGC could have allowed an exit option (to students) after three years with the fourth year being similar to the first year of the master’s programme. Universities should have been given the freedom to have their own degree structure. The UGC is virtually imposing a three-year degree system on us. Other challenges include transfer of the credits across universities, calculating grade point averages, modifying course content, shortage of faculty etc. The government is not giving us the permission to fill up vacancies and the finance department is not giving us the clearance to hire more teachers. The UGC should have worked this out,” he adds. The university had proposed to offer a four-year undergraduate programme with CBCS last year.
Implementing the UGC notification is also likely to pose problems for Calcutta University (CU) which has 170 affiliated colleges, some in remote locations.