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NEP 2020: What is Academic Bank of Credits?

NEP 2020: What is Academic Bank of Credits?

The University Grand Commission (UGC) has recently released the draft regulations for the implementation of Academic Bank of Credits (ABC). ABC, proposed by the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, was recently stressed on by Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal in an address to CBSE representatives. So, what is ABC?

What is Academic Bank of Credits (ABC)?

Last September, Hon. President Ram Nath Kovind said, "ABC would digitally store the academic credits earned from various higher education institutions so that degrees can be awarded, taking into account the credits earned by the students. This would allow the students the freedom to take courses as per their vocational, professional or intellectual requirements in addition to giving flexibility of suitable exit and re-entry points," in a briefing.

The credit bank works similar to a financial bank. But instead of money, the transactions are on academic credit. The credit bank will facilitate verification, accumulation and redemption of credits as well as authentication of one's degree. When a student has enough credit for applying to a particular degree, she could redeem it from the credit bank. This system would allow her to drop a programme or change institution in the middle of a course and still carry her credits forward. The credits will be stored under set regulations.

What is Academic Credit?

Academic credit is calculated based on learning hours. One hour of theory or tutorial, two hours of laboratory sessions per week for a semester of 13 to 15 weeks is calculated. Internships also come under the credit system, as per UGC. In the end, a minimum number of credits are required for graduation of any degree.

Draft and promises

UGC sent the drafted regulations to all the Universities last week. According to the draft, ABC's objective is to enable students to select combinations of courses according to their wishes. Students could design their courses than the regular rigid set of courses offered by institutions. The credit bank won't be a degree-awarding authority but a body empowered by the UGC to keep authenticated records of credits earned by a student. All higher education programmes under UGC could enrol in this credit bank except professional courses. Courses such as engineering, medicine or law etc. require approval from their statutory councils.

Experts opine that the system would give students more flexibility to pursue their degrees. Students will receive much exposure when foreign universities tie-up with ABC. They could transfer their credits internationally and proceed to pursue higher studies abroad. But, effective implementation of the scheme may face challenges, say experts.

The UGC had constituted a committee to develop a strategy for implementation of ABC. Anyone could submit suggestions or feedback regarding the regulations at on or before February 5th, 2021.

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