NEP and Choice Based Credit System (CBCS) (Sciences)

Introduction to Choice Based Credit System (CBCS)


Choice Based Credit System (CBCS) as per UGC guidelines for B.Sc. (Honours)

On the initiative of the University Grants Commission (UGC) to bring about qualitative improvements in the national higher education system, Choice-Based Credit System (CBCS) is being introduced. The main feature of the CBCS is to make undergraduate education student-centric rather than system-centric or teacher-centric. For achieving these objectives, the CBCS strives to create a holistic syllabus. Thus in addition to dedicated focus on a discipline through core papers whether in an honours curriculum or a regular curriculum, elective papers have been added which will give students the freedom to choose the allied/applied/broad areas of their discipline and also the areas of other disciplines of their interest. Further, in keeping with the vision of the Government, special emphasis has been given to ability enhancement and skill development of students through elective courses under these domains which every student is required to study. However, in keeping with the spirit of CBCS, the students will have complete freedom to choose these courses from a pool suggested by the UGC/Universities. These courses aim to provide a paradigm shift to bridge an increasing gap between an undergraduate degree and employability.

The courses are defined in terms of learning objectives and focus more on intended learning outcomes. The methodology of teaching-learning comprises lectures/tutorials/ laboratory work/field work /outreach activities/project work/seminars and term papers/assignments/ presentations/self-study or a combination of these. All papers except core papers offer complete freedom to the Universities in designing and reviewing the syllabi and enable them to offer their own distinct flavor and maintain their unique character. These elective papers provide them with the opportunity to develop competencies of students in their areas of strength, expertise and specialization. Even in the core papers under the proposed guidelines 30% flexibility is proposed in adopting the syllabus as per the template advised by the UGC. It is pertinent to point out that as per the existing education policy different institutions and universities are required to maintain 70% equivalence in the syllabi of core courses and the same is being maintained under the proposed system of CBCS.

The main advantages of this system include:

  1. Shift in focus from the teacher-centric to student-centric education.
  2. CBCS allows students to choose inter-disciplinary, intra-disciplinary courses, skill oriented papers (even from other disciplines according to their learning needs, interests and aptitude) and more flexibility for students.
  3. CBCS makes education broad-based and at par with global standards. One can take credits by combining unique combinations. For example, Physics with Economics, Microbiology with Chemistry or Environment Science etc. The courses will be evaluated following the grading system suggested by UGC as the uniformity in the grading system will benefit the students to move across institutions both within India and across countries.

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