On July 29, 2021, National Education Policy, 2020 completed its one year of launch. On this occasion, the Honorable Prime minister of India Narendra Modi launched the ‘Academic Bank of Credit’ Scheme. Students can now design their degrees in their own way.
It will allow them to not only switch between institutes but also give the option of leaving a certain course with a certificate that he/she has completed.
It supports the system of multiple entries and exits in education and provides flexibility to pursue education of their own choice.
What is ABC?
ABC expands to the Academic Bank of Credits. ABC will act as a virtual storehouse of records of academic credit secured by a student. It is drafted on the lines of the National Academic Depository. It will function as a commercial bank where students will act as a customer and ABC will provide various services to them. In order to avail of the ABC scheme, students will have to open an academic account with ABC after depositing minimal requisite fees. Thereafter, an account will be created and every account holder will be provided a unique id and Standard Operating Procedure.
The academic accounts of the students will have credits as awarded by Higher education Institutes to the students who are pursuing the courses. ABC will not accept the credits or any credit course document that is deposited by the student directly. Only those credit course documents will be accepted which are being deposited by the Institutes.
How will ABC work?
ABC will play a greater role in managing the academic accounts of students. It will be responsible for the opening, closing, and validating of the academic accounts. The tasks performed by ABC are::
- Verification of Credits.
- Accumulation of Credits.
- Transfer/Redemption of Credits.
- Promoting ABC among the stakeholders.
The courses included under this scheme covers both the online and distance model courses. The academic credits earned by students will have a validity of up to seven years, thoughhough it can vary as per the subjects and discipline adopted by the students. Students can redeem these points themselves.
How will ABC impact educational institutes?
The Higher Education institutes participating in the ABC scheme will enable the students to build their degrees as per their own choices. They will now have to amend their rules and regulations in terms of course registration, course requirements, acceptance for inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary courses, credits that need to be offered to these courses, credit transfers, and credit acceptance from other approved institutions.
As per the guidelines of UGC, the higher education institutes will have to allow students to acquire 50-70% of credits that are assigned to them from a degree from any institute. Students depending upon their needs can take this opportunity. Students who opt to shift their institutions will have to get the remaining 30-50% of credits from an institute they have registered with. In this way, UGC will ensure that a student has secured a minimum of credits required in the core subject area.
If any university or college registered fails to fulfill the conditions for the implementation of the ABC scheme, the commission may recommend the removal of such institution from ABC and any other appropriate penal punishment as decided by the commission.
Important step for Indian education
The ABC is a much-needed step that will provide mobility, flexibility and promote skill-based education in India. It will lead to a reduction in dropout rates and will improve the enrolment ratio. As the key goal of NEP is to provide flexibility to the students in their educational careers, this will provide a creative solution by removing the rigid boundaries for a student and creates new possibilities to learn the subjects of their choice. It seeks to achieve seamless student mobility between or within a college through ‘formal credit system recognition’. The step is welcome and it is hoped to bring a transformation in the careers of students.