Admissions 2015

What is Choice Based Credit System and how does it affect the new batch?

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You’ve all heard of it, yet at the same time, none of you fully understand it.

The winds of change strike University of Delhi (DU) again and this time they bring with themselves an old friend of ours from secondary school – the grading system. This, however, isn’t the biggest feature of Choice Based Credit System (CBCS), another of the controversial pages turned by University Grants Commission (UGC) in the past few years.

The CBCS, as the UGC explains, is a “cafeteria-approach to education”. This does not make education any more appetising, but it is meant to render a student the freedom to choose what and at what pace they would study. Let’s break it down for you.

What has changed?

1. Contents of courses will now be counted in a new currency called “credits”. A single subject of an Honours course of Commerce or an Art will be equal to 6 credits divided into 5 theory and 1 tutorial/practical credits, while for a Science course the division will be of 4 and 2 respectively. The number of credits scored by a student will ultimately translate to a grade point and a grade letter. Honours courses will be made up of 140 credits whereas programme courses will be made up of 120 credits.

2. The system also divides subjects associated with a course under categories, namely “core courses”, “elective courses” and “ability enhancement courses” (here, courses refer to subjects). The number of each of these kinds of subjects a student must study varies from degree to degree. For B.Com. Honours, a student must study 14 core, 8 elective and 4 ability enhancement courses. A student may study additional subjects of their choice as per availability in their institution.

3. Inter-disciplinarity, first introduced with FYUP in DU, stages a comeback with CBCS. A student of a particular course will also study subjects of another course; the credits will be part of elective subject credits. For example, a B.Com. Honours student may study 4 subjects related to the Economics discipline and 4 of Commerce, thereby fulfilling their quota of 8 elective subjects to be studied.

4. The new system makes the final term dissertation (project work) optional, if allowed by the University. It can be swapped with an elective paper in the last semester. DU is yet to prepare the final draft of curriculum for all courses.

5. CBCS also boasts of mobility across Universities, though the UGC has not set clear guidelines for the same yet. It will enable a student to transfer their earned credits to another University entirely so that they may complete their course there. The next level of migration!

6. The following grades will be allotted for the corresponding grade points.


The implementation of CBCS remains to be seen, but the most crucial determinants of the programme’s success will be stability and clarity. Wishing the new batch luck on those fronts!

Further reading: Teachers refuse to draft CBCS syllabus, lock horns with DU

Ishaan Gambhir
[email protected]

EDM lover, photographer, big-time foodie, drummer, writer, reader, gamer (CS 1.6 and err, Flappy Bird only), a problem solver and not as Gambhir as alleged topped with Hollywood & English TV shows in my blood. In a million ways extremely unique and distinctive and at the same time just a normal guy. Can be reached at [email protected].

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