On 17th November, Sunday, students of School of Open Learning (SOL) held a funeral march to symbolise the death of the varsity’s Vice Chancellor (VC) for them, and sent tonsured hair to the Ministry of Human Resource and Development (MHRD) to protest against the hasty implementation of the Choice Based Credit System (CBCS) system in SOL. 

On 17th November 2019, the students of DU’s School of Open Learning (SOL) took out a funeral march from the main gate of the Arts Faculty to the VC house, symbolising his death for the students of School of Open Learning (SOL). The students carried an effigy of the VC in a funeral procession, with slogans that read Annyay VC ki shavyatra (Unfair VC’s funeral procession) and SOL aur Regular mein degree ki samanta hee nahi, suvidhaon ki bhi do (Provide equal opportunities to regular courses and SOL, and not just equal degrees). The march was organised by the students and the KYS against the ‘bulldozed’implementation of the CBCS/ Semester system by DU for the students of SOL. 

In a press statement released on Sunday, the Krantikari Yuva Sangathan (KYS), mentioned, “Classes are suspended while more than half of the Honours courses remain incomplete; thus destroying the future of first-year SOL students, who have to appear for the CBCS examination later this November. Not only is the syllabus incomplete, the SOL students are yet to be provided with their complete study material. SOL is so unprepared that till now even the study material which has to be mandatorily provided to the students has not been made available to the majority. All this while the exams are due this very month. Also, even though lacs of students have taken admission this year in SOL, the study centres are almost empty because no information has been provided to them.”

The students of SOL had held a massive protest at the MHRD as well, where they had tonsured their hair and sent it to the Union HRD Minister, Delhi Education Minister, UGC, DU, and SOL authorities to assert that they felt orphaned, and were thus sending their tonsured hair as offerings of symbolic sacrifice. The students have made an appeal to the High Court of Delhi and had also protested against University Grants Commission (UGC), demanding its immediate intervention for the roll-back of the new CBCS curriculum and semester mode. 

“The entire situation is chaos. Even though the idea of lessening the parity between regular colleges and distant learning is a good initiative, its implementation is terrible. We don’t know the syllabus, classes are empty and without the proper study material, the teachers don’t know what to teach in classes either. We’ve been completely abandoned by the authorities, despite continually reaching out. The University decided to introduce the CBCS system with no preparation and now we have to sit for semester exams that SOL wasn’t even prepared for. This is our future, and the University doesn’t seem to care at all,” Mrinal Yadav, a B.Com. student at SOL told DU Beat. 

Expressing concern over this issue, several teachers have written to the University visitor, President Ram Nath Kovind, calling for the postponement of the exams and rolling back of the semester system for this year. “We have been observing the growing agitation of SOL students and the high handedness with which the University is circumventing to their objections regarding the manner in which the system has been introduced,” the letter to the President said. It was said to be signed by about 100 teachers. A review of the study materials provided, upon which distance education students mostly rely, showed that they were “full of errors” and not a product of academic protocols, they wrote in the letter. The teachers also raised issues about the way the new system was introduced, arguing that it was “bulldozed” through the University’s statutory bodies.

Feature Image Credits: KYS

Shreya Juyal

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School of Open Learning plans to have new centres after several students complaint about distance and accommodation facilities.

University of Delhi’s School of Open Learning (SOL) has decided to open a new building in Tahirpur, East Delhi. The tentative structure would be a seven storey long building on a 2,100 square metre land at Dilshad Garden. The varsity is also planning to open two other centres in Rohini and Uttam Nagar, to cater students from North West and West Delhi. Around 20,000 students from the area adjoining  Loni in Tahirpur, Rohini and Uttam Nagar are  enrolled for different courses at SOL.

A new examination branch will also be built to avoid delays in conduction of exams and declaration of results. This decision came after first year students protested against the implementation of Choice Based Credit System (CBCS) in SOL after it got approval from Executive Council. The students complained that the current Centre in North Campus did not have enough space to accommodate students who came for the Personal Contact Programme, which endeavoured to equip students with the required infrastructure.

Ramesh Bharadwaj, Officer on Special Duty (OSD), informed the Times of India that SOL will streamline the system. The college has available land in Tahirpur area and it will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Central Public Works departments (CPWD) to erect a seven storey building. He advocated for the implementation of CBCS in SOL as the institute was not recognized by Ministry of Human Resource Development’s Open and Distance Learning for it used to follow the Three Year Undergraduate Programme system that has been revoked from almost all the colleges of Delhi University.

Moreover, he added, “More than 90% study materials have been published and we are inviting students daily in batches of 3,000 to collect it. We have already provided soft copies since 25th August, a week before classes started on 1st September.”

The University Grant Commission launched the CBCS system in 2016 for Delhi University but SOL adhered to the old Three Year Undergraduate Programme till August 2018 when it along with NCWEB switched to CBCS to pace up with other colleges of varsity.

Prior to this, SOL had only 20 classes in a year but now the institute can easily hold 17-20 classes, per semester at 42 centers.


Featured Image Credits: India Today


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The students from the School of Open Learning (SOL) held a referendum against the implementation of Choice Based Credit System (CBCS). Read on to know more.

The School of Open Learning (SOL) was established as a constituent college of the Delhi University (DU) in 1962, and is a pioneer in the field of distance education in India. It is one of the largest educational institutions in India, with around 5 lakh students.

SOL is a correspondence option offered to students all over the country by DU. It is a suitable alternative for people pursuing professional courses like Chartered Accountancy, Company Secretary etc. As these students require a degree but find it hard to go to college every day.

Till the last academic session, SOL had been following the annual mode of examinations. Until this July, when the University announced the introduction of CBCS, wherein exams take place each semester (every six months).

According to the students, SOL is not yet ready for the transitions. They have been protesting against this notion. The protest was led by the activists from the Krantikari Yuva Sangathan (KYS). “It should be known that implementing CBCS without discussion with the general students is not only arbitrary but is also an example of the administration’s carelessness. It should also be noted that till now more than 1.5 lakh students have already been admitted in annual mode and without any consultation, the semester system has been imposed,” read a statement issued by KYS.

As stated in a report by the Hindsutan Times, around 10,000 students participated in the aforementioned referendum, out of which 99% rejected the administration’s decision of implementing the CBCS system in SOL.

Some of the students had also indulged in a hunger strike in August. Earlier they wrote to the Ministry of Human Resource Development asking for assistance regarding the same. The students also claimed that CBCS study material has not been provided. Further, they said that no steps were taken to inform the students about the modifications in the curriculum.

Feature Image Credits: SOL Website

Avni Dhawan

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Delhi University’s School of Open Learning (SOL) students protested at various education centres on Sunday, following cancellation of classes for two consecutive weeks.

A students’ group belonging to the School Of Open Learning staged protests across many colleges of the Delhi University (DU), that act as study centres, causing huge chaos at these institutions. The students were protesting against the cancellation of Personal Contact Programme (PCP) classes for two consecutive weeks. According to the students, the classes were cancelled without any prior notice of intimation regarding the same to the students. The protests were organised in Gargi College, located in South Campus as well as Bhim Rao Ambedkar College, located in Shahdara on Sunday, September 15th. At Gargi College, female students surrounded the entrance gate and blocked the road, in protest against cancellation of classes.

Besides the classes being cancelled, SOL students also face problems of inadequate study material, and denial to entry in their study centres. According to the students, the classes were cancelled last week as well.

Moreover, the Krantikari Yuva Sangathan (KYS) alleged the classes of B.A. Programme students were cancelled on Sunday at all SOL centres without the SOL administration informing students. “Thousands of first year students from B.A. Programme had reached their centres in the morning, as early as 8 am, but were forced to return after being told that classes for Sunday stood cancelled. Thousands and thousands of students who reached their centres were left clueless as to where to take classes after they were abruptly cancelled,” The classes have been cancelled due to “unpreparedness of SOL administration in implementing Choice Based Credit System (CBCS) curriculum from this year,” it asserted.

KYS had also said it will organise a protest demonstration at SOL Building in North Campus during the coming week. In response, Professor C.S. Dubey, Director of SOL, said, “B.A. programme classes were not scheduled for this Sunday. The classes of B.Com were scheduled for this Sunday.” Dubey also informed that SOL is likely to complete all the necessary arrangements and commence B.A. classes from next week onwards. The delay is being caused due to the change in the SOL curriculum in accordance with the latest Choice Based Credit System (CBCS) of the Varsity.

Feature Image Credits: DU Beat Archives

Bhavya Pandey

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As per reports, CBCS curriculum being adopted at SOL and NCWEB allows students to shift to vacant seats in courses in regular colleges in their second year. SOL also introduces new changes in online learning.

Students from the School of Open Learning (SOL) and Non-Collegiate Women’s Education Board (NCWEB) of the University of Delhi (DU) will now be able to take admission in regular colleges in their second year of Undergraduate study.

This move has been brought about by the introduction of the Credit Based Curriculum System (CBCS) at these open learning institutions, which entails that the students at SOL and NCWEB will also be studying the same curriculum as the regular college students. Under this CBCS system, a new curriculum has been introduced for students in the distance learning mode along with options of choosing elective courses which were earlier available only in regular mode.

Director, SOL, Chandra Shekhar Dubey in conversation with the Indian Express said, “Every year, there are several seats that are left vacant in the second year due to a candidate leaving, failing to pass, or changing their college. Each college thereafter releases a cut-off of marks required to fill those seats. Students making it through the cut-off will have to obtain a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from both colleges (the one they are shifting from and the one seeking transfer too) and their seat will be shifted. They can also seek transfer from one college to another, in the same mode.”

The SOL will also hold online classes for students, through their respective online dashboards, along with webinars and chat-based counselling sessions. The institute is aiming to hire two thousand new Personal Contact Programme (PCP) counsellors. They will hold counselling online and offline and will also create and disseminate the content material for their respective subjects. With the aim of making the SOL system blended-learning-based, the study material and library access to online classes along with doubt-resolution will also be made available to students online, making the entire process of open learning easier for students through the aide of technology.

Over five lakh students who are associated with the Delhi University’s open learning courses will be affected by these changes.

Image Credits: SOL Website

Bhavya Pandey

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The students from School of Open Learning have started an indefinite hunger strike against the University of Delhi regarding the decision of introducing the Choice Based Credit System from this year onwards.

On Monday, 19th August, 2019, students of School of Open Learning (SOL) along with activists from Krantikari Yuva Sangathan held a protest at Arts Faculty, University of Delhi. They have also launched an indefinite hunger strike from Tuesday, 20th August 2019.

The University of Delhi (DU) recently decided to implement the Choice Based Credit System (CBCS) in the School of Open Learning and Non-Collegiate Woman Education Board (NCWEB), removing the existing annual mode. The University has decided to change the syllabus of these institutions after 12 years. The decision was taken during an emergency meeting of the University’s Executive Council (EC) on Saturday, 17th August 2019, but four members recorded their dissent to the idea.

In 2015, DU had decided to drop annual examinations and paved way for the semester examinations for all its regular colleges under CBCS. SOL and NCWEB were exempted since there were no regular classes for these students. The latest decision will bring the two institutions at par with regular colleges. However, the decision has faced backlash by people even before it was implemented.  Members of Academic Council questioned the implementation of the programme. Questions relating to the semester system and examinations were also raised.Around 1.5 lakh students are enrolled in SOL and NCWEB has more than 2000 students in the institution, making it a dire issue affecting the future of many.

This decision is being highly criticised because of the following reasons:

  1. The decision has been implemented in haste. “This is a very welcome step but the way DU is planning to implement the scheme in a hurry will harm the students. This will also face legal issues as the varsity has invited applications and conducting admissions as per the previous method i.e., annual pattern,” said Pankaj Garg former member of the Academic Council.


  1. The material of the annual mode of exam has already been distributed. What is more shocking is that until a few days ago, students of SOL and NCWEB were studying the same annual mode syllabus. “Study material of annual mode and old syllabus has also been distributed. If we change the system now, there is going to be increased expenditure” said Rajesh Jha, EC member. “The university will distribute online material but half of the students enrolled in SOL are coming from economically weaker sections and many do not have computers at home,” Jha added.


  1. The students who preferred choosing the annual mode over CBCS weren’t given a choice to express their consent. Janmejoy Khuntia, SOL Staff Council Secretary, said, “While the CBCS system is welcome, students have paid fees in annual mode so it may be unfair to ask them to switch. The university must look at the implementation and avoid haste.” Khuntia further added that as per the University Act, it is the Academic Council which should decide upon the conduct of examination.


  1. A major change like this will also affect staff requirement as well staff training. Lack of preparation there could hamper the education of these students.“Since the workload would increase, the staff should also be increased. We are exploring possibilities to develop a third examination branch in the lines of south Delhi campus examination branch under the Campus of Open Learning (COL) to undertake these responsibilities,” a senior DU official said requesting anonymity.


  1. The students of SOL programme would have to face a more rigid and harsh schedule as while NCWEB students and SOL honours students will have their examination with regular students. Other than them, their tests will be conducted after regular classes end and before their examination begins and also during the interval following the completion of regular examinations.


Bringing a contrapositive opinion, another member of EC as well as officiating Director of NCWEB, Geeta Bhatt said, “Obviously the university is implementing the scheme with proper and articulated planning. Further, admissions are still going in the SOL, NCWEB and even in some regular colleges.”

Feature Image Credits: Jagran Josh

Chhavi Bahmba 

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The Executive Council of the University of Delhi (DU) has approved the semester system for the School of Open Learning (SOL) and  Non-Collegiate Women Education Board (NCWEB) starting from the current academic session.

The Executive Council of DU was called on Saturday to discuss the introduction of semester system in the SOL and NCWEB, and it has decided to introduce the semester system from this academic session.

The SOL and NCWEB are currently following the aannual system in which the exams are conducted in the month of May. 

It was decided in an earlier meeting that the Choice Based Semester System (CBCS) would be introduced in these two institutions from the academic session of 2019-2020.

The semester system would enable these two verticals to be identical to regular colleges.

Some officials expressed dissent, as they felt that this move has been taken in a hurry and would affect the students who have enrolled on an annual basis as classes have begun and the study material has also been handed over.

Akansha, who is a B.Com. student in SOL, seemed disappointed and had this to say-  ”There are mainly three reasons for choosing correspondence, those who choose it for convenience and do not have time for regular classes would be pissed as this defeats the purpose and who cannot afford regular education or do not have enough marks to get onto a regular college. I am pissed.”

SOL enables the students to enrol themselves in various courses and programs without being physically present to attend classes unlike other colleges in DU.

This means that students enrolled in undergraduate honours courses will have their examinations under the Central Examination Centre, since SOL offers very few honours courses. Notifications for the schedule of examinations and filing of forms for the students of NCWEB shall be along with regular semester students. Whereas  semester exams for non-honours students would be undertaken by SOL.

The annual system only has one examination whereas the semester system has two examinations during the months of December and May.

The fee structure also varies as semester system requires fee payment to be done in two instalments unlike the annual system with single payment.

The SOL, which was founded in 1962, is one of the largest distance education institute in the country with over five lakh students in its fold, and around one and a half lakh students enrolled annually.

NCWEB, which is exclusive to women, provides weekend to females residing in the national capital.

Feature Image Credits: DU Beat

Stephen Mathew

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The University of Delhi (DU) provides the honours students with the opportunity of studying an elective subject of their preference along with the major subjects. 

A Generic Elective (GE) course is an inter-disciplinary course provided to the students of DU, allowing them a chance at comprehensive education.  The score and the credits of the Generic Elective subjects are counted in the overall SGPA in the Choice Based Credit System (CBCS). The option of a Generic Elective is provided to students pursuing B.A. (Hons.), B.A. Programme, B.Com (Hons.), as well as B.Sc. (Hons.). Generic Elective papers are mandatorily to be taken by the students. However, a choice regarding the subject that you would like to take up is provided by the University. The students can choose their preference from a pool of papers from various disciplines/subjects. The main purpose of the Elective course is to seek exposure to a new discipline/subject and to provide the students with an alternative option for masters (M.A. or M.Sc.). 

Most of the colleges ask the students to fill in their preferences for Generic Elective at the time of admission only. However, there are certain colleges which offer this choice after the classes start. Colleges also offer students an opportunity to get their GEs changed before a certain deadline, in case they wish to change their prior decision at the time of admission.

GE subjects can be changed at the beginning of every subsequent semester. However, if the student studies the same Elective subject for four semesters, he/she becomes eligible to take up a master’s in that subject. The choice of the Elective subject should be made based on the interest of the students. You can choose any subject that you are interested in studying, based on the syllabus offered. You can check the papers offered on the University website and see if the particular course interests you.

Another way of choosing a GE can be to choose the subject which you would like to take up as an alternative to your major subject. For instance, if you are currently studying B.A. (Hons.) History, and wish to pursue your masters in either History or Political Science, then you can take up Political Science as your Generic Elective. You can also choose a subject that you wished to take up for honours but could not do so because of high cut-offs or any other reason. 

Shivani Dadhwal, a second-year student of Kamala Nehru College (KNC) said, “In my opinion, the most efficient way to choose a GE is to find a subject which is both of your interest, and also scoring, in order to help with your overall grade. For instance, in my case, after shortlisting the subjects  I liked, based on the course offered, I consulted my seniors to find out about the trend of marks in them. A complementary GE can always help in the future and with learning more from other fields.”

A final year student of KNC, Antriksha Pathania, said, “Every course has 2-3 subjects that complement it. While choosing your GE, you need to keep your interest as well as long term benefit offered by that course in mind. You can take your GE keeping in mind that you will have a minor degree or keep changing it every year depending on your interest and knowledge you want to gain.”

Thus, the students should make the choice mindfully as Generic Elective is not just any subject but it is a subject that can have long-term benefits. Students can go through the list of Generic Elective subjects offered by the University and its course on the website and make the decision accordingly. 

Feature Image Credits: DU Beat

Priya Chauhan

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Let us set the premise of this article by a hypothetical yet very real situation.

You are enrolled in a university as a student of subject ‘A’. But you are also curious about other fields of study ‘B’, ‘C’, ‘Q’ etc. You study the concerned texts for those subjects – strictly academic and more general literature. But as you go through a few pages, generally, one these two phenomena happen –

  • You get confused and eventually lost in the technical jargon about that particular field.
  • You actually enjoy the piece. But there is also surging guilt at the back of your mind because you realise that your own subject requires a lot of study, and what you’re reading now has absolutely no direct relevance to your conventional career path.

In both of these cases, you end up closing the book, never to open it again. If this has ever happened to you, read on. If it hasn’t, well, try being a little more curious, and still read on, because the problem needs to be addressed.

There is severe compartmentalisation of education, and it affects us in apparent ways on a daily basis. Yet, it seems as though we have turned a blind eye to it. I’ll take the example of curriculum structure in theUniversity of Delhi (DU) and wider assessments can be made. In all arts, science and commerce honours courses in DU, we have little to no scope of studying any other subject practically. In simple English, if you are, like me, a student of Economics, then psychology, philosophy, political science etc. are strictly ‘other’ subjects for you. You don’t perceive their knowledge to be of any direct (and sometimes even indirect) consequence to your honours degree in Economics, and your fabulous career thereafter. Often, your judgement proves to be right. But that is not because your judgement is stupendous, but because the judgement of both academia and the industry is, on the whole, also flawed.

But why is it flawed? They are really different subjects, each having its own terminology and laws, carefully developed across centuries and critical to passing on the knowledge of that subject to the new generation. Moreover, today’s world is not a world of polymaths. With the advancement of human knowledge, each field of study has made unprecedented progress and to study one of them requires exclusive attention from the learner for many years. One can be startled by Aristotle, Da Vinci, Tagore etc., but must also appreciate the fact that they lived in times much different from today’s world, where education has become specialised.

I agree with the aforementioned reasoning. Wholeheartedly. After one point, any discipline requires a student’s exclusive attention. But I must ask – is not all knowledge related? Are not all disciplines inter-twined? More practically, will an engineer who has studied sociology, economics and political science not be a more aware citizen than someone with only four years of engineering training? Will an economist who has studied history carefully not have a better sense as to what should be done to avoid another financial crisis than someone who has not? Will a student of any subject who has not studied philosophy be ever able to appreciate that philosophy is the essence of all kinds of knowledge?

When two friends with different honours streams sit and talk about their majors, they are essentially speaking on two parallel levels that never intersect. One speaks and the other listens. And then the other speaks with almost zero connection to what the first one said. That is because both people use ‘specialised’ words, exclusive to their field of study, impenetrable by all other people. This jargon is what initially creates boundaries, or compartments, in education. When your friend from Psychology shares her dilemma with you; you, an Economics major, cannot give her any practical advice. Neither can explain even simple concepts of one’s subject to the other because we rarely give a thought to simplify our own learning. We are attracted by complexity. We use words in our answers we really don’t understand because we know that making things simpler won’t fetch us marks. In this complex world, we are made to understand, simplicity is mediocrity and mediocrity is a sin beyond forgiveness.

Students from different streams simply cannot understand each other. The inability to understand leads to ignorance, which is ever-lasting. The discussions during our lectures never involve examples from other disciplines, unless some rouge professor vaguely mentions a thing or two making a pass. We are given under the Choice Based Credit System (CBCS), an option of studying one or more Generic Electives (GE) across four semesters, but our choices are guided mostly by herd-mentality, and rarely out of our own curiosity.

The compartmentalization doesn’t stop there. Once we have erected walls around our majors, we create sub-boundaries within our subjects. We separate each subsequent topic from the previous, and try to understand each topic in part, rather than forming a logical sequence of all topics as a whole. Ultimately, we end up with fragments of knowledge about the subject we majored in – basically, almost as stupid as we started.

This is not a recent problem. This disease has manifested itself across generations and is today in its most vicious form – creating ignorant individuals who strongly believe they know a lot, and a society that never corrects them. It is no surprise that this translates into master’s as well as doctoral studies. Although the academic world is seeing a positive trend of very practical inter-disciplinary courses, the industry is yet to even acknowledge this problem. Although engineers are being made to study social sciences, and arts students are being made to study basic natural sciences compulsorily, the progress rate and scale is far from desired.

But why is this a problem that needs an immediate remedy? The answer requires some pondering, but is fairly simple. It comes down to the basic purpose of education. The desired end behind educating ourselves is not merely getting a job – it is only a means to sustain our daily lives. If we’re privileged enough to attain higher education, our ultimate purpose is to enhance the knowledge around us. At the moment, our way of living mirrors a highly hierarchical corporate institution. In that institution, there are so many divisions that a common worker has no clue as to what her purpose is in the company, yet it won’t be surprising if she’s a so and so manager/officer/expert. Compartmentalization creates these impenetrable differences, which lead to divided action. If the purpose of higher learning is really (as we are told in our temples of learning) to create a better world for tomorrow, we must begin to appreciate that there are other kinds of knowledge different from our own, and we shall need them in our lives.

Now, this is all very good for making a fiery public speech and garnering applause, but we need to find practical solutions to this. We need to start small. We have the platforms already. We need to start utilising them and then create new platforms for inter-disciplinary integration. In generic elective classes under CBCS, we have students from multiple disciplines. Teachers and students must, during the classes, initiate debates and discussions which force us to link our major to the other majors, and develop a holistic perspective to the knowledge we are taking.

The projects, assignments, reports etc. of a GE must involve a group of students from different disciplines. Or, they must be more broad-ended and challenging. Say, a Political Science generic elective assignment on early Western Political Thought must be open enough for a Sociology student to critically analyse social relations of the time; for an Economics student to write his opinion stemming from the trade relations and patterns of the time, all from the same text.

Then, for one instance, we can have Economics and Psychology students working together on a joint statistical assignment that carries marks. These practical solutions will inculcate a much-needed cross-disciplinary culture that will open tremendous new possibilities for higher learning in India.

We have created a dangerous world for ourselves with our approach to education. A world of false prestige and real disappointment. Those privileged enough to attain a quality higher education have prestige oozing out of their bodies. Yet the world is more unequal today than ever. The action must come right now!


Feature Image Credits: Blogspot


Alyasa Abbas

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(Alyasa is a third-year B.A. Economics (Honours) student from Zakir Husain Delhi College.)

It was amidst a lot of apprehensions that the Choice Based Credit System (CBCS) was introduced by the University of Delhi in 2016.

A Brief Background of its Implementation:

The Choice Based Credit System (CBCS) was introduced in the University of Delhi (DU) in the year 2016. As the University Grants Commission (UGC) moved away from the conventional marks-based percentage system, it aimed to introduce a credit system which could match the international educational pattern. It wanted to structure this system in line with higher education systems such as the Credit Accumulation and Transfer System (CATS) in the United Kingdom and similar credit systems existing in the US, Japan, and so on. It was argued that the previous education system produced young minds lacking knowledge, confidence, values, and skills. Many contended that there was a complete lack of a connection between education, employment, and skill development in the conventional education system. UGC argued that the percentage-based evaluation system restricted the students from studying the courses/subjects of their choice and limited their mobility to different institutions. As such, a complete transformation and redesigning of the system was considered to be necessary.

The ‘UGC Guidelines for CBCS’ state, “there is a need to allow the flexibility in the education system so that students depending upon their interests and aims can choose inter-disciplinary, intra-disciplinary, and skill-based courses. This can only be possible when an internationally acknowledged choice-based credit system (CBCS), is adopted. The choice-based credit system not only offers opportunities to learn core subjects but also exploring additional avenues of learning beyond the core subjects for holistic development of an individual. CBCS will undoubtedly facilitate us benchmarking  our courses with best international academic practices.”


CBCS: Its Merits and Demerits

The basic idea of this credit based system is to allow students to choose from prescribed courses, which are referred to as Core, Elective/Minor or Soft Skill courses, and Ability Enhancement Course (AEC). Unlike the traditional percentage-based system, CBCS evaluates the courses according to a uniform grading system. It helps the students to move across different institutions, within and outside the country, with ease.   CBCS also aims at helping the potential employers in assessing the performance of students. Further, it gives more freedom to students to choose subjects according to their needs and abilities.

CBCS  hopes to remodel the education system in keeping with the changing industry requirements, alternating  aspirations of students, and growing  expectations of society. When one observes carefully, an array of advantages and disadvantages of this system can be listed. CBCS encompasses a massive shift from teacher-centered to student-centered education. It focuses on the comprehensive development of students in addition to enhancing their personalities. By emphasising on classroom discussions, presentations, assignments, projects, and internal assessments, it creates a friendly learning environment. It helps them choose papers of their choice according to their interests, in turn aiding them to realise their full potential. Through its approach towards inculcating job-oriented skills in students, CBCS prepares students to face the competitive employment sector. CBCS also stresses the usage of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in classroom teaching. Since it enables learners to pace their learning or course as per their habits and abilities, the anxiety and stress created by exams amongst students is greatly reduced.

On the other hand, it is difficult to measure or calculate the exact marks secured by a student in the examinations under CBCS. The workload of teachers keeps fluctuating. Maintaining compatibility between papers under the Core course and those under the Elective course, and simultaneously offering more than one programme of different nature is challenging. Extra burden is experienced by the institution as CBCS allows students the flexibility in choosing credits.  It poses problems in maintaining the cumulative record of every student. CBCS demands more infrastructure which is often missing in colleges. Besides hampering mastery of students over their chosen subject, it also hampers research work of the teachers as they remain occupied in administrative work.



CBCS works on the basic elements of semesters and credit system. The assessment is done semester wise, with there being two semesters in an academic year. Each semester has 15-18 weeks of work which is equal to 90 days of teaching.  The number of credits allotted varies for papers under the Core course, Elective course, and AEC course.  One credit per semester is equal to one hour of teaching, which includes both lectures and tutorials. Depending on the course, practicals may also be included which are usually 2 hours of practical work or field work. The total credits earned by a student in each semester is calculated by the sum total of lectures, tutorials, and practicals.



There are three main courses in a semester-core, Elective/Minor or Soft Skill courses, and Ability Enhancement Course (AEC). All the three courses are evaluated and accessed to provide a fair, balanced, and comprehensive result.

The core course includes the compulsory papers which have to be studied by the student. These papers, which may be different in every semester, are the basic requirement for completing the study of a particular discipline. Elective courses provide the student with the freedom to choose from a pool of options. These courses are generally offered for the students to seek exposure. They help the students in involving application of knowledge. The Ability Enhancement Courses (AEC) may be of two kinds: Ability Enhancement Compulsory Courses (AECC) and Skill Enhancement Courses (SEC). The AECC course offers two papers: Environmental Science and Communication. On the other hand, papers under SEC are value-based and skill-based.

Examination Scheme Under CBCS

The evaluation of each course consists of two parts- internal assessment and external assessment. The responsibility of evaluating the former is vested in the hands of the teacher teaching the particular course.

Each paper has an internal assessment component of 25 marks, out of which 5 marks are awarded for attendance. There is a credit for regularity in attending lectures, tutorials, and practicals in each paper. Assignment and class tests account for the remaining 20 marks. As per DU’s rules, a student must have at least two-thirds of attendance i.e. 66.67% attendance separately in lectures, tutorials, and practicals.



The process of implementation of CBCS was subject to intense debate and discussion for quite a long time. There was confusion among the colleges as to whether the syllabus, assessment procedures, and timetable were to be prepared according to the ‘old’ system or the ‘new’. In spite of all the difficulties and initial hiccups, DU  was successful in implementing CBCS within a short period of time. However, the assessment of whether CBCS has been able to

‘revolutionise’ the Indian education system, as the UGC had initially claimed, will only unfold and reveal itself in the coming years.


Feature Image Credits: The Indian Express

Anoushka Sharma

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Disha Saxena

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Maknoon Wani

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