India’s education system has been longing for a makeover for decades. With the introduction of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, the education system in India looked upon for the scope to create a profound impact on the career of students.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced launching of several initiatives undertaken under the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 including Academic Bank of Credit and the Artificial Intelligence program to make the youth future-oriented and open the way for an AI-driven economy. According to the UGC notification, “Academic Bank of Credits means an academic service mechanism as a digital or virtual or online entity established by the Commission with the approval of the Central government, to facilitate students to become its academic account holders, thereby paving the way for seamless student mobility between or within degree-granting higher educational institutions through a formal system of credit recognition, credit accumulation, credit transfers and credit redemption to promote distributed and flexible teaching programs.” The ABC framework is a part of National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, and this amendment will allow higher education institutions, irrespective of their rankings or accreditation, to maintain a digital repository of credits earned by their students. Under this framework, students can choose to study one course in a year in one institution and switch to another one the following year. It also allows them to pursue online programs and earn credits. In simple words Academic Bank of Credit is a digital bank of students.
The University Grants Commission (UGC) on December 28, 2021 has issued the University Grants Commission (Establishment and Operation of Academic Bank of Credits in Higher Education) (First Amendment) Regulations, 2021 to amend the University Grants Commission Regulations, 2021. On 12th January 2022, the commission wrote to all educational institutions informing them about the amendment made in the regulations. “It was felt that the universities and autonomous colleges satisfying sub-regulation 2 of regulation 1 and the institutions of national importance as declared by the government of India and specifically empowered by an Act of Parliament to confer or grant degrees, irrespective of their NAAC or NIRF ranking should be able to participate and register in the academic bank of credits. In this regard, the amendments have been notified in the Gazette of India on 28 December 2021.”
Objectives of Academic Bank of Credits:
(1) To promote student centricity with learner-friendly approaches in higher education across the country and promote a more inter-disciplinary approach in higher education
(2) To enable students to select the best courses or combination of courses to suit their aptitude and quest for knowledge.
(3) To permit students to choose a pace for their studies along with the associated logistics and costs.
(4) To allow students to tailor their degrees or make specific modifications or specializations rather than undergoing the rigid, regularly prescribed degree or courses of a single university or autonomous college.
(5) To enable multiple entry-multiple exit for students to complete their degrees as per their time preferences, providing mobility across various disciplines and HEIs for Degree or Diploma or Post Graduate Diploma or Certificate program or Course work for the Ph.D. program.
(6) To support, procedurally, the teaching-learning activities to happen in a distributed and blended manner through integration across campuses or universities or autonomous colleges with increased mobility. To facilitate lifelong learning amongst all, i.e., formal and informal students from both full-time and part-time modes.
(7) To satisfy the students’ quest for knowledge, freedom to choose and change their academic directions, connect different domains of knowledge and help them acquire the right foundations and building blocks to pursue their life goals.
Credits deposited in the ABC platform will be valid for a maximum of seven years or the duration specified for a given discipline and is going to encompass all recognized higher education institutions, regardless of their accreditation or rankings, allowing students to switch between institutions and various entry and departure points into and out of the programs.