By Bhanvi Satija:
The Choice Based Credit System, or CBCS, is the buzz of the U-town these days. While there are multiple perspectives on its implementation and whether India is ready for it or not, many of the students for whom the system is being implemented remain clueless. With only a vague set of guidelines from the University Grants Commission (UGC) and an order from the MHRD for its implementation across universities in the country, nobody really knows where we stand.
This is evident from the extent of awareness amongst the freshers. In a group of 45 first years at a department orientation at LSR, only 4 raised their hands on being asked whether they knew about the system or not. In fact, the faculty themselves are not too sure about the curriculum, as they received the curriculum only at the beginning of the week.
In a recent development to this debate, Delhi University seems to have accepted the system despite the resistance and the consequences. “With the CBCS, DU is committing the same mistake as it did with FYUP. They say, ‘once bitten, twice shy’ but with DU I think it’s going to be ‘twice bitten, never shy’. Why can’t the university, for once, plan out its revolutionary changes at least a year prior to is implementation?” said Apoorva Kavin, President, Students’ Union at LSR.
Till date, the statutory provisions of adopting new courses have not been completed. The Academic Council and the Executive Council have not adopted CBCS framework and courses. Students have been admitted without being told that the courses they are taking up could come under CBCS. There is no mention of CBCS anywhere, neither in the printed information handout, nor in the online information bulletin, or in the accompanying list of frequently-asked questions or in the open day presentations. “While the intention may be entirely to stimulate a liberal academic environment, to pass such a big change at such a late stage will only cause disruption as the colleges are ill-prepared for it,” said Sanjana Sanghi, a student of Journalism at DU.
While this development has sparked rage amongst the current students at DU, majority of the new students still remain unaware about what awaits them. “I feel CBCS is a Confusion Based Credit System, even our professors don’t know what it exactly is! The UGC should realise we are not rats and that things cannot be experimented on us,” said Gouri Garg, a fresher at SRCC.
“The only source of information for the new students regarding CBCS is the vague and complex guidelines on the DU website. The least the University could do was to have a proper orientation and let us all know about the system properly and clear our confusions,” said Shreya, a first year student of Political Science at DU.
“Frankly, I don’t know really know what CBCS curriculum is all about, but it should be interesting. The inter-disciplinary course we opt for, will also help us broaden our horizon beyond the subject we are majoring in,” said Pritika Datta, another fresher at DU. Which subjects are up for offer for which courses, are these subjects only academic or vocational? There are a lot of similar questions and apprehensions about the system and what the students are going to study, but nobody has any answers for them. Despite this lack of awareness, the UGC has managed to spark enthusiasm amongst some students of the upcoming batch.
The acceptance of the system means that for the next year, colleges across the university will have to simultaneously accommodate three completely different course structures for all the three years – namely, the ‘revised’ FYUP course, the second three year course and CBCS. This will directly damage the first years, as the popular and much acclaimed mentor-mentee system in many colleges fails its purpose. The new students won’t be able to approach their seniors for help, because nobody will have any clue about their course.
Take campus conversations to the next level. Become a YKA Campus Correspondent today! Sign up here.