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Choice Based Credit System (CBCS) - A Guide


The University Grants Commission (UGC) made quite a stir when it introduced the Choice Based Credit System (CBCS). To help fulfill the aims of the New Education Policy 2020 (NEP) initiated by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), the UGC wishes to develop a "learner-centric" approach throughout the education delivery mechanism.

Here are five facts about the structure and implementation of the Choice-Based Credit System (CBCS).

Learner-Centric Approach

The most significant difference brought by the CBCS system is that it has made the learning system "Student-Centric." CBCS will give students more freedom regarding their education by allowing them to choose interdisciplinary, intradisciplinary, skill-oriented papers (even from other disciplines) based on their learning needs, interests, and ability. Students will be able to earn credits by combining subjects such as physics and economics, microbiology and chemistry, and environmental science, among others. CBCS allows students to study at different times and at multiple institutions to complete a course, giving students greater mobility. Credits obtained at one institution can also be transferred to another. As a result, if properly designed, the CBCS system provides adequate flexibility to suit the needs of all students.

Subject Categories

The CBCS system gives students the freedom to choose the subjects they want. The subjects are divided into groups, allowing students to choose subjects of interest from each group. The UGC-specified categories are shown below:

  1. Core Course
  2. Elective Course
  • Discipline-specific elective Course
  • Generic Elective
  • Project

3. Ability Enhancement Courses

  • Ability Enhancement Compulsory Courses
  • Skill Enhancement Courses

The UGC establishes standards for the minimum credit required to acquire a BA/B.Com Honours, B.Sc Honours, BA/B.Com, and B.Sc degree, as well as the number of credits required in each of the above-mentioned groups. Syllabi at central and state institutions may deviate from the prescribed norm by up to 20%.


The CBCS system follows the semester pattern, with two consecutive semesters (odd and even) forming an academic year; grading and evaluation of students' performance in each subject occur at the end of each semester. CBCS has a credit-based grading system rather than a percentage-based one. Though credit-based grading is widely used in universities, the credit system mandated by UGC is detailed below.

Grades and Grade Points


Grade Point

O (Outstanding)




A (Very Good)


B+ (Good)


B (Above Average)


C (Average)


P (Pass)


F (Fail)


AB (Absent)


Ballot System

Though the CBCS system has been around for a while, it is only recently that a lot of emphasis has been placed on its implementation.

The ballot system is the most straightforward method of implementing a CBCS system at an institution for a small cohort of students. At the start of each semester, all available subjects for students (depending on UGC criteria and instructor availability) are made available as empty bins. Students can then choose their subject by placing a paper with their name on it in the applicable subject bins. The university will be able to collect data on student preferences for the subject in this manner.

This approach to subject selection is only practical for a small number of users. Once the subjects are chosen, the subject-specific teacher digitizes the list of students for each subject and distributes all subject-specific information (timetables, syllabi, etc.) to the students. Attendance and grading according to the CBCS system should be done manually by the teacher and evaluated regularly.

This type of technique works well for a small group of kids but becomes monotonous and confusing with larger groups.

Online System

When implementing a CBCS system for a large group of students, an automated online system designed to their specifications is a better option than manual work. An online system should ensure that the CBCS system is implemented effectively and easily on your campus, as well as allow you to develop, customize, and make adjustments in the future. A competent online solution for implementing a CBCS system on your campus should assist you with the following tasks.

Student Subject Selection

Once the university has finalized the subjects, credits, paring, pre-requisite courses, and so on for the specific course, the data must be put into the system. The method should allow students to choose the subject and teacher of their choice. The system should be able to limit students' subject selection based on parameters that meet the institution's requirements. This method of subject selection eliminates the complications that can arise when using a manual methodology. Teachers should also be able to give study materials, administer examinations, and discuss topics with students, making learning an enjoyable experience for them.

Timetable Generation

Once each student has chosen their subjects, the system should build a timetable for each student based on their choices. This should be made available to students as well as teachers at all times so that teachers are aware of the students in their class for various courses.

With Teachmint, teachers and admins can easily create exam timetables and other important events related to school operations. With School Yearly Calendar Planner, everything from annual day to annual exams can be planned with the help of this feature.


Teachers' timetables should include the capability to record attendance for each subject they teach. This will reduce any paperwork associated with keeping attendance registers as well as the intricacy involved in computing the total attendance percentage for each student.

This whole process can be digitized with the help of Teachmint’s Attendance Management feature. With this, the attendance-keeping process is streamlined. Teachers can also get access to detailed attendance reports and individual student information.


The efforts of the UGC and National Board of Accreditation (NBA) to make the Indian education system competitive with its worldwide peers are admirable, but the true test will be in the effective implementation of the CBCS system. Though nothing can be expected to change overnight, time will tell how well we did in terms of execution and the future of India's education system.

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