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NEW DELHI : The academic bank of credit (ABC) proposed in the New Education Policy (NEP) 2020 will be a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to be set up either under the UGC or the education ministry to offer flexibility to students and executives to promote liberal education, according to draft rules prepared by the University Grants Commission (UGC). Students will have the opportunity to curate a single degree by studying varied subjects, as per the draft rules prepared by a committee set up by the UGC.

The ABC will hold academic records of students and offer facilities to deposit, redeem, and curate courses and degrees. Every single course done by a learner and the credit earned from it, will be deposited in ABC. Credits earned from each course, however small it may be, can be utilized while curating a degree. Once used for a full degree kit, the credits can’t be used for another degree or certificate.

This would allow students to study at their own pace by joining a course, accumulate credits, and continue from where they left, over a period of time.

“The ABC shall be a bank for academic purposes on the pattern of a commercial bank…with students as account holders to whom the ABC shall provide a variety of services, including credit verification, credit accumulation, credit transfer or redemption, and degree authentication. The ABC shall also facilitate the credit recognition and redemption process for students who may choose 100% of the courses, without falling in a particular subject domain, but fulfil the total credit requirements for the UG 9undergraduate) degree to be awarded by a university. Such UG degree may be specified as a Bachelor of Liberal Education," the draft rules shared with universities and colleges said.

The ABC, seen as a reform measure, will be rolled out in a staggered manner from the 2021-22 academic year. ABCs will pave the way for seamless mobility “between or within degree-granting higher education institutions through a formal system of credit recognition, credit accumulation, credit transfers… to promote a distributed and flexible teaching-learning (ecosystem)", according to the proposal.

A government official, seeking anonymity, said the multiple entry and exit system while pursuing a course can be smoothly executed through ABC. “In a commercial bank, you, as a customer open an account, have deposits, and have the option to customize time deposits and other financial facilities. It provides convenience and offers flexibility. Similarly, ABC will do all the functions, wherein a third party can verify your credits with account holder’s permission," the official mentioned above said. Institutions were asked to share their views by 5 February, the official added.

“The credits earned under the ABC scheme are flexibly kept for long duration in the interest of students. The validity of such credits earned will be to seven years or as specified separately for subject disciplines to allow the redemption of credits after the date of earning such credits," the draft rules said.

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