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CBSE to Introduce Credit System

  • 09 Feb 2024
  • 8 min read

For Prelims: Central Board of Secondary Education, National Education Policy (NEP), 2020, National Credit Framework, Academic Bank of Credits, PARAKH, PM Schools for Rising India (PM-SHRI), NIPUN Bharat Mission, PM e-VIDYA Initiative

For Mains: Major Features of NEP 2020 and Government’s Recent Initiatives Related to Education

Source: IE

Why in News?

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is planning significant changes to the academic framework of Classes 9, 10, 11, and 12 as part of its plan to implement creditisation , recommended by the National Education Policy (NEP), 2020.

  • This move aims to revolutionise the education landscape by introducing a unified framework that bridges the gap between vocational and general education.

What is the Credit System?

  • About: The credit system is a method used in education to quantify and assess the amount of learning a student has acquired.
    • It assigns numerical values, known as credits, to different courses or learning activities based on the time and effort required to complete them and demonstrate mastery of the subject matter.
  • Aims of Creditisation as per NEP 2020: Creditisation aims to establish academic equivalence between vocational and general education, facilitating mobility between the two education systems, as proposed by the NEP 2020.
  • NCrF: It is a unified credit framework for the integration of training and skill development into schools and higher education.
    • The credits earned by a student will be digitally stored in the Academic Bank of Credits and accessible through a linked Digilocker account.
    • To implement this in its affiliated schools, the CBSE formed a subcommittee in 2022 that suggested how the current academic framework should be redesigned to align it with NCrF.

What Changes did the CBSE Subcommittee Propose?

  • Notional Learning: An academic year would comprise 1,200 notional learning hours, equating to 40 credits for students.
    • Notional learning refers to the stipulated time an average student requires to achieve specified outcomes.
    • Subjects are allocated specific hours to ensure a total of 1,200 learning hours per year for students to pass.
  • Curriculum Structure for Classes 9 and 10: In Classes 9 and 10, students are required to complete 10 subjects: three languages and seven core subjects.
    • Of the three languages, at least two must be Indian languages (e.g., Hindi, Sanskrit, or English).
    • The seven core subjects include math and computational thinking, social science, science, art education, physical education and well-being, vocational education, and environmental education.
  • Curriculum Structure for Classes 11 and 12: For Classes 11 and 12, students should study six subjects: two languages and four subjects with an optional fifth.
    • At least one language must be Indian.

What are Micro-Credentials?

  • About: Micro-credentials are brief learning activities with validated specific learning outcomes, offered through online, physical, or hybrid modes at various levels: beginning, intermediate, or advanced.
    • They cater to lifelong learners, including working professionals, who may not pursue formal degree programs.
  • Providers and Usage: Various entities such as Atingi, Coursera, edX, and others offer micro-credentials. Many universities globally are involved in providing them, with an expectation of more organisations joining this trend.
  • Comparison with Formal Degrees: Micro-credentials differ from macro-credentials like undergraduate degrees, which require several years of study.
    • While formal degrees use 'credits' based on time spent in lectures, labs, etc., micro-credentials assign credit based on acquiring defined competencies.
  • Potential: With the NEP 2020 focusing on skill-based education and employers seeking skilled employees, there is increasing demand for micro-credentials in India.

What are the Other Major Features of NEP 2020?

  • About: The NEP 2020 aims at making “India a global knowledge superpower”. It is only the 3rd major revamp of the framework of education in India since independence.
    • The two earlier education policies were brought in 1968 and 1986.
  • Major Features:
    • Universal Access and Quality Education: It aims to ensure universal access to education from pre-primary to Grade 12.
      • Quality early childhood care and education for children aged 3-6 are emphasised.
    • New Curricular and Pedagogical Structure: Introduces a new structure of 5+3+3+4.
      • Promotes integration between arts and sciences, curricular and extracurricular activities, and vocational and academic streams.
    • Assessment Reforms and Equity: Establishes the National Assessment Centre, PARAKH.
      • It calls for a separate Gender Inclusion fund and Special Education Zones for disadvantaged regions and groups.
    • Technological Integration: Establishes the National Educational Technology Forum (NETF) for technology integration.
    • Financial Investment and Coordination: Aims to increase public investment in the education sector to 6% of GDP.
      • Strengthens the Central Advisory Board of Education for coordination and quality focus.
      • It also advocates for 'Light but Tight' regulation.
    • Gross Enrolment Ratio(GER) Targets: Aims to increase GER to 100% in preschool to secondary level by 2030.
      • Targets GER in Higher Education, including vocational education, to reach 50% by 2035.
      • Proposes holistic and multidisciplinary education with multiple entry/exit options.
  • Major Initiatives Taken Under NEP 2020:

UPSC Civil Services Examination, Previous Year Question (PYQ)


Q. Which of the following provisions of the Constitution does India have a bearing on Education? (2012)

  1. Directive Principles of State Policy
  2. Rural and Urban Local Bodies
  3. Fifth Schedule
  4. Sixth Schedule
  5. Seventh Schedule

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 3, 4 and 5 only
(c) 1, 2 and 5 only
(d) 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

Ans- (d)


Q1. How have digital initiatives in India contributed to the functioning of the education system in the country? Elaborate on your answer. (2020)

Q2. Discuss the main objectives of Population Education and point out the measures to achieve them in India in detail. (2021)

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