A Simple Guide to UGC Academic Bank of Credits

Academic Bank of Credits

A Simple Guide to UGC Academic Bank of Credits

Jul-18-2022, Articles

The UGC Academic Bank of Credits has heralded a much-required change in the existing higher education system and will promote customised learning paths for students.

The University Grants Commission’s (UGC) Academic Bank of Credits has revolutionised the way we understand higher education in India. Bringing unprecedented democracy to learners, the ABC will create customised learning paths for students when leveraged properly.

The National e-Governance Division (NeGD) of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has created the Academic Bank of Credits (ABC) platform, which is based on the DigiLocker framework and provides the ability for students to open Academic Accounts and for Higher Educational Institutions (HEls) to sign up. DigiLocker is a flagship initiative of the Ministry of Electronics & IT (MeitY) under the Digital India programme that provides access to authentic digital documents in a citizen’s digital document wallet.

Table of Contents

Understanding Academic Bank of Credits

The takeaways from the implementation of ABCs are multifold and their benefits alone make us understand why the Academic Bank of Credits is important to the Indian Education System.

Centralised Repository: Akin to a bank account, the credit bank will be an online repository where students’ academic credit, calculated on the basis of classwork and tutorials, will be stored. This will offer seamless student mobility between or within degree-granting Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) through a formal system of credit recognition, credit accumulation, credit transfers, and credit redemptionCredits deposited on the ABC platform will be valid for a maximum of seven years or the duration specified for a given discipline. Once the certificate/degree is collected by the students, all the credits earned by them till then will be deleted from their respective accounts. 

Customised Learning: ABC offers learners greater choice and flexibility in choosing courses and institutions, allowing a liberal mix of educational programmes that are vocational, academic and more. A student can avail multiple entry and exit options in higher education institutions and opt for a tailor-made degree. They can choose to study one course a year in one institution and switch to another one the next year. 

Supports Student Mobility: Reduces time commitment, which lowers the risk of student dropout and improves social mobility for economically disadvantaged students. Because students don’t have to start over from scratch, higher education is more approachable and appealing. If students do not or are unable to complete the entire program of study, they can track their progress toward their qualifications and reward the learning that has been completed. This can boost confidence and encourage further learning.

Collaborative Processes: ABC can promote and facilitate inter-institutional partnerships, thereby elevating quality in education. 

Promotes Employability: Promotes the use of vocational courses, multi-disciplinary courses and multi-modal approaches which lead to better career decisions. The adaptability of academic programs will allow students to find employment after receiving any level of award and return as needed to upgrade their qualifications, reduce the dropout rate, and raise the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in higher education. 

Diverse Options: Students who are enrolled in the courses offered by National Schemes like SWAYAM, NPTEL, V-Lab shall also be considered for credit transfer and credit accumulation under this provision. Those admitted to skill courses from registered higher education institutions offering vocational degrees or diplomas or postgraduate diplomas or certificate programmes are also eligible for accrual and redemption of credits under ABC.

EdTech Empowerment: UGC encourages a Blended Teaching-Learning Model for the implementation of ABC. It is recommended that all universities permit students who take courses on the Study Webs of Active Learning for Young Aspiring Minds (SWAYAM) platform to transfer those credits to their academic records. The Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) offered through the SWAYAM platform should be adopted and promoted by universities in order to maximise the benefits for students, according to the UGC. According to the rules governing the SWAYAM platform, an institution may permit SWAYAM to be used for up to 40% of all courses offered in a program during a semester.

Academic Bank of Credits

Academic Bank of Credits

Quick steps for HEIs to join the ABC Programme

  • Register your institution on ABC (www.abc.gov.in). 
  • Upload data of Student Credits obtained during or after the academic year 2021-22.
  • Make the students of your institution aware of the ABC facility and encourage and hand-hold them to open an Academic Bank Account on ABC portal (www.abc.gov.in). 
  • Create a hyperlink to the ABC URL, i.e., www.abc.gov.in on your institution’s respective website’s home page. 
  • Depute the Nodal Officers for implementing ABC and reflecting their details on their websites. 
  • Higher Educational institutions should get all their students to fill up ABC ID on all examination forms.
For any further information, you can contact ABC Cell of UGC on 011-24116316 & abc.ugc@gmail.com

The Essential ABC Glossary

Key Terms in UGC’s Academic Bank of Credits

Credit Accumulation – The facility created by ABC in the Academic Bank Account opened by students in order to transfer and consolidate the credits earned by them by undergoing courses.

Credits Recognition – The credits earned through a registered Higher Educational Institution are transferred directly to the ABC by such HEIs.

Credit Transfer – The mechanism by which registered HEIs are able to receive or provide prescribed credits to individual Academic Bank Accounts in adherence to the UGC credit norms for the course undertaken by students enrolled in any registered HEI within India.

Credit Redemption – The process of commuting the accrued credits in the Academic Bank Accounts of the students maintained in ABC for the purpose of fulfilling the credits requirements for the award of Degrees or Diplomas or Certificates or course work for PhD programmes or similar courses. by the registered degree-awarding HEIs.

Academic Bank Account – An individual account with the Academic Bank of Credit opened and operated by a student, to which all academic credits earned by the student from course(s) of study are deposited, recognised, maintained, accumulated, transferred, validated or redeemed for the purposes of the award of degree/diploma/certificate etc. by an awarding institution. Credits deposited in the ABC platform will be valid for a maximum of seven years or the duration specified for a given discipline.

ABC Updates from UGC


UGC directs institutes to register online and ODL students at ABC portal

Nov 1st, 2022 – The University Grants Commission (UGC) sent a letter to all higher education institutes (HEIs) offering online and ODL programmes to mandatorily register their students at the Academic Bank of Credit (ABC) portal — abc.gov.in.

On the ABC portal, each account holder will be provided with a unique id after they open a unique/individual academic bank account in digital form.

UGC will tomorrow send out a letter to 58 HEIs offering online and 86 HEIs offering ODL programmes, ordering them to compulsorily adopt the ABC portal. HEIs have to mandatorily create Academic Bank of Credit (ABC) ID of students and deposit their credits with ABC for programmes offered in ODL and online mode.

Additionally, LMS of all universities offering online programme may be integrated similarly with ABC portal.

Universities that have introduced this portal are the Delhi University, University Of Mumbai, Jamia Millia Islamia, Jawaharlal Nehru University, National Institute Of Technology Arunachal Pradesh, Tezpur University, Central University Of Punjab, University of Hyderabad, Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), Vellore Institute Of Technology, O P Jindal Global University, Chandigarh University, Datta Meghe Institute Of Medical Sciences, Guru Nanak Dev University, Lovely Professional University,Symbiosis International Deemed University, Bharati Vidyapeeth, Mizoram University, Mahatma Gandhi Antarrashtriya Hindi Vishwavidyalaya and the English and Foreign Languages University.

Steps to register students at the ABC portal.

Step 1: Visit the Academic Bank of Credit (ABC) portal — abc.gov.in.

Step 2: On the home page, click on the link for ‘my account’ available on the right side top corner, and choose ‘student’ option.

Step 3: You will be redirected to a new window. Login/register using your username/ mobile number or government-issued identification cards.

Step 4: Key in all the required information and upload documents, if needed.

HEIs directed to promote ABCs through all possible means

Dec 30th, 2022 

  • Register on ABC (www.abc.gov.in).
  • Upload data of Student Credits obtained on (www.abc.gov.in).
  • Use social media to create awareness.
  • Inform students about ABC benefits and encourage them to use it.
  • Create a hyperlink of www.abc.gov.in on your institution’s website.
  • Nominate ABC Nodal Officers and share their details on institution’ website.
  • Facilitate capacity building of teachers/staff
  • HEIs to insist their students to fill up ABC ID on all examination forms

Implementation of ABC: FAQs


The University Grants Commission YouTube Channel aired a discussion on the implementation of the Academic Bank of Credits on December 29, 2022, featuring the UGC Chairman and veteran academician, Professor M. Jagadesh Kumar. The essentials of this conversation have been condensed by IPSR Academix and are available here in this FAQ Section. This section answers all your doubts about ABC implementation.

abc1 1

Qn 1: What is the Academic Bank of Credits?

Academic Bank of Credit is a national-level credit-based, student-centric, and highly flexible digital platform for students to store their academic credits earned from various recognized Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs).

Qn 2: Why was the Academic Bank of Credit introduced?

As part of NEP, UGC has brought out several reforms to provide students with more flexibility, mobility, and freedom. One such platform is the ABC, which stores the academic credits earned by students from various recognized Higher Educational Institutions so that degrees can be awarded by considering the credits earned and stored in the ABC platform. 

Qn 3: How can credit be defined?

The credit can be defined as one content hour of theory or tutorial or two hours of laboratory work the student participates in per week during a semester.

Qn 4: What are the benefits of ABC?

  • ABC, applicable to all students registered under the ABC platform within their own college/university, allows storing their semester-wise earned credits in the ABC platform.
  •  The HEIs can upload the credit details on the ABC platform so that students can check the credits earned during each semester. 
  • Credit transfer can be done seamlessly in case the student wishes to move to another institution. 
  • Students can redeem the credits for the attainment of Certificates, Diplomas or Degrees.

Qn 5: What are the advantages of ABC implementation for students?

  • Provides easy horizontal mobility for students across the country from one institute to another.
  •  Students can keep a track of the credit requirement for each level needed to move from one level to another. 
  • Once the policy is implemented across all institutions in the country, it becomes easy for students to move from one institute to another, provided there is a vacancy in the institution or the student meets the eligibility criteria of that institution.
  • ABC provides the freedom to choose the courses of their interest and can enrol in any HEIs of their interest.
  • Students get the freedom to choose the faculty of their choice.
  • Once the National Digital University is established, the students need not have to register for the degree but register for individual courses in a particular domain and accumulate the credits earned and opt for the degree.
  • Multiple entries and exits allow students to complete the course at their own pace and convenience.
  • Life-long learning in both full-time and part-time modes is offered.

abc2 1

Qn 6: How does ABC work and where is it available?

  • The portal for accessing the Academic Bank of Credit website is www.abc.gov.in
  • All HEIs and students can open their individual ABC accounts where a unique ID (ABC, Institutional and Student level IDs) and access are provided. 
  • A unique ABC ID is allotted to students registering with their mobile number through Digilocker. 
  • The ID can be shared with the Academic Institution in which the student is enrolled.
  • Then he/she can log in from the registered mobile to access the ABC Dashboard where the credits are displayed.
  • The student can select the desired courses of his/her choice, accumulate the credits earned and initiate the transfer of credits with other necessary requirements to the institute of their choice.
  • The institute further checks the eligibility criteria of the student based on UGC guidelines and accepts/rejects the transfer giving proper reasons.
  • The students can check the request status at any time and will get notified of credit transfer.
  • All credit trials are maintained and reflected in the student’s account. 

Qn 7: What are the criteria for obtaining a Certificate, Diploma or Degree through the ABC portal?

  • The students must earn a minimum of 50% credits from the HEI awarding the Certificate, Diploma or Degree.
  • Once the credits are redeemed, they cannot be reused.
  • The credits earned can be stored for a maximum of 7 years.

Qn 8: Who is eligible for registering in the ABC portal?

Universities, Autonomous Colleges, and Institutions of National Importance are eligible to register on the ABC portal.

Qn 9: What is the procedure for HEIs to register in ABC?

  • The gazette notification issued by UGC and approved by statutory bodies like Synod, Academic Council etc. is required.
  • All new students joining the first semester must be registered in the ABC portal.

Qn 10: What is the call for action to HEIs regarding ABC implementation?

  • Currently, only a very limited number of HEIs have enrolled/ registered in the ABC portal.
  • For the success of this program, all HEIs should register themselves at the earliest and at the same time register all the students enrolled in the institution under the ABC portal. 
  • The students must be made aware of the benefits of ABC,  and social media must be used as a platform to create awareness.
  • A hyperlink to the ABC portal, www.abc.gov.in must be created on every institution’s website, and ABC nodal officers must be nominated/designated to share their details on the website and also converse with UGC personnel from time to time.
  • Proper training must be provided to the faculty members and other staff members in handling the ABC in case the need for capacity building arises. 
  • The unique ID given to students can be used to fill up all the examination forms.

abcm

QN 11: How does the ABC work?

  • The students must register themselves through the ABC portal and obtain a unique ABC ID. 
  • The ID brought to the Academic Institution (AI) is captured by the AI and forwarded to the university which further prepares the mark sheet data with the credit score.
  • Once the mark sheet is ready, it is uploaded onto the portal, goes to the ABC Credit Repository and will be reflected in the student’s ABC account. 
  • The student can see the accumulated credit scores by logging into the ABC portal.

Qn 12: What are the various methods for generating an ABC ID?

The first and foremost one is the Digilocker, which can either be downloaded from the Play Store or accessed through the website portal. 

Create the Digilocker account, select the education category, and proceed to the ABC ID creation service. Choose the institution where you are currently enrolled and where you will be issued an ABC ID.

The other options are through the “UMANG” app, API Setu, or the ABC portal.

abcy

Qn 13: How does the academic institution register on ABC and upload the credits?

  • The AI visits the ABC portal www.abc.gov.in and requests ABC registration and further approval which takes nearly 24 hours. 
  • Once the approval is received, the student’s credit data with ABC ID is uploaded following the prescribed criteria. 
  • Once uploading is complete, the credit scores will be published. 
  • Once the credit scores are published, they will start appearing in the student’s credit score.

abcz

Qn 14: Is it possible for a student to do a single course of interest at an institution under the ABC scheme? Can the student take a break and rejoin later?

The autonomous institution can modify the ordinances to permit the student to take one course and register the earned credits with the Academic Bank of Credits.

If a student wants to take a break after completing two semesters, he/she can attain a certificate after completing 10 credits of skill-based courses. If he/she wishes to join back for the second year, he can do so by using the credits he had earned in the first year and pursuing the programme. It’s only that the same credits cannot be used to attain another certificate.

Qn 15: Which institute will provide the degree to a student who has done his coursework at multiple institutions?

The student must have attained a minimum of 50% credit from one single institute, and the remaining can be obtained from different institutions. So, the first institution where he/she has obtained 50% credits will issue the degree.

Qn 16: Can an affiliating university issue degree certificates to students of colleges affiliated with them?

If all the data and mark sheets related to the students of the affiliated colleges are with the university, the university will have the authority to issue degree certificates to the students.

Qn 17:  Can a student get two degrees in regular mode from the same university under the NEP scheme?

The students are eligible to pursue two degrees simultaneously in regular mode, either from the same university or from different universities; they can take one physical degree and one online degree, or they can take two online degrees simultaneously.

Qn 18: How can there be one unified portal for the benefit of the students when institutions are using different ERP systems for Student Lifecycle Management? 

Many institutions have their own ERP system for Student Lifecycle management, while others do not. UGC has provided ERP facilities on the Samarth Platform. Irrespective of using Samarth or your own in-house ERP system, one just needs to mirror the data into ABC so that there will be one unified portal for the benefit of the students.

ABC ID will be mandatory for university admission in 2023 according to UGC

Feb 14th, 2023

From the academic year 2023–2024, students will need to open a mandatory Academic Bank of Credit on abc.gov.in in order to be admitted to colleges across the nation.

Vice chancellors of universities were urged to ensure complete registration on the ABC portal for the upcoming 2023–24 academic year by University Grants Commission (UGC) chairman M. Jagadesh Kumar during a meeting on Tuesday, February 14, 2023, which evaluated the implementation of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020. VCs reported that many students are facing a problem owing to Aadhaar-related issues.

 

Smitha Thomas Head PR and Communication A Seasoned Editor, Writer and Trainer with strong Researching Skills, Great enthusiasm for Academic Trends and Significant Achievements in Corporate Communications and Publishing

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