The University Grants Commission (UGC) has initiated several measures to bring equity, efficiency and excellence in the Higher Education System of country. The important measures taken to enhance academic standards and quality in higher education include innovation and improvements in curriculum, teaching-learning process, examination and evaluation systems, besides governance and other matters.
The UGC has formulated various regulations and guidelines from time to time to improve the higher education system and maintain minimum standards and quality across the Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs) in India. The academic reforms recommended by the UGC in the recent past have led to overall improvement in the higher education system. However, due to lot of diversity in the system of higher education, there are multiple approaches followed by universities towards examination, evaluation and grading system. While the HEIs must have the flexibility and freedom in designing the examination and evaluation methods that best fits the the curriculum, syllabi and teaching–learning methods, there is a need to devise a sensible system for awarding the grades based on the performance of students. Presently the performance of the students is reported using the conventional system of marks secured in the examinations or grades or both. The conversion from marks to letter grades and the letter grades used vary widely across the HEIs in the country. This creates difficulty for the acadamia and the employers to understand and infer the performance of the students graduating from different universities and colleges based on grades.
The grading system is considered to be better than the conventional marks system and hence it has been followed in the top instutitions in India and abroad. So it is desirable to introduce uniform grading system. This will facilitate student mobility across institutions within and across countries and also enable potential employers to assess the performance of students. To bring in the desired uniformity, in grading system and method for computing the cumulative grade point average (CGPA) based on the performance of students in the examinations, the UGC has formulated these guidelines.
These guidelines shall apply to all undergraduate and postgraduate level degree, diploma and certificate programmes under the credit system awarded by the Central, State and Deemed to be universities in India.
The Indian Higher Education Institutions have been moving from the conventional annual system to semester system. Currently many of the institutions have already introduced the choice based credit system. The semester system accelerates the teaching-learning process and enables vertical and horizontal mobility in learning. The credit based semester system provides flexibility in designing curriculum and assigning credits based on the course content and hours of teaching. The choice based credit system provides a ‘cafeteria’ type approach in which the students can take courses of their choice, learn at their own pace, undergo additional courses and acquire more than the required credits, and adopt an interdisciplinary approach to learning, It is desirable that the HEIs move to CBCS and implement the grading system.
Courses in a programme may be of three kinds: Core, Elective and Foundation.
There may be a Core Course in every semester. This is the course which is to be compulsorily studied by a student as a core requirement to complete the requirement of a programme in a said discipline of study.
Elective course is a course which can be chosen from a pool of papers. It may be:
An elective may be “Generic Elective” focusing on those courses which add generic proficiency to the students. An elective may be “Discipline centric”or may be chosen from an unrelated discipline. It may be called an “Open Elective.”
The Foundation Courses may be of two kinds: Compulsory Foundation and Elective foundation. “Compulsory Foundation” courses are the courses based upon the content that leads to Knowledge enhancement. They are mandatory for all disciplines. Elective Foundation courses are value-based and are aimed at man-making education.
The HEIs are currently following various methods for examination and assessment suitable for the courses and programmes as approved by their respective statutory bodies. In assessing the performance of the students in examinations, the usual approach is to award marks based on the examinations conducted at various stages (sessional, mid-term, end-semester etc.,) in a semester. Some of the HEIs convert these marks to letter grades based on absolute or relative grading system and award the grades. There is a marked variation across the colleges and universities in the number of grades, grade points, letter grades used, which creates difficulties in comparing students across the institutions. The UGC recommends the following system to be implemented in awarding the grades and CGPA under the credit based semester system.Letter Grades and Grade Points
|Letter Grade||Letter Grade|
Assessment is an integral part of system of education as it is instrumental in identifying and certifying the academic standards accomplished by a student and projecting them far and wide as an objective and impartial indicator of a student’s performance. Thus, it becomes bounden duty of a University to ensure that it is carried out in fair manner. In this regard, UGC recommends the following system of checks and balances which would enable Universities effectively and fairly carry out the process of assessment and examination.
where Ci is the number of credits of the ith course and Gi is the grade point scored by the student in the ith course.
where Si is the SGPA of the ith semester and Ci is the total number of credits in that semester.
|Course||Credit||Grade letter||Grade point||Credit Point(Credit x Grade)|
Thus, SGPA =139/20 =6.95Illustration for CGPA
|Semester 1||Semester 2||Semester 3||Semester 4||Semester 5||Semester 6|
|Credit : 20 SGPA:6.9||Credit : 22 SGPA:7.8||Credit : 25 SGPA: 5.6||Credit : 26 SGPA:6.0||Credit : 26 SGPA:6.3||Credit : 25 SGPA: 8.0|
Thus, CGPA = 20 x 6.9 + 22 x 7.8 + 25 x 5.6 + 26 x 6.0 + 26 x 6.3 + 25 x 8.0/ 144 = 6.73
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