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The Draft National Credit Framework (NCrF)

What is National Credit Framework Draft

About: National Credit Framework Draft is an inclusive umbrella framework to integrate the credits earned through school education, higher education and vocational & skill education.

The National Credit Framework NCrF has been proposed as part of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020.

Aim: The NCrF aims to bring the entire education system, from school to university, into the academic ‘credit’ regime.


National Credit Framework Objectives

  • Objectives
    • Integration of academic and vocational domains to ensure flexibility and mobility between the two.
    • Mainstreaming of skilling and vocational education by inter-mingling school and higher education with vocational education and experiential learning.
    • National Credit Framework NCrF will also enable students who have dropped out of the mainstream education to re-enter the education ecosystem.
  • Operationalization: The NCrF will be operationalized through the Academic Bank of Credits (ABC) which was launched in 2021 by the University Grants Commission for higher education.
    • The ABC works as a digital repository of credits earned by students. So far, it is limited to higher education.
  • Components: The National Credit Framework NCrF encompasses the following three components.
    • National Higher Education Qualification Framework (NHEQF)
    • National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF)
    • National School Education Qualification Framework (NSEQF)


Features of National Credit Framework

  • Integration of general and vocational education: The NCrF will remove the hard separation between general and vocational education, by considering the learning hours put in by a learner irrespective of the stream of education.
    • The National Credit Framework will enable mobility between the two through credit transfer mechanism.
  • Multiple Entry and Exit Options: This feature will enable students to leave a degree or course and get a corresponding certification and rejoin studies after a certain time. They will be able to start from where they had left.
  • Recognition of prior learning: For the workforce that has acquired knowledge and skills informally through the traditional family inheritance, work experience or other methods.
  • Educational acceleration: For gifted students who move through traditional curriculum at rates faster than normal pace, the framework includes provisions for grade/class skipping, early entrance to school or college and/ or subject based acceleration.
  • Holistic learning: National Credit Framework NCrF recognizes no hard separation between different areas of learning, i.e. arts and sciences, vocational and academic streams, curricular and extra-curricular for the purpose of assignment of credits and credit levels,
  • The credit mechanism:
    • According to the draft, credits will be assigned on the basis of learning hours from class 5 to PhD level.
    • So far, it is being considered to set the total hours of learning per credit at 30.
    • The students will complete 1200 total national learning hours in an academic year for higher and vocational courses while for early education, they will complete 800-1000 hours per year.
    • The credit-based framework has been proposed in which Class 5 will be taken as Level 1, Class 8 as Level 2, and Class 10 as level 3 and Class 12 as Level 4.

Benefits of the National Credit Framework in India

  • For Students: National Credit Framework NCrF will ensure Flexibility in the duration of study/ courses through provisions of multiple entries and exit/work options as well as pave the path for creditisation of all learning hours, including academic, vocational and experiential learning.
    • It will also give the provision for lifelong learning – any time anywhere learning.
  • For Institutions: NCrF will bring about a unification of higher education institutions to promote multidisciplinary education, creating a diverse and rich students knowledge base.
  • For Government: NCrF is expected to assist the government to increase the enrolment of students, helping to fulfil the national vision of complementing the demographic dividend and transforming India into the Skill Capital of the World.
  • For Industry: National Credit Framework NCrF will allow students to attain NSQF-approved foundational skills developed by industry and be more employable. The provision of micro-credentials will allow integration of quick educational up gradation/ up-skilling.


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