In a major change in the eligibility criteria for engineering courses, the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) — the technical education regulator — has made Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics (PCM) optional for students who wish to pursue technical courses like biotechnology, textile or agriculture engineering at the undergraduate level. However, PCM remains mandatory for most engineering subjects like computer science.
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In a virtual release of the handbook Friday, AICTE chairperson Anil Sahasrabudhe said the revised regulation is in line with the National Education Policy (NEP) vision that encourages flexibility in the choice of subjects. “In 2010, AICTE made only physics and maths mandatory for nearly seven to eight subjects. We have been facing challenges as new disciplines have emerged where many students questioned why they have to study chemistry when they don’t use it in their entire career. Similarly, many students demanded to study biology as they need to pursue biotechnology. Therefore, we are creating a new window for students who have either not taken maths or physics or chemistry but can enter into engineering,” Sahasrabudhe said.
The AICTE has therefore listed PCM compulsory for only 14 subjects wherefrom students can choose three and secure a minimum 45 per cent in each to take up engineering.
This means students now have to pass Class 12 with physics / mathematics / chemistry / computer science / electronic science/ information technology / biology / informatics practices / biotechnology/ technical vocational subject / agriculture / engineering graphics/ business studies or entrepreneurship as subjects to get admissions in engineering courses. The general category candidates need to score at least 45 per cent marks in class 12, while reserved category candidates have to score 40 per cent.
The AICTE has also asked colleges to offer suitable bridge courses to engineering aspirants. “The universities will offer suitable bridge courses such as mathematics, physics, engineering drawing for students coming from diverse backgrounds to achieve learning outcomes of the programme,” AICTE notification mentioned.
The students from medicine can also pursue BE/ BTech courses, as per new rules.