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Mathematics and physics optional for engineering: AICTE

Mathematics and physics optional for engineering: AICTE

March 15, 2021

The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) recently made mathematics and physics optional for engineering admissions adding that this move will only help implement the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020.

It stated that it is not mandatory to exclude these subjects for engineering admissions and should be seen as a window of opportunity for universities wanting to open engineering admissions based on NEP.

Currently, maths and physics in class 12 is mandatory for getting admission in UG programmes in engineering and technology. The decision by AICTE saw academicians from the engineering stream express their concerns after.

As per the changed rules, maths and physics are part of a list of 12 optional subjects, of which only three are needed for eligibility – physics/mathematics/chemistry/computer science/electronics/information technology/biology/ informatics practices/technical vocational subject/agriculture/biotechnology/engineering graphics/business studies/entrepreneurship.

The handbook stated, “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.”

Candidates will have to score 45 percent marks in the subjects they opt for.

AICTE chairman Anil Sahasrabudhe said the decision was only made in preparation of future implementation of NEP. “Today, classes 11 and 12 are water tight compartments where a student who goes to science stream will study only science. But in NEP, after 15 years of primary school education, the last four years will be generic where the candidate can go for UG studies across disciplines… So far, we have been working only in silos, building walls around us and not seeing beyond our domains. NEP has given a fresh opportunity and we are trying to make use of this… There is a new window being created where students who have not taken physics and maths in school can enter engineering education,” he added.

Sahasrabudhe also said that for the next academic session, maths and physics will continue to be mandatory for UG engineering programmes. “Mathematics, physics and chemistry will still continue to be important for engineering for majority disciplines, barring some exceptions like ceramics and textiles. However, there is a lot of flexibility in NEP going forward which has been brought into this handbook. JEE and state entrance exams (CETs) may continue to hold exams in maths and physics and admissions will be based on them,” Sahasrabudhe added.

Sahasrabudhe said there were states that admitted students for engineering programmes on the basis of standard 12th scores, giving the example of Tamil Nadu. It is for such cases that the admission criteria had been opened, he said.

“However, it does not mean that they should do it, but it is just being allowed. This is not being enforced upon anyone but an opportunity is being created. We are just opening a new window of opportunity so that if any university or state wants to open up its engineering admissions based on NEP, they can do so,’’ he added.

Source: Business Standard

Also read: Competitive exams after class XII: Engineering Entrance Exams

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