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AICTE Says PCM Not Mandatory For Engineering: Boon or Bane?

Last updated on April 12th, 2021

The AICTE has recently announced that studying PCM in class XII is no longer a mandatory prerequisite to pursue BE and B.Tech courses.
The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) announced that from the next session 2021-22, students can choose a combination of 3 out of 14 given subjects in Class XII. They do not need to compulsorily study Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics in order to be eligible to pursue undergraduate engineering courses including BE and B.Tech.

PCM Not Mandatory for Engineering : AICTE

The 14 optional subjects include – Physics, Mathematics, Chemistry, Electronics, Computer Science, Informatics Practices, Business Studies, Technical Vocational Subject, Entrepreneurship, Biotechnology, Biology, Engineering Graphics, and Informatics Practices. The revised rules of AICTE state that students are required to pass in any 3 subjects from the given list with at least 45% in class XII examinations.
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What Do Experts Say?

As per the statement given by Rajiv Kumar, the member secretary of AICTE, this move is in line with the National Education Policy 2020 and is aimed at paving a path for multidisciplinary education. Further, Kumar added, “Earlier, Physics, Chemistry and Maths (PCM) were compulsory for engineering courses, but around 11 years ago, Chemistry was made optional. We have received many queries where students keen to pursue Agricultural Engineering were denied admission because they did not have Maths as a subject in class XII. Similar queries were received from Biotechnology aspirants. The basic requirements can be fulfilled through bridge courses only.”
Further, the dean and professor at the School of Biotechnology, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Kerala, said “We teach Physics and Mathematics for one whole year as part of undergraduate courses in Biotechnology because class XII-level knowledge is not sufficient. Hence, the bridge courses may help students, only if they are designed as per the requirement of specific courses.”
Do note that eligibility for JEE Main requires a candidate to mandatorily study Physics and Mathematics with 1 additional subject.
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More Students Can Opt For Engineering

However, the President of Students Helping Hand organization, Kuldeep Ambekar, expressed his thoughts on the move by saying, “The decision taken by AICTE seems right initially, but in order to move forward in the career, these subjects are very important for engineering students to sustain in the open race. Also, the new education policy talks about various new initiatives and comparisons with world-class education. Students need to get such education which can boost their future growth and job opportunities. From the last few years, engineering admissions and seat vacancy has been high, some of the colleges have even shut down. So, this decision might be taken due to it, but most students will now get a chance to go for engineering courses.”
The changes introduced by AICTE will definitely give a chance to pursue engineering to those students who were wary of doing so because of the fear of these subjects. This will increase the options of students and their choices will increase. Further, any non-PCM students can study these subjects in college as bridge courses. This will help them gain the necessary knowledge about these subjects.

Mathematics and Physics Not Mandatory For Pursuing Engineering, Says AICTE

Last updated on August 26th, 2021

According to a new notification, Mathematics and Physics will not be compulsory subjects for Engineering Aspirants planning to pursue a B.Tech course. The notification was made available by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) who has released its approval access handbook for the academic year 2021-22. The eligibility criteria for UG admissions have now been revised – students planning to take admissions into UG engineering courses need not have Mathematics and Physics as their core subjects in Class 12th.AICTE notification

Now students are allowed to select a combination any three subjects from the following-

Physics IT
Chemistry Information Practices
Mathematics Technical Vocational Subject
Biology Biotechnology, Agriculture
Computer science Business Studies
Electronics Engineering Graphics and Entrepreneurship

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Introduction of Bridge Courses

As per the revised rules, AICTE informed that the unreserved category students need to get 45% marks to pass 12th while for the reserved category, students need to get at least 40% marks to pass. AICTE also proposed the introduction of bridge courses.

Since Physics and Maths will not be compulsory for students of class 12th, introduction of bridge courses in mathematics, physics, engineering drawing by the engineering colleges and institutes will improve the base of these subjects for students during the initial semesters. The move will help students in becoming more productive while pursuing an engineering course.

The new revisions by AICTE have received many disapprovals as Class 12th Mathematics and Physics is the foundation for Engineering studies. Bridge courses might not be able to substitute Class 12th Maths as it is only a remedial course. While in engineering, students have to study higher-level mathematics till the fifth semester.

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Opinions From Experts

According to educationists, for doing courses like Data Science and Artificial Intelligence, students need to have a deeper understanding of Maths and Statistics. So, AICTE needs to reconsider the amendments done in the approval process handbook 2021-22. Many education experts also believed that since Class 12 physics and mathematics are essential for engineering students, this move might prove wrong in the future of the country. The amendments proposed by AICTE have received several criticism from educators and colleges from across the country.

At present, the study of Physics and Mathematics is mandatory for the students of Class 12th of the science stream who are looking for admissions to UG engineering courses. The revised eligibility rules for JEE Main also mentioned that Chemistry is not mandatory, but Physics and Mathematics are, with an additional subject.

No matter whatever the future consequences of this decision, one thing is possible for all the students coming from medicine, commerce and vocational backgrounds. That is, they can apply for B.E. and B.Tech degree courses in the country.