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

Last updated on April 12th, 2021 at 03:23 pm

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.