Days after the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has made Mathematics and Physics optional in Class 12 for aspirants who want to get admission to BE and B. Tech courses from 2021-22, the council has announced clarification stating that the above-mentioned subjects will continue to be important for Engineering courses.
In a controversial move, the AICTE has recently released its approval process handbook 2021-22 in which the eligibility criteria for undergraduate students have been changed but now taking a u-turn the AICTE chairman clarified that Physics, Maths, and Chemistry will continue to be important subjects for certain streams of engineering.
As of now, Mathematics and Physics subjects in Class 12 were mandatory for taking admissions to undergraduate engineering programmes. But as per the approval handbook 2021-22 issued by the AICTE, the students opting for courses like Biotechnology, Textile, or Agriculture Engineering will be exempted from taking Mathematics, chemistry, and physics in class 12. However, Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics will continue to be important for Mechanical Engineering and certain other engineering courses.
As per the revised rules, the students will have an option to choose any three subjects from Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Computer Science, Electronics, IT, Biotechnology, Information Practices, Technical Vocational Subject, Agriculture, Engineering Graphics, Business Studies, Entrepreneurship to apply for admission in undergraduate courses in engineering.
Meanwhile, the AICTE amendments had received strong criticisms from academicians who consider mathematics as a foundation for Engineering. A Bridge course is said to be a remedial course that is unable to replace the Class 12 mathematics. The engineering course has Maths till the fifth semester.
According to education experts, if a student without opting for maths takes admission in Engineering, he/she will require a lot of understanding of Mathematics in the first year. Emerging courses like Data Science, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning are areas that are based on Maths.
"For Universities and the state governments, it is not mandatory to change their current preference and they could continue to have the same three subjects (Maths, Physics, and Chemistry) as compulsory. This is purely a window of opportunity which is open, but no restrictions on allowing any three subjects," said the AICTE chairman.