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. 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.
As of now, Mathematics and Physics subjects in Class 12 are mandatory for taking admissions to undergraduate engineering programmes. But now, 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.
The new AICTE amendments have 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.
"It is not the question of optional. The subject options in the engineering discipline have been expanded. Thus, there could be different three mandatory courses for different disciplines," said the AICTE chairman.
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. The AICTE should rethink its decision of amendments done in the approval process handbook 2021-22.