Following mixed reactions from students, the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has clarified that Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics (PCM) subjects in Class 12 will continue to remain important for admission to engineering Undergraduate (UG) programmes. Some students state it will create more opportunities for those who drop PCM in Class 12 while, others said they will find it difficult to cope with engineering programme without a background in Mathematics.
In its new approval handbook for 2021-22, AICTE stated Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics will continue to be important subjects in engineering courses. But, students will have to pass in three subjects out of 14 subjects namely Physics, Mathematics, Chemistry, Computer Science, Electronics, Information Technology (IT), Biology, Informatics Practices, Biotechnology, Technical Vocational subject, Engineering Graphics, Business Studies and Entrepreneurship
with a minimum of 45 per cent marks in Class 12 board examination to be able to apply for admission to Undergraduate (UG) engineering courses.
Amit Dutta, regional officer (Mumbai), AICTE, said, "These new provisions are recommendatory in nature and not a mandatory imposition. It totally depends on the university and the body that conducts entrance examination for engineering programmes if they want to make it compulsory or not. Out of these 14 subjects, students need to take up any three subjects in Class 12 which can or cannot include PCM."
Students wanting to pursue engineering said they have to study PCM for the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) Main in order to seek admission for engineering courses. Blessy Carvalho, a student said, "How does it make a difference if we dropped PCM in Class 12 because we have to anyway study these subjects for JEE Main which is the centralised mandatory entrance exam for engineering programmes in India."
While, Gargi Kariyamvar, another student said, "It is good to have flexibility in subjects because this provision will help those students to take up engineering who have probably chosen Physics, Chemistry and Biology (PCB) in Class 12. It will not deprive them of opting for engineering just because they did not opt for PCM in Class 12."
AICTE said this provision has been recommended in line with the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 which propagates a multidisciplinary approach in the education system.