NITI Aayog member and scientist V K Saraswat expressed serious disagreement with the AICTE proposal in the NITI Aayog meeting in a meeting held on June 11.
Earlier this year in March, the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) in a surprising decision said that students wanting to take admissions into BE/B.Tech need not study Physics and Mathematics in Class 12th. While the decision was welcomed and opposed in equal measure, a recent meeting of NITI Aayog appears to have made AICTE take the proposal back to the drawing board, according to an exclusive Indian Express report.
According to the IE report, NITI Aayog member and scientist V K Saraswat expressed serious disagreement with the AICTE proposal in the NITI Aayog meeting in a meeting held on June 11. The meeting which also had AICTE chairman Anil Sahasrabudhe and Higher Education Secretary Amit Khare as attendees saw Saraswat demanding a rollback of the decision. On the other hand, Sahasrabudhe who has piloted the relaxations as the head of AICTE defended the move and said that the decision was in line with the New Education Policy propounded by the Modi government that stresses on a multi-disciplinary approach.
In March this year, the AICTE had said that students willing to become engineers need not have studied Physics or Mathematics in Class 12th opening the doors of engineering institutes to lakhs of non-Mathematics and non-Physics stream students. As per the new norms, any student who has scored above 45 percent marks in any three subjects out of a list of 14 subjects was eligible to take admissions into Engineering courses. The 14 subjects on the list included- computer science, electronics, information technology, biology, informatics practices, biotechnology, physics, mathematics, chemistry, technical vocational subject, engineering graphics, business studies, and entrepreneurship.
Before the AICTE move, every Engineering aspirant had to have studied Physics and Mathematics both to study Engineering in their Under-graduation. Though the AICTE has remained firm behind the move, it has agreed to list out the number of branches of Engineering which would be able to admit non-Physics and non-Mathematics stream students. A committee headed by chairman of the National Board of Accreditation KK Aggarwal has also been set up by AICTE to ascertain the branches that will not require students to study Maths and Physics. Both Sahasrabudhe and Saraswat declined to comment on the matter to the Indian Express.
Soon after the AICTE made its decision public, Principal Scientific Advisor K VijayRaghavan had told the Indian Express that it would be wiser for students to study Physics and Maths before taking admissions into Engineering courses as the pair of subjects develops rigour and depth early on. VK Saraswat had also termed the decision headed in the wrong direction saying that students devoid of any basic training in Maths and Physics will face immense difficulties in their Engineering courses and remain at a disadvantage.