Disastrous for Engineering: Niti Aayog Member on AICTE’s New Move
VK Saraswat said it will ‘adversely impact’ the ‘dwindling standards of engineering education in (the) country’.
Niti Aayog member VK Saraswat on Friday, 19 March, called the All India Council for Technical Education’s (AICTE) move to not make Mathematics and Physics mandatory for students who want to enrol for engineering courses “disastrous”.
Speaking to PTI, the scientist said, “Even engineering disciplines like biomedical engineering and biotechnology also need the knowledge of Maths and Physics. In the name of flexibility to reduce the standards of students entering the engineering field would be disastrous because then the students will not be able to pick up the basic engineering education.”
Saraswat also tweeted on 14 March on the issue asking AICTE to rethink its decision as it will “adversely impact” the “dwindling standards of engineering education in (the) country”.
Saraswat has conveyed his concerns to Principal Scientific Advisor K Vijay Raghavan, noting that these two subjects are major building blocks for all engineering education, added the report.
Why the Move?
Introducing a major reform, the AICTE announced on 14 March that subjects like Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics (PCM) would not be compulsory for students aspiring to pursue engineering. This rule has been put in place for some branches of engineering.
Revising the earlier rule which said that students must study these subjects in high school, the technical education regulator said that it is no longer necessary.
AICTE Chairman Anil Sahasrabudhe said that this decision will not be binding on all undergraduate colleges. It was done with the intention of bringing more flexibility in the eligibility criteria of BTech and BE courses.
Speaking to PTI, Sahasrabudhe stated that this was “in line with the philosophy of the new National Education Policy (NEP) in terms of flexibility and multi-disciplinary courses, innovation”. He added that there was a need to redefine entry barriers for pursuing higher education in the field, and there was a need to develop a multi disciplinary outlook among students.
The AICTE said that all higher educational institutions will be permitted to admit students who have not studied Physics and Mathematics in high school for textile, agriculture and biotechnology engineering.
However, the body noted that these subjects remain mandatory for other engineering subjects such as computer science.
(With inputs from PTI.)
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