Niti Aayog member V K Saraswat on Friday termed the AICTE’s decision to give engineering colleges flexibility to admit students without mathematics and physics in high school and offer them bridge courses as “wrong” and suggested that these subjects should be taught first.
Saraswat also said that if the colleges want to conduct bridge courses, then the entire course duration should be increased to 4.5 years or 5 years.
He reasoned that even in soil mechanics, which is an important part of agriculture education, students need to have a sound understanding of physics.
“So this concept of bridge class concurrent with the engineering course which he is attending is wrong.If you want to conduct a bridge class then it has to be sequential,” he told PTI.
India’s technical education regulatorAICTE chairperson Anil Sahasrabudhe recently said that students opting for streams like biotechnology, textile or agriculture engineering will have an option to not study physics and mathematics subjects in class 12.
“First, his course duration should be increased to 4.5 years or 5 years. Then he should be taught these courses first (Physics and Mathematics), then he will start the other subjects.
“It cannot run concurrently,” Saraswat said.
In its revised rules aligned as per reforms proposed in the new National Education Policy (NEP), the technical regulator has given a list of 14 subjects Physics, Mathematics, Chemistry, Computer Science, Electronics, Information Technology, Biology, Informatics Practices, Biotechnology, Technical Vocational subject, Engineering Graphics, Business Studies, Entrepreneurship.
Saraswat, also an eminent scientist, said once those who have not studied Mathematics and Physics in Class 11th and 12thadmitted into an engineering course, it will take at least 6-8 months time, even if the crash course is given to them to come to a level that to have understanding of the engineering subjects.
“Out of a four years course of engineering ,one year he is studying subjects without the basic understanding ofPhysics and Mathematics. How much he will understand, how much he will be able to apply.
“He can not,” the Niti Aayog member opined.
Countering an argument that inbranches like textile and biotechnology, an advanced knowledge of physics and mathematics is not required and can be fulfilled with bridge courses in college, Saraswat said, “these days even people are using mathematics in biology.”
“Don’t you design agriculture instruments in agriculture engineering courses, even in soil mechanics, which is an important part of agriculture education you need Physics. Itis a wrong concept,” he asserted.
According to the revised rules of the All India Council for Technical Education,students need to pass in any three subjects (from the list) with a minimum of 45 per cent marks in class 12 board examination to be able to apply for admission in undergraduate courses in engineering.
According to Sahasrabudhe, the new Approval Process Handbook 2021-22 has been changed to remove the restrictions of the previous rules incase there are states or universities that want to open up on the lines of the NEP.
However, the chairperson had reiterated that it is not mandatory for states or institutions to change their current mandatory preference of PCM for admission to engineering courses.
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