Engineering entrance exam norms: The NITI Aayog seems to be mulling over allowing students who have not studied Physics or Maths in Class 12 to sit for entrance exams for engineering. The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has proposed in its new norms a list of 14 subjects that students of Class 12 can have, and now, the NITI Aayog has suggested that students having any three of these 14 subjects in Class 12 be allowed to give the all-India entrance exam, basically proposing that Physics and Maths be removed as a requirement for being eligible to give the exam, according to a report in The Indian Express.
The suggestion was put forth in a meeting held on June 11, which had been called to discuss new norms for undergraduate engineering programmes. However, while the report said that NITI Aayog member and scientist V K Saraswat had reservations about the move, the remaining important attendees seem to be warming up to the proposals put forth by the AICTE. The meeting was chaired by NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar who came up with the suggestion of having an all-India entrance test for students having studied an expanded list of subjects.
As per the report, there were three action points that came up in the meeting. Kumar proposed that a national-level entrance exam similar to NEET be conducted for engineering education as well which would allow for a more inclusive and high-quality entrance exam. Another action point that came up was allowing candidates having studied any of the AICTE-proposed subjects to compete in the entrance and the third point was barring institutes and universities to take admissions without the entrance exam.
It is also believed that the vice-chairman suggested that the AICTE committee that listed out branches where Physics and Maths would not be mandatory for the exam also be tasked with looking at the possibilities is the revamped entrance exam for engineering, for which the AICTE and NITI Aayog work together, he said.
At the end, the consensus was that a model curriculum for such an entrance exam be prepared by the AICTE.
A key point to be noted here, however, is that IITs across the country have their own separate entrance system and they would not be covered under the AICTE proposals and changes, if any.