Gone are the days when parents were seen pressurizing their children to focus more on Mathematics and Physics to become an engineer. Now students don’t have to take any interest in the king of the tough subjects ‘Mathematics’ and the next in line of difficult subjects ‘Physics’ if you wish to become an engineer. No memes on differentiation and integration will be shared on social media making a joke on the future engineers and students will be free to choose subjects that they really want to study and still select engineering as a career option.
Yes, the new AICTE guidelines have given the students freedom from Mathematics and Physics if they are willing to pursue engineering BE/BTech in the future. According to the latest AICTE announcement, Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics (PCM) are no longer compulsory for students aspiring to pursue an engineering degree in certain courses. The technical education regulator said students may no longer have to study these subjects compulsorily in high school for seeking admission at the undergraduate level.
AICTE’s decision triggered a plethora of reactions online and the school and colleges criticized the move, but the ones who were left most confused were the students aspiring for becoming engineers and are working hard to score well in the competitive exam JEE Mains.
While the board has taken a stand on this change that is not binding on state governments and engineering schools. The flexibility in the eligibility criteria for admission to B.Tech and B.E. courses has been introduced to encourage students from diverse backgrounds to apply and reduce the pressure on students to study topics that are not crucial to their program but the question arises that if a student wants to take admission in a good engineering college then he/she will have to go through one of the toughest national entrance exams JEE Mains which has only 3 subjects in its syllabus, Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics, So is the JEE MAIN pattern going to change?
Students are in a wary situation right now, mostly those who are pursuing coaching for JEE Mains, staying away from their families, studying day and night to crack the entrance exam.
Coaching institutions, especially in places like Kota and Delhi are going to be most affected by this decision as the number of students taking admissions to receive guidance is going to reduce if Mathematics and Physics are not compulsory for JEE Mains.
According to a report by the Economic Times, around 1.5 lakh students visit coaching hub Kota every year for engineering and the region generates business of about Rs 7000 crores from them. For coaching institutes like Allen Career Institue and Resonance, there are more than 50 teachers each specialized in Mathematics and Physics and most of them are IIT graduates which lures the students to Kota.
The AICTE decision will affect the entire coaching industry and the students who will be attempting the JEE Main Exam again, ‘the Repeaters’ are will be in the most crucial position as they will have only 1 year to study the changed syllabus if PCM is not compulsory for the aspiring engineers.
Many can argue that as announced by AICTE, the universities will offer suitable bridge courses such as mathematics, physics, engineering drawing, etc for the students coming from diverse backgrounds to achieve the desired learning outcome of the program but this all begins when the students get admitted to the institutions but there has been no clarification by the NTA regarding the JEE MAIN examination.
The entrance exam pattern last got changed in 2013 after which students have to go through 2 exams, 1st is JEE MAIN and the second phase of the exam is JEE Advanced which allows only 2.5 lakh students who clear the cut off of JEE MAIN to write the examination. The then students also got affected by the decision but there was no major change in the syllabus, but eliminating Physics and Mathematics for engineering hints towards a major pattern and syllabus change for JEE MAIN aspirants and the more delayed is the clarification from the NTA, the more havoc it is creating for the students seeking a future in engineering. So the question remains the same, Is the JEE Main 2022 pattern going to change?