Students aiming to pursue technical courses are not required to have physics, chemistry and mathematics as their combination with the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) making PCM optional for students at the undergraduate level.

This a major haul in the eligibility criteria for engineering courses like biotechnology, textiles or agriculture engineering, though PCM will be mandatory for most engineering subjects like computer science.

This revised regulation has been introduced in keeping with the National Education Policy (NEP) vision that encourages flexibility in the choice of subjects by students.

AICTE made only physics and maths mandatory for nearly seven to eight subjects in 2010. However, many students were compelled to take these subjects even when they don’t require them in their entire careers.

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“Many students demanded to study biology as they need to pursue biotechnology. Therefore, we are creating a new window for students who have either not taken maths or physics or chemistry but can enter into engineering,” a report quoted AICTE chairperson Anil Sahasrabudhe as saying.

Now PCM has been made compulsory for only 14 subjects, wherefrom students can choose three and secure a minimum of 45 per cent in each to seek admission into different engineering courses.

Under the new regulations, students will have to pass Class XII with physics, mathematics, chemistry, computer science, electronic science, information technology, biology, informatics practices, biotechnology, technical vocational subject, agriculture, engineering graphics, business studies or entrepreneurship as subjects to get admissions in engineering courses.

While the general category candidates will require 45 per cent marks in class 12, the reserved category candidates have to score 40 per cent.

The AICTE has also directed all universities to offer bridge courses in mathematics, physics and engineering for students from different educational backgrounds.

The students from the medical background can also pursue BE/ BTech courses now.

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