GATE's new two paper combinations to provide academic flexibility

Data Science and AI have been introduced as the second paper that complements the first primary paper for eight engineering streams

Aditya Wadhawan | Posted November 27, 2023 02:00 PM

GATE's new two paper combinations to provide academic flexibility
The Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore has announced several new two paper combinations in addition to the already existing ones for the aspirants who will appear in the coveted Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) in the year 2024.  The combinations are a set of primary and secondary papers. Primary paper is related to the stream that the student has pursued at graduation and the secondary paper consists of the subject that is meant to give additional valuable knowledge related to the engineering stream that student pursued during UG. The secondary paper is relatable to the primary paper and complements it very closely. Such new combinations have been introduced by IISc for several streams of engineering such as Electrical Engineering, Electronics and Communication Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and many other Engineering streams.  
For instance, for the Electrical Engineering stream, the primary paper is Electrical Engineering and students can choose from anyone of the following secondary papers that are Data Science, AI, Physics, Electronics and Communication Engineering and Instrumentation Engineering. Likewise, the primary papers for Electronics and Communication Engineering and Mechanical Engineering are these streams themselves, and the option for secondary papers are; Computer Science, Data Science, AI, Electrical Engineering, Physics and Aerospace. In all, a total number of 28 new two paper combinations have been introduced for the  exam scheduled to be held next year in February. These combinations are in sync with NEP 2020 that promote multidisciplinarity in education.      
Speaking to Education Times, Chandra Sekhar Seelamantula, organising chairperson, GATE 2024, says, “More number of two paper combinations have been introduced to provide academic flexibility to the candidates appearing for GATE next year. The new combinations are introduced in such a way that it will allow the students to change the course of their career path from graduation to post-graduation. For instance, the students who have pursued Mechanical Engineering in their graduation and subsequently aspire to pursue Robotics at the postgraduate level, should also have a fair degree of knowledge related to Data Science and AI.  this will increase inclusivity as the second paper is closely related to the primary paper. The primary paper or the first paper is focussed on the stream in which the candidates have pursued their graduation and second or secondary paper would provide additional knowledge to the students."    An increased variety of two-paper combinations can significantly bolster the foundational knowledge required for specialisation in a chosen engineering branch. This is particularly advantageous when the secondary paper closely complements the primary paper that will align with the candidate’s undergraduate training, he adds.    
rapid technological advancements, the boundaries between various engineering disciplines are getting blurred. "By qualifying the primary and secondary papers, even the employability prospects of candidates will significantly increase as they will be exposed to a diverse set of subjects. This will also broaden the exposure of students to a wide array of permutations and combinations and the concepts within their chosen engineering discipline. This expansion will upskill the students in a diverse manner that appeals to employers seeking candidates with diverse competencies,” adds Seelamantula.        
“Qualifications in two related papers will enable the students to achieve a harmonious blend of specialisation and adaptability. They can specialise in their primary paper while concurrently attain proficiency in a complementary field that will position themselves effectively for roles demanding both deep expertise and a broad skill set,” explains Seelamantula.