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Master of Computer Application (MCA) has been restructured to be a two-year postgraduate course instead of the existing three-year postgraduate degree course.
Until now, students who had passed a bachelor's degree in any stream were eligible to apply for the MCA course. Also, candidates who had completed a BCA or B.Sc IT degree were eligible for direct admission in the 2nd year of the MCA course through the MCA Lateral Entry mode. But now with the new rule, the lateral entry for MCA course will be scrapped.
Why has AICTE Decided to Make MCA a Two Year Course?
It has long been observed that the number of candidates taking admission to a three-year MCA course has been declining over the years. The AICTE decided to reduce the MCA course term from 3 years to 2 years due to a depleting enrolment rate for the course in the last few years. Apart from that, there has been a significant rise in the number of students with a BCA, B.Sc IT, and B.Sc Computer Science degrees seeking admission in the MCA course. As a result of these findings, AICTE has now decided to reduce the duration of the MCA course from three years to two years. University Grants Commission (UGC), the higher education regulator of the country is in agreement with the same.
How will the MCA Course Curriculum Change?
The change in the duration of the MCA course will not impact the existing curriculum and course structure severely. As per the current MCA syllabus, the first-year curriculum covered the basic concepts of coding and related topics only. With this new ruling coming into effect, this introductory part of the MCA course will be scrapped. Students will directly be introduced to the advanced concepts of an MCA programme.
Are Students from Non-IT Background Eligible for Revised Two Year MCA Course?
Now that the course structure and duration have been changed/ reduced, the question that arises is that will students from a non-IT background such as B.Sc Chemistry, B.Sc Physics, B.Sc Mathematics, etc, still be eligible to get admission in the two year MCA course.
As per AICTE handbook for the 2020-2021 academic session, candidates from the non-IT background will be eligible to apply for 2-year MCA courses only if they have studied Mathematics in class 12th. In addition to this, the candidates will have to take a bridge course after enrolling for the MCA course where they will be introduced to the basic concepts of computer applications required for the programme.
Will MCA Lateral Entry Option Still be Applicable?
Since the duration of the MCA course has been revised, it makes no sense to keep the MCA lateral entry option open for admissions. From the upcoming academic session 2020-21, MCA lateral entry option will be invalid and nonexistent. AICTE has scrapped Lateral Entry to MCA course due to lack of/ reduction in applications for the same in the last few years.
When will AICTE Implement the Decision to Make MCA a Two Year Course?
The revised MCA course duration will be applicable from the upcoming academic session 2020-21. AICTE is expected to release the official detailed guidelines for the MCA course duration in a few days.
What will Happen to Students who are Currently Enrolled in the 3-year MCA Course?
The change will be implemented from the academic session of 2020-2021. All students already enrolled in the MCA course will follow the same pattern and their course curriculum or course structure will not be affected.