The introduction of Biomedical Engineering this year as the 25th subject in GATE 2020 has not gone welll after dismal score, with the highest score at 41.67. It was bagged by Ganesh Shivajirao Kulkarni, of Kallam, Tamilnadu. While the highest score at 91 (out of 100) emerged from Computer Science and Information Technology, 2228 students who appeared for Biomedical Engineering seemed to be struggling. IIT Hyderabad to introduce BTech in Biomedical Engineering, making it the first IIT in the country to introduce the course at the UG level
GATE is planning to introduce a few changes in the exam pattern to increase the score. "Mock papers for the subject will be made available in future to help students improve their scores," says BR Chahar, GATE chairman 2020 taking with TOI. Of the 2228 students who appeared for Biomedical Engineering, 58 students qualified in the field, and in that 19 students were girls. The second topper's score was 41.0 and cut-off marks were 25.0 for General/EWS, 22.5 for OBC-NCL, 16.6 for SC/ST/PwD.
Lack of sample papers and new syllabus are the reasons cited for the low score. Renu John, professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering, IIT Hyderabad, says, "The entire syllabus is new and there were no model question papers available to the students. Those appearing for the exam could not fathom the difficulty level and the scope of the subject. They could not take mock tests to evaluate their level of preparation nor was there any coaching for guidance and additional resource materials, unlike other GATE subjects."
"Following the result declaration, the GATE committee, has decided to introduce changes in the question paper pattern based on the feedback of professors from the IITs, NITs and other major institutions offering the subject," John adds.
"The question paper for GATE 2021 based on the modified syllabus is likely to have less and basic questions based on biomedical instrumentation, devices, anatomy, physiology, biomechanics and biomaterials. Attempts would also be made to eliminate some of the advanced topics to scale down the difficulty level," John says.
IIT Hyderabad, he informs, is introducing BTech in Biomedical Engineering, making it the first IIT in the country to introduce the course at the UG level. "This would serve as a template for all the other IITs which till date offer the course only at the MTech level. The students who wrote the exam were mostly from the NITs and some other colleges offering BTech in Biomedical Engineering. With the programme being introduced at the UG level in the IITs, the students would be better prepared in future."
John says that it would take around 4-5 years for the students' performance and question pattern to stabilise as was the case with other GATE subjects. "Given the high prospects of Biomedical Engineering as an emerging discipline, the 2020 GATE performance will not dissuade aspirants to make it their life's calling."
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