GATE score now valid for three years

Scores of the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) will henceforth be valid for three years. This will allow graduate engineers aspiring for admission to master?s degree programmes gain more work experience after completing their bachelor?s degree.

With GATE valid only for two years till now, students could only continue on a job for a year after completing their B.Tech. and then get admitted to an M.Tech. course. "A student who wanted to work for two years to repay a loan taken before admission to B.Tech. couldn't do so till now as his GATE score would have lapsed. But the change in rule will give them flexibility," said a senior official of the GATE admission committee.

Partha Pratim Biswas, former executive council (EC) member of Jadavpur University and a teacher, said: "The GATE score is important to get jobs in PSUs that do not hire graduate engineers too often. Sometimes, job opportunities in PSUs open after a gap of a year or two. It will greatly benefit those candidates who are waiting to get PSU jobs as the GATE score will now be valid for one more year."

The two-year validity of GATE scores was a deterrent for students who wanted to do their M.Tech. after joining jobs and gaining considerable work experience. "Most firms have a probation period of one year. So students need another year to gain experience. Moreover, companies also want students to get more than a year's industry experience. Now, students will get an opportunity to gain more than a year of industrial exposure and then join the M.Tech. programme," Biswas added.

A senior teacher of chemical engineering at JU further added, "The course curriculum that engineering students follow at various colleges hold relevance for a maximum of four years. Hence, even if the validity of GATE score is increased from two years to three years, there will be no dilution. Relevance of domain knowledge won't be destroyed."

"If the GATE score that a student may have achieved at the end of their fourth year undergraduate studies is valid for three years, then he can join a job and then pursue M.Tech. with considerable work experience. He will not have to reappear in GATE after two years of working, which would have required him to prepare for the examination all over again," said another teacher.

The success of extending validity of the GATE score card from two years to three can only succeed "if the GATE question pattern remains unaltered for three years. Else, the quality of students will vary," pointed out Biswas.
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