Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, May 14:
That private engineering colleges in Odisha have been in dire straits has been clear for at least two years. But it’s official now.
While one college has already sought and received permission from the Department of Technical Education and Training (DTET) to shut down altogether, 21 more have decided to do away with certain streams because there are very few takers for seats in these streams.
The closure of these streams would mean that there would be no admissions for 1170 B-Tech seats, 72 M-Tech seats, and 250 seats in MBA and MCA disciplines, sources in the DTET said.
The lone application for closure received by the DTET has been forwarded to the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) for necessary action, the sources added.
For the last two years, more than 25, 000 seats in the private engineering colleges have remained vacant. Last year was particularly bad with nearly 32, 000 out of the 45, 000 odd B Tech seats available across the 98 engineering colleges, a majority of them in and around the Twin City of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack, remaining vacant.
The aviodable stand-off between the Odisha Private Engineering Colleges Association (OPECA) and the Odisha government over the latter’s decision to do away with the Odisha Joint Entrance Examination (OJEE) and depend on the All India JEE merit list for admissions in engineering colleges of the state instead certainly did not help.
The OPECA predictably went to court against the decision and obtained an order for holding of OJEE. But the OJEE held at short notice turned out be nothing short of a disaster. Of the 10, 000 students who filled up applications for the OJEE, only 4, 000 chose to take the test and only 1, 200 finally took admission.
Observers of the engineering education scene in the state are of the view that the trickle could become a flood and many more private engineering could close shop if the scene this year turns out to be anything like it was last year.
Mercifully for the engineering colleges though, about 52, 000 have taken the OJEE this year of which about 30, 000 are expected to finally take admission. That would still leave about 15, 000 seats vacant. But it will still be better than the last year.