25,000 BTech seats across private Odisha engineering colleges have no takers

Bhubaneswar,News Today.07th December 2020:A staggering 25,000 seats, about 84 per cent of the total intake of private engineering colleges of Odisha, have remained vacant this year after completion of admission by Odisha Joint Entrance Committee (OJEE) in November.  It is around 3,500 more than the last year’s number. Odisha has about 34,000 BTech seats of which 4,300 are with government colleges, while the remaining 29,700 are with 88 private engineering colleges.  Sources in OJEE panel said more than 95 per cent BTech seats were filled in government colleges during the counselling but it was the other way round for private engineering colleges where only 16 per cent seats were filled.

“Approximately 8,800 students have enrolled into BTech programmes in both government and private engineering colleges. Out of it, the admissions in private engineering colleges is around 4,800,” a top OJEE official said.

Engineering colleges have been recording more than 60 per cent vacancy for the last three years. The things, however, seem to have worsened following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. OJEE officials, however, said the gap is expected to reduce as vacant seats have been returned to the colleges so that they fill up at the campus level.  The Odisha Private Engineering College Association (OPECA) said although around 21,500 seats had fallen vacant in private engineering colleges after counselling in 2019-20, around 8,000 seats were filled at the college level and later, the vacancy reduced below 60 per cent.

“We have time for enrolment till December 21. We expect to enroll good number students in the colleges during this period as many students are reluctant to go outside State to pursue technical courses in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic,” said OPECA secretary Binod Dash.

Dash said the interest of students for engineering courses in the State will increase if the centre of excellences are set up in fields such as Micro Electronics, Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning, Automobile, Cloud Computing, 5G communication, Robotics, VR and AR, Data Analytics, Cyber Security and Industry 4.0.

“Despite having around Rs 700 crore fund, the BPUT is doing nothing in this regard. The Chief Minister should intervene and ask the department to take appropriate measures in this regard to make students industry-ready,” Dash said.

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