25 % pvt engineering seats in Odisha to be reserved for non-Odias

Bhubaneswar: In a significant decision to fill up the seats falling vacant in private engineering colleges, the state government has approved extending the admission quota for students from outside the state to 25% from the current academic year.

The move comes after the Policy Planning Body, the apex advisory body of the Skill Development and Technical Education Department approved the proposal in this regard on May 30.

The Odisha Private Engineering College Association (OPECA) had earlier attracted the state government’s attention urging it to look into the large number of vacancies in engineering colleges after the state started to participate in the national level JEE Mains. It had also recommended to hike the Outside State category quota from the present 15 to 25 percent for admission into private engineering colleges and universities.

“Ever since OJEE has been stopped for engineering courses, the number of students taking admission into various technical institutions has decreased. But with the hike in the outside state quota, non-Odia students will get chance to take admission in more numbers,” said Binod Das, Secretary, OPECA.

According to sources, with more than half of engineering seats remaining vacant in most of the private engineering colleges even after full rounds of admission since last few years, as per the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) guidelines, about 5000 seats of a total of 83 private engineering colleges have been cut off this session. Last year, the total number of seats in private engineering colleges was 37,438 while this year the number has decreased to 32,160.

“The quality of education will increase if students from other states take admission because even if the quota has been raised, there would not be sufficient students in Odisha to fill up the vacancies,” Biju Patnaik University of Technology (BPUT) board member Sunil Sarangi said.

Meanwhile, talks are doing rounds that there are proposals to hike 30 percent fee in engineering courses from this year, a move which has been sharply criticised by students’ associations who question the role of OPECA.