Will Odisha pull out of JEE Mains from next academic year?

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Bhubaneswar: The concerns of the Odisha Private Engineering College Association (OPECA) on pulling out of JEE Mains examination from next academic year further curved in, as the Odisha Joint Entrance Examination (OJEE) authorities failed to agree with OPECA’s decision. The OPECA had urged the state government to opt out of the exams from henceforth.

Blaming the JEE Mains exam for the vacant engineering seats in the private colleges of the state, OPECA had earlier requested the state government to recall OJEE from the next year. However, not satisfied with the proposal, OJEE said changing the process will not have any impact on the admissions.

According to sources, the private colleges have reported nearly 27000 vacant seats in the engineering courses this year.

OPECA also mentioned that only six states are admitting students qualifying JEE Mains. All other states are still following their own admission test for the states, helping the candidates easily qualify for the engineering seats.

Speaking to OTV, OPECA Secretary Binod Dash said, “We have asked the state government to reconsider opting out of the JEE Mains from the next academic year.”

“Through the Special JEE, nearly 25% students got enrolled in this academic session. However, over the last four years there has been a steady decline in enrolments in the engineering colleges due to JEE Mains as only 10 per cent of the seats get filled up through the exam. So, JEE Mains should be avoided and the State should reinstate OJEE from next year,” he added.

As per reports, in 2014, 67 percent of the total seats in private colleges remained vacant; it was reduced to 60 per cent in 2015, while the number again rose to 62 per cent in 2016.

However, citing the trend over the past seven years, OJEE authorities mentioned that every year almost 15000 to 20000 seats are getting filled up. So, changing the guidelines and opting out of JEE Mains would not have any impact on the current admission status, sources in OJEE said.

“It is the right of the students and their parents to choose their career. Entrance is never an entrance for admission,” said Tushar Nath, OJEE Chairman.

“We have almost 42000 rank holders in JEE Mains exam. But only 16000 of them got enrolled in the private colleges in the state. Who thinks about those remaining candidates who don’t come to the admission process,” added Nath.

Meanwhile, All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE)’s warning to OPECA has raised further concerns of the private colleges in the state after a notification in the 2017-18 Approval Process Handbook stated about closing down the respective branches if 30 per cent of their seats do not get filled up.

“Institutions having courses where the admission is less than 30% of approved intake for the last five years consistently and if it continues for the current academic year, such courses shall be closed next year with the approval of the Council,” the notification said.

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