Pradeep Singh

Due to lack of job opportunities, Odisha seems to be witnessing a steady decline in the number of students opting for engineering courses. In such a situation, students are seen taking admission only if they are getting seat in a premier engineering institution.

The situation is almost same in both B.Tech and Diploma courses. Now, students feel a revision in courses taking into account the current industrial needs and market scenario can help create more placements.

"The online education in the last two years has failed to develop our skills. Now, we are unable to take part in campus and most of the time, we are getting duped by fake campus selections. We would be grateful, if the government help us get placement," said an engineering student.

Another engineering student also urged the government to create job opportunities and said, "Parents are spending their hard-earned money towards our education but it is getting wasted due to lack of employment opportunities." 

On the other hand, seats in several engineering colleges are lying vacant due to the Covid-19 pandemic situation and the institutions are also facing the heat of low enrollment.

As per sources, there are 121 private polytechnic and 35 government polytechnic institutions in Odisha with an enrolment number of around 45000 students. Similarly, there are 80 engineering colleges with a total of 40000 seats. However, around 10000 seats are reportedly lying vacant.

Adding to the woes, the pandemic situation has also hit the campus placements hard. And, companies are hardly turning up for recruitment.

Taking cognizance of the same, a meeting was recently conducted by the Private Engineering Dchools' Association which has urged the State government and the Skill Development and Technical Education Department to introduce job-oriented courses.

"Robotics, Mechatronics and Automation are resulting in huge job losses. Focus should now be on enhancing the skills of students. Students also need to focus on advance skilling," said Saroj Kumar Sahoo, general secretary of the association.

To make students industry-ready, not only new courses but also there's a need to adopt new technologies, he further said.

Brahmanand Mishra, president of the Utkal Chamber of Commerce and Industry (UCCI), said a state like Odisha having so many industries should not face such job issue. "We have urged the government to robust the MSME sector," he said.