Bhubaneswar: Going out of the way to address the worries of the private engineering colleges in the state, which have seen a drastic fall in student intake over the last few years, the Odisha government has tweaked the norms of All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) in an effort to get more aspirants admitted into Engineering courses.
As per AICTE norms, for admission into 1st year of Engineering/Technology, an aspirant should have passed the 10+2 examination with Physics and Mathematics as compulsory subjects along with one vocational subject with at least 45% marks in each of these subjects.
But, bending the rules, the Odisha Joint Entrance Examination (OJEE) has set the minimum eligibility criteria at an average of 45% of marks in five subjects instead of three as per AICTE norms.
Surprisingly, the OJEE guidelines do not mandate the minimum of 45% in each individual subject as stipulated by AICTE. All it says is: "The candidate should have passed the individual subject."
The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), which conducts the JEE Main examination, also mentioned the AICTE norms in the admission booklet.
“By doing this, we are encouraging students of low intellectual level to study engineering besides helping degrade the quality of technical education in our State. Can we expect better engineering graduates by following such an admission pattern?” asked Pritish Acharya, an educationist.
“After completing the education, what will be their job prospects? Are we not responsible for it indirectly?” asked he.
OJEE authorities, however, maintain that the State government has not actively worked to implement the new guidelines.
“The candidate securing an average of 45% will be allowed to get engineering education. The government has approved this norm but no measures have been initiated so far to implement the new norms....An aspirant can follow either of the two norms while taking admission into engineering courses,” said OJEE chairman Tushar Kumar Nath.
There are less than 43,000 aspirants for the 45,000 engineering seats in the 90-odd colleges here this year. Around 18,000 students had taken admission last year while above 50% of seats in private engineering colleges remained vacant in 2013 and 2014.