Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: The plight of the technical education in Odisha has come to the limelight as over 33,000 seats have fallen vacant in private engineering colleges after the first phase counselling of the Odisha Joint Entrance Examination (OJEE).

Out of about 45,000 seats in 93 private engineering colleges, only 11,029 seats have been filled up after the first phase OJEE counselling.

Surprisingly, not a single student has taken admission in two engineering colleges in Bhubaneswar and one in Rourkela.

Apart from this, less than 10 students have taken admission in eight colleges, while less than 30 students have taken admission in 20 colleges. Besides, out of a total of 515 technical branches in civil and mechanical streams, there has been no admission in 123 streams while less than eight students have taken admission in 315 branches.

Asked about the matter, OJEE chairman Dr Tushar Kumar Nath said the seats will continue to remain vacant since the number of seats in these private engineering colleges is much more than the number of candidates available in the state.

But he said there is a possibility that some students will take admission in private colleges this year as per the revised conditions. “Apart from this, there will be a special OJEE as per the directive of the Orissa High Court after which a detailed picture will emerge”, he added.

Well-known educationist Dr Pritish Acharya said lack of proper infrastructure and poor teaching are the major factors for the sorry state of affairs in technical education in the state. “There is no campus selection in most of the colleges after completion of courses. Besides, exorbitant admission fee is another reason for which the students have shown little interest in pursuing technical courses,” he pointed out.