Govt to take call on test for admission to engg courses

Bhubaneswar: The State Cabinet on Thursday accorded flexibility to the Odisha government to decide which examination would be resorted to for admission to professional and technical courses.

“The state government today brought an ordinance on the amendment of Section-3 of the OPTI Act, which will allow it the authority or liberty to decide what kind of examination would be taken for admission to professional and technical courses,” chief secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi told media persons after the Cabinet meeting which was presided over by chief minister Naveen Patnaik at the State Secretariat here.

Taking note of the confusion arising every year on whether the state government would stick to the JEE Main or the Odisha Joint Entrance Examination (OJEE) for admission in Engineering stream, the Skill Development and Technical Education department had brought a proposal on amendment in Section-3 of the OTPI Act as per the recommendation of the Cabinet Sub Committee,” Padhi informed.

He said the Cabinet did not take any decision on the proposals of the Skill Development and Technical Education department for amendment in the Odisha Professional Education Institution (OPEI) Act.

“The report of the cabinet sub committe was presented before the State Cabinet. The chief minister directed the concerned department to resubmit the proposals to the Cabinet after examining them,” Padhi said.

A high power committee under the chairmanship of the vice chancellor of Biju Patnaik University of Technology (BPUT) had submitted its proposal in 2010 in which it had recommended in the amendment in the OPEI Act. To examine the recommendations, the state government had formed a cabinet sub-committee in 2012 to examine these recommendations and the latter submitted its report in 2014. The report of the sub-committee was placed in the State Cabinet today.

Apart from this, the cabinet sub-committee had also suggested amendment in the Fee Structure Committee by constituting a sub-committee under the chairmanship of the secretary of the administrative department to oversee and inspect institutions to find out if any of the institution is committing irregularities and charging more fees on different counts in any manner in contravention of the fee structure approved by the government. The Fee Structure Committee is headed by a sitting judge of the High Court.

“As it was impractical for the Fee Structure Committee to visit each college to see if any they are committing any irregularity, the cabinet sub-committee had recommended constitution of a sub-committee to perform the inspection work,” the chief secretary said.

The Cabinet cleared a proposal of the Health and Family Welfare department for change in the rules for Recruitment rules for AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy) Assistants.

“Presently, there a total of 892 vacant posts of AYUSH Assistants. Previously, there were no regular recruitment rules for appointment of AYUSH Assistants at the district and sub divisional hospitals. Now, with some changes in the rules as approved by the Cabinet, recruitment would be made through Odisha Subordinate Staff Selection Commission (OSSSC). Candidates with a qualification of Plus Two Science are eligible to apply for the post. The selection of the candidates for the said posts would be done on the basis of 30 percent career marks and 70 percent in the written test,” Padhi said.

The Cabinet also approved a proposal of the Technical Education department for amendment in the Rule-10 of the Odisha Technical Education and Training Service Rules for appointment of principals in government polytechnic colleges. Henceforth, recruitment of the principals for these colleges would be made as per the merit list prepared by the Odisha Public Service Commission (OPSC) on the basis of their seniority, he said.

Padhi said a proposal by the Labour and ESI departments for framing of Odisha Labour Welfare Fund Rules for the organised sector was approved by the Cabinet.

“The Cabinet approved the framing of the new rules for proper implementation of the Odisha Labour Welfare Fund Act introduced by the state government in 2005. The rules will be applicable to all factories, shops and commercial establishments engaging more than 20 persons in their muster roll. The annual contribution of an employee and the employer to the fund would be Rs 20 and Rs 40 respectively. Besides, the state government can also contribute to the fund from its resources,’ the chief secretary said.

Besides, the cabinet also cleared the proposal of the Energy department for exemption of VAT and Entry Tax on materials used under Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana.

“The state government had earlier extended exemption of VAT and Entry Tax on materials used under Rajiv Gandhi Gramin Vidyutikaran Yojana the name of which has been changed to Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana”, Padhi said.