Big Chunk Of Engineering Seats Remain Vacant In Odisha

Over the past few years, a steep decline has been noticed in admissions at Odisha’s engineering colleges, raising a serious cause for concern. These colleges offer a total of 34,223 seats (including government and private institutions), out of which 27,000 seats have remained vacant this year, even after the second phase of the admission process

So far only 7,100 students have secured admission in the two phases, of the 34,223 seats offered. The Odisha Joint Entrance Examination (OJEE) board has reduced around 4,073 seats in the 2019-20 academic session, following the trend of a low percentage of student enrolment.

Several reasons have been cited by various officials and faculties from reputed colleges of Odisha. Given below are few:

• Binod Das, the secretary of Odisha Private Engineering College Association (OPECA) stated that the vacant seats are a result of lack of interest among students in pursuing B.Tech courses as there are fewer jobs available in the field. Statistically, only 30% of Odisha’s engineering graduates have managed to secure a job in the last 5 years.

• The sudden rise of engineering colleges in the state, and their failure to meet due standards has been blamed by many. These colleges have contributed to falling standards and plenty of engineering students have suffered as a result.

• Many officials have also blamed the curriculum and education pattern of the Biju Patnaik University of Technology (BPUT) under which a majority of engineering colleges in Odisha are affiliated. BPUT is accused of following outdated methods which has resulted in engineering graduate not getting jobs in their stream.

Manish Tripathy, vice-chairman, OJEE has stated, “The core streams in most of the colleges are filled; however, there is less interest for admissions in lesser-known courses. The counselling process is ongoing and more seats are expected to be filled through the spot-admission process”. Notably, in West Bengal too, over 60 per cent of engineering seats remained vacant after the end of the counselling process conducted by the West Bengal Joint Entrance Examination (WBJEE) Board in July.