BHUBANESWAR: With the private engineering colleges demanding free hand to fill up the vacant seats which are increasing every year, the State Government on Tuesday decided to examine the system adopted by other states in the matter of admission to professional courses.
Up in arms against the State Government for not addressing the problems of the private professional educational institutions, the Orissa Private Engineering Colleges Association (OPECA) has been demanding amendment of the Orissa Professional Educational Institutions (Regulation of Admission and Fixation of Fee) Act, 2007, to give liberty to the professional colleges to fill up the vacant seats.
After submitting a memorandum to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in November last year, OPECA petitioned the Chief Secretary last week after all the recommendations of the policy planning body (PPB) were rejected by Industries Minister Raghunath Mohanty.
Meanwhile, the Government had set up a committee headed by the Vice-Chancellor of Biju Patnaik University of Technology (BPUT) to look into the demands of the technical and professional colleges and suggest measures to resolve the problems.
The report of the committee and the charter of demands of OPECA were discussed at a high-level meeting chaired by the Chief Secretary.
Since OPECA has challenged the Orissa Professional Educational Institutions Act and the matter is pending before the Supreme Court, any changes in the Act are subject to approval of the apex court.
The Director of Technical Education and Training was asked to study the procedures being followed by other states in the matter of admission to technical and professional educational institutions. After examining the procedure adopted by other states, the Government will approach the apex court for necessary changes in the Act, official sources said.
While seat sharing and fixation of fee remained the major bone of contention between the Government and OPECA, the latter has been demanding that all the vacant seats after counselling should be handed over to the colleges to be filled up at college level. It is the practice in other states, OPECA claimed.
While OPECA requested the Government to issue an order directing to hand over all the vacant seats to respective technical and professional educational colleges, the Industries Minister said a decision will be taken after the counselling commences.
During the academic session 2011, as many as 42,722 engineering seats remained vacant while 4,495 seats in MCA had no takers.
The Law Secretary, the Industries Secretary, the Director of DTET and other senior officers were present at the meeting.