BHUBANESWAR: As many as 18 private engineering colleges of the State have managed to admit just about 10 students - or even less - at the end of the first allotment of seats on July 31 by the Odisha Joint Entrance Examination (OJEE).
The dismal admission rate has called the bluff of the private engineering colleges, which have been seeking more power in admission matters.
This year, 101 private engineering colleges - with a collective seat strength of 45,200 - took part in OJEE counselling. More than 37,000 seats have so far remained vacant, making it the highest vacancy figure till date. Of them, 45 institutes struggled to admit 50 students or less, a trend which has clearly showed there are virtually no takers for new private engineering colleges in the State.
The intake in majority of these colleges is more than 350, with the highest being 567 seats in a few of them. Sources said about 30 private colleges of the State have been regularly recording very low admission for the last three years. The sanctioned strength of these private engineering colleges though has been on the rise despite the low admission rate.
The huge gap between the sanctioned intake and final allotment is a clear indication of falling interest in new private colleges. On the contrary, all 3,517 seats in 10 Government engineering colleges of the State have been filled up after the first allotment.
Interestingly, the private colleges, despite receiving low number of students, have even been trying to introduce second shift to boost their intake.
Declining quality of academics is stated to be the main reason behind the low admission rate. Secretary to Employment and Technical Education and Training (ETET) Department C S Kumar said there is no accountability due to the absence of a strong legal provision to govern technical education. “There should be a legislation in the State, like for Higher Education, to ensure quality technical education and its adequate monitoring,” he said.
Registrar of Biju Patnaik University of Technology (BPUT) Mihir Nayak, on the other hand, said there is a gap between industry requirement and skilled manpower churned out by technical institutes. The All-India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) is mandated with approving the intake of private colleges every year.
However, the special OJEE, which will be conducted on August 10 to fill up vacancies, may offer a ray of hope for the private colleges as more than 30,500 candidates have applied for the test.