BHUBANESWAR: The Supreme Court has stayed the conduct of special Odisha Joint Entrance Examination (OJEE) scheduled for August 10 till further orders.
The State Government had filed a special leave petition (SLP) before the apex court on August 2 challenging the Orissa High Court order for conduct of a special OJEE to fill up vacant seats in private engineering colleges.
Secretary to ETET Department CS Kumar said the Government received the apex court order on Thursday. “We had begun implementing the High Court order immediately as we did not have time, but simultaneously filed the SLP,” he said.
This year, more than 37,000 seats in private colleges had no takers after the first round allotment of OJEE. The HC issued the order after Orissa Private Engineering College Association (OPECA) filed a petition requesting a special entrance test to fill up the vacant seats.
Admission into MBA and MCA colleges through the special OJEE also came under the ambit of the High Court ruling. In 70 private management colleges that participated in the OJEE counselling, 3,801 out of 5,453 seats have remained vacant.
Meanwhile, the State Government has extended the second phase counselling till August 11 instead of August 4 in view of the flood conditions. This would mean JEE Main rank holders, who have not taken admission anywhere, can still participate in the second phase counselling.
Candidates, who have already appeared for JEE Main and OJEE, 2014, have been barred from applying for special OJEE. Despite repeated notices, it was found that existing JEE Main and OJEE, 2014 rank holders had also registered for the special OJEE.
OPECA general secretary Binod Das said the Association will file a review petition in the Supreme Court seeking reconsideration of the order. “We have no clue why ETET Department decided to challenge the High Court’s order despite issuing notification and making arrangements for the special OJEE,” he said.