The Department of Higher Education (DHE) has proposed to increase the number of seats in colleges across the State from the ensuing academic session to meet the rising demand and retain local students in the colleges.
The proposal was mooted by the DHE after it received complaints that students were unable to get admission into colleges of their locality as the admission criterion was based only on merit. As per the proposal, some of the established colleges at the district level will be considered for seat enhancement for both junior and degree colleges.
Most of the non-government colleges in the rural areas were established to cater to the local students. But after the introduction of centralised online admission format, merit became the only criterion for admission into any college. As a result, many of the students could not get admission and were forced to seek admission elsewhere.
“The seat enhancement will not be needed everywhere. It will be done only in places like Khurda or Jagatsinghpur, where the local students with low merit are unable to take admission,” said Satyakam Mishra, Director of Higher Education. The proposal moots that meritorious students will be given admission under the current sanctioned strength and additional seats will be created for the local students.
The Student Academic Management System (SAMS) under Odisha Computer Application Centre (OCAC) has been given the responsibility to provide the IT infrastructure and support for the proposal. Since admissions are done online, SAMS will have a centralised database of the students who want to apply to colleges across the State.
“When DHE approached us, they wanted to retain the local students, specifically the girls, in their local colleges for studies. They did not want the students to travel to colleges at a distant place, everyday, to attend classes,” said a senior OCAC official.
With the centralised database on hand, OCAC can easily ascertain the number of students who have applied for a particular centre and the number of students who did not get admission in their nearby colleges. They will have the students’ marks and cutoff score of the college to decide on their admission.
With this system, the number of dropouts will also be arrested to some extent as the students unwilling to travel to distant places, will have new options. Around 10 per cent seat enhancement is expected to be done in select colleges, after the proposal is implemented.
The required reservation will be done after the first round of admission data are available with SAMS.