BHUBANESWAR: Close to 10,000 candidates have registered for admission into BTech courses in private engineering colleges for the residual seats which fell vacant on completion of JEE (Main) counselling.
In March, the Orissa High Court had ordered a special OJEE to be held for the seats which would not be filled up in BTech programmes after JEE (Main) counselling is completed.
Basing on the order, the OJEE had asked candidates to register. By July 10, the total registration stood at 9,700. Though admission for these seats will start in August after entrance test, the sheer number has surprised Odisha JEE officials, who said they did not expect such a huge response given the experience last year.
“Private engineering colleges have been reporting a rising vacancy in the last few years and during this period, several engineering colleges have come up in the neighbouring States. So, where all these students came from is surprising,” said an official.
Last year, vacancy in private professional colleges of the State shot to a staggering 60 per cent prompting the Odisha Private Engineering Colleges Association (OPECA) to urge the Government to allow admission to more students from outside States by revising the existing reservation system.
As of now, only 15 per cent students from outside States are allowed through JEE (Main) for admission into professional colleges of Odisha but with a sliding demand for engineering courses, OPECA had also demanded that the quota be raised to 40 per cent.
“We used to get a good share of students from outside states. However, ever since Odisha joined JEE (Main) stream, admission in the State is starting late - well after West Bengal and Jharkhand. Outside students are reluctant to wait for OJEE counselling,” said OPECA secretary Binod Dash.
Private colleges, this time around though, have reached out to the students through a strong marketing campaign which has brought in more number of registrations. This, Dash said, could help change the admission scenario.
However, OJEE officials say the actual turn-out for counselling will reveal the real picture since the Plus Two Supplementary Examination results would have been published by then.
Last year, only about 16,000 students had taken admission in private professional colleges from the JEE (Main) list against the total seat strength of 48,687 which included 3,700 seats in eight Government colleges.
Meanwhile, the registration for BTech courses from the JEE (Main) is still underway with over 16,000 students enrolling so far. The enrolment process and choice filling will continue till July 17.
As many as 50,000 students from the State had enrolled for JEE Main examination and about 45,000 appeared for the test.