ROURKELA: After losing a year to the pandemic, more than 4,000 final-year students of private Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) from across Sundargarh district have joined the chorus along with 50,000 students from all over the state, demanding to be declared pass on the basis of practical and engineering drawing (ED) tests.
The tests are conducted by the Directorate General of Training (DGT), the apex body of all government and private ITIs in the country, under the Ministry of Skill Development and Training (MSDT).
The students enrolled in 36 private ITIs across Sundargarh district had appeared for the practical and ED tests, but a majority of them had to skip the theoretical test due to the Covid situation.
Even the final theoretical CBT (Computer Based Test) was held in February-March at various centres but many students could not appear citing risk involved amid the rising cases.
A private ITI student Ranjita Bag of Subdega block said it was not possible for her to travel about 120 km to the Rourkela centre for two days at own arrangement as her family was facing financial crisis due to the pandemic.
“Most students like me are acquainted with theoretical test Optical Mark Reader (OMR) sheets, but sudden introduction of CBT format and additional payment of Rs 376 for the format was difficult for my family,” she said.
All Odisha State Private ITI Association president Dr Arun Nayak said the DGT must consider their demand as a majority of ITI students hail from poor background and most of them belong to Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe category.
“About 70,000 ITI students of nearly 48 government and 388 private ITIs enrolled for one and two-year courses. Nearly 15,000 to 17,000 students of the government ITIs and about 10 private ITIs supported by corporate houses appeared and rest skipped due to the pandemic,” Nayak informed.
Nayak, on June 1, had sent a reminder to the DGT in this regard, while Sundargarh MP Jual Oram had also recently appealed to the MSDT to address the grievances of private ITI students. However, the DGT is yet to take a decision on it.