Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, May 13:
The Odisha Government will add 20 percent more seats in Plus Two colleges this year in view of the excellent results in the matriculation examination, which is certain to raise the demand for seats in the state.
While 4,64,373 students passed matriculation this year, there are only 3,57,828 seats available in +2 colleges across all streams as of now amounting to a shortfall of 1,06,545 seats.
“The seat expansion in colleges would be based on the infrastructure and interest of students in that college. We would certainly add 20% more seats and reconsider it should there be a need,” said Higher Education Department Minister Pradeep Panigrahy.
The minister, however, clarified that expansion beyond 20% can be considered where the necessary infrastrc=ucture is available.
Even if 50,000 students join in ITI and Diploma courses this year, there would still be a shortage of seats for another 50000 students. Also, movement of students from CBSE and ICSE boards are expected to make matters worse.
The situation presented a challenge like previous years when thousands of students dropped out after matriculation due to lack of seats in +2.
“The higher education department had asked for suggestions from different colleges to work on a strategy to address the issue following which a decision was taken to add seats in colleges as and where infrastructure and facility permits. A final decision would be taken by a high elevel committee chaired by the Principal Secretary of Higher Education Department,” said chief of PMU cell Mihir Kumar Das.
Das also informed that the government has received proposals from 1200 colleges to add seats in +2 and +3 categories. The proposals are being studied by the government now.
“The government has arranged for more seats in +2. We are doing everything we can to increase the GER (Gross Enrolment Ratio) in higher education of the state. We are also considering adding more seats in +3 streams in line with the vision of the Chief Minister,” he added.
While there was an acute shortage in +2 last year, the situation was quite the opposite in +3 where many colleges reported vacant seats. Overall, an expansion of 20% of seats should be able to address the challenge this year for +2 streams.
It may be noted that the government is trying to encourage tribal students to take admission in their local colleges to enhance literacy rate in tribal belts. Students from those areas are not very keen to relocate to study elsewhere in the state. They would be given 15 percent weightage over and above their examination numbers during admission to secure seats for them in local colleges.