Reported by Santosh Jagdev
Bhubaneswar, July 16:
An engineering degree is an expensive affair at the best of times – in Odisha as well as in the rest of the country. But when you are asked to cough up the entire course fee amounting to Rs 4-6 lakh at one go, it becomes well nigh impossible for parents, except a few in the really high income group.
But oblivious of the paying capacity of parents, many engineering institutes in Odisha are doing precisely that: forcing parents to pay the entire course fee at one go at the time of the admission. Distraught parents have no choice but to pay up – or forget their dream of giving their children a technical degree in a bid to enhance their job prospects.
A man from the Baramunda area told OST that he was asked to pay the full amount when he enquired about admission for his son, who has just completed Plus Two.
“I went to NIMT admission officer M.Das and asked him about the admission process in the college. He told me that one has to make full payment at a time to get admitted to regular courses. But how can I afford such a huge amount – Rs 4 to 6 lakhs?” asked the father of the student, who would rather not be named.
Interestingly, a search of the website of NIMT Bhubaneswar found out that there was no information on the admission, examination, placement, syllabus, facilities and franchise.
When OST confronted Das with the allegation made by the man, he flatly denied it.
“We take the payment in installments,” he said, adding the important rider; “However, for regular and lateral entry in engineering, one has to pay 70 to 80 per cent of the fees, which amounts to Rs 40,000 per year, in advance.”
He justified it on the ground that most students leave the college after taking admission. “After the student gets registered in the college, one can pay his fees in installments every semester,” Das added.
Asked specifically about the claim of Rs 4-6 lakhs allegedly made at the time of admission, Das said; “I do not know who has said what during counseling. But I can assure you that students who have taken admission in various courses have not faced any problem in their results as the institute provide its own centre and all possible facilities helping students to fetch good marks.”
The ‘good marks’ bit brings us to the worst kept secret of some of the engineering colleges. It is a mere euphemism for allowing cheating, impersonation and involves disingenuous favours like switching off CCTV cameras during examinations.
“In fact, there are quite a few engineering colleges that assure their students ‘100% result’ in semesters and that sounds scandalous.” the father of another student seeking admission in engineerng course told OST.