Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Nov 7:
The policy planning board of the Odisha government’s Technical Education department that met here today to take a final call on Odisha JEE has recommended in favour of all-India examination (JEE Mains) like it was done last year, leaving of course the final decision in the matter to the state government.
The policy planning board, which has former Odisha High Court judge Justice A K Parischa as its chairman has 12 members including the secretary Technical Education and Training, secretary Higher Education, secretary Health, BPUT Vice Chancellor and representatives of the private engineering colleges’ body of the state that met today ended a little while from now.
The state government has been under pressure from private engineering colleges to withdraw from the all-India examination (JEE Mains) for admission to premier technical colleges and instead, revive the Odisha JEE.
Office bearers of the Odisha Private Engineering Colleges Association (OPECA) had earlier said that admission through the JEE Mains had led to the poor admission figures this year — “the worst in seven years”. The state had joined the all-India examination in 2013 for the 2014 academic session.The number of students taking the JEE Mains test has dropped considerably. In 2012, 63,635 students had taken the test and the number came down to 62,157 in 2013. The fall between 2013 and 2014 is significant with only 48,221 students taking the test, they added.
It may be recalled here that despite a special state-level JEE examination conducted at the behest of Orissa High Court, nearly 37,000 seats have remained vacant in the state’s 101 private and 10 government colleges. Only 11,000 students are pursuing technical courses in the state. It is in this context that the private colleges want the government to revert to the Odisha JEE.
Any proposed move to revert to the old system has invited criticism from various quarters. There has been criticism over deterioration of the education standard in Odia-medium schools. The performance of students in the JEE Mains last year drew criticism over the quality of students. Only 3,202 students had qualified for the JEE Advanced. Ultimately, only 59 students from the state could make it to various IITs.