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OJEE or JEE? Odisha govt awaits PPB recommendation

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Reported by Santosh Jagdev
Bhubaneswar, Nov 3:

Even as there is total confusion among educationists on whether Odisha would continue participating in the national-level JEE Main for engineering admission in colleges inside the state or continue with the state-level entrance Odisha JEE due to a large number of seat lying vacant in engineering colleges, the state government is waiting for the recommendations of the Policy Planning Board (PPB), which will sit on November 7, before taking a call in the matter.

Odisha JEE OJEE

Odisha joined the JEE Main in the current academic session.

A series of meetings held earlier this year by the department of Employment, Technical Education and Training (ET & T), the Chief Secretary and the Minister have failed to resolve the issue.

“The PPB is scheduled to meet on November 7 where it will broadly discuss the issues prevailing in OJEE. As per the recommendation of PPB, we will take final decision,” said E&TE&T Minister Sanjay Das Burma here today.

It should be noted that till last academic year, the state was conducting OJEE. But this academic year, the government has decided to adopt the national level JEE-Main score to select students for admission to engineering colleges.

Opposing the scrapping of OJEE, Orissa Private Engineering College Association (OPECA) recently appealed to the state government to reintroduce OJEE from 2015.

Supporting the JEE-Main, Educationist Rajamohan Mohanty said it will make it easier for students of Odisha to plan their admission in Advance IITs, NITs and other engineering colleges in the state.

Sources said as a result of going for the JEE-Main for admission into state’s technical college in the state, 38,000 seats in these colleges remained vacant. The Odisha Private Engineering Colleges’ Association (OPECA) had moved the Odisha High Court for conduct of special OJEE and received an order in its favour.

Challenging the High Court order, OJEE authorities later moved the Supreme Court against the OPECA move. The apex court had then ordered a stay on the special OJEE test in the state.

However, the OTCA later moved the apex court with an intervention application to lift its stay order by considering the large number of vacant seats and the future of the students of Odisha.

Much to the embarrassment of the state government, the Supreme Court, on August 29, directed the Odisha Joint Entrance Examination (OJEE) to conduct a special test for admission of the students for over more than 38,0000 vacant seats.

Around 60% of the candidates ,who had registered for the Special OJEE, did not turn up to sit for the entrance examination. Only 3925 of the 10,871 registered candidates sat for the examination to fill up vacant seats in Engineering, MBA and MCA courses in various colleges across the state.

At present, the total intake capacity of the engineering colleges in the state is 51,121.