Reported by Santosh Jagdev
Bhubaneswar, Aug 13:
Hundreds of members of the Orissa Technical Colleges Association (OTCA), BPUT Students Union (BSU) and Odisha Private Engineering Colleges Employees Association (OPECEA) today started an indefinite campaign calling for reform of the Odisha Joint Entrance Examination (OJEE).
The association members said the campaign, called ‘Call for New OJEE- Campaign against OJEE Scam’, is being carried out across the state at various strategic points to draw the attention of the authorities to the various issues concerning OJEE.
The demonstrators burnt effigies of the OJEE chairman and Secretary and staged a dharna near the Governor’s house here alleging major irregularities in the OJEE.
Around 56 colleges were closed and more than 70 buses did not join duty today in support of the protest in places like Rourkela, Bargarh, Sambalpur, Cuttack and Bhubaneswar, claimed Biswajit Mohanty, president of OTCA.
Mohanty said rampant corruption and irregularities in the OJEE had resulted in the growing distrust and disenchantment among students about the institution. There has been gross violation of the High Court order on the Orissa Professional Educational Institutions (OPEI) Act, 2007 resulting in the failure of the admission process which affects the future of thousands of students, he said.
Mohanty said there had been gross violation of section (b) of the OPEI Act, which states that if the seats are vacant, then a second OJEE may be conducted. But this is not being done by the OJEE authorities till date, he said.
“Some officials of OJEE have managed to get a stay order from the apex court on the second OJEE counseling without informing the concerned State Government officials. The stay has jeopardised the careers of thousands of students who took part in the counselling to get admitted in different colleges in the state,” Mohanty alleged, adding, “We demand an independent judicial inquiry under Commission of Inquiry Act, 1952 into the OJEE scam and stringent action against the corrupt officials”.
Today, a six-member delegation of OTCA, BSU and OPECEA met the Odisha Governor S C Jamir at his residence here and discussed the 7-point of charter of demands including total boycott of OJEE, constitution of a reforms committee, appointment of a new team for OJEE and special financial audit for OJEE.
“After a 45 minute discussion with the Governor, we have got one more day from him to find a solution to the issue after he discusses the matter with State Government officials,” Mohanty said. If our demands were not fulfilled in the coming days we will stage a state wide agitation,” he warned.