Odisha Education Goes Downhill
More educational institutes and colleges are mushrooming overnight but the number of students is falling steeply year-on-year that results in total failure of the government to restore education in the state. Focussing on technical education in Odisha it seems to be changing for the worse. At present in Odisha, there are more than 250 technical colleges with investment of more than 5000 crore and more than 50,000 people are directly employed and more than 2 lakh people are employed indirectly in this sector. Moreover 96 per cent of technical education in India are run by private sector.
Technical education in Odisha has seen a substantial growth from one engineering college in 1956 to 105 engineering colleges in 2010. At present the state has two centrally-funded institutions, 8 state government-funded engineering institutions, 92 self-financed engineering institutions and 2 deemed universities and 1 state private university.
The student enrollment in engineering education has gone up from 250 to 45,000 but it’s still less than the national average of 50. State of Odisha has to see further growth in technical education in means of number of colleges and intake.
the education System prevalent in Odisha
In elementary education in Odisha 96 per cent is under government and 4 per cent under private. In higher secondary education ICSE pass-outs are only 1000 and CBSE pass-outs are around 6000 and CHSE, Odisha, Science, 41,351 as per 2011 results. So total pass-outs of +2 is less than the number of seats in technical colleges. So we need to increase the +2 level of strength. Odisha has a large amount of human resources, but we are not utilising it; our students are moving out of Odisha for higher studies due to our faulty admission procedure
Initially technical education institutions were under various universities in the state. In due course of time various problems cropped up. In 2003 our state government decided to bring all technical institutions under one roof. So Biju Patnaik University of Technology (BPUT) was established to remove all ambiguity and delay process in technical education and to promote quality technical education in the state. But after eight years of its formation, BPUT is moving towards collapse. The present situation of BPUT is worse than one can think of.
- A) Exams are not held in time. Results are not published in time. Four years course has been extended to 4.17 years and 2 years M.Tech course has been extended to more than 3 years. The delay in conducting examination, and late declaration of university results are forcing our own students to take admission outside the state.
- B) Further BPUT does not conduct programmes for teacher training which is the need of the hour.
So if we have to save BPUT from collapsing, then BPUT must be strengthened.
Problem: Almost all posts are lying vacant. The University is running with a handful of people, which is the main cause of the collapse.
the System on a par with that of other State?
Our admission system is not on a par with other states. We don’t have any seats in our hand of our unaided self- financed colleges. All hundred per cent seats are controlled by government. We are enclosing a comparative statement of other states from which you can have detailed knowledge about private technical colleges in Odisha.
the initiatives taken by the state government to raise facelift
State government does not take any steps to uplift the technical education in the state. Odisha Professional Educational Act was introduced in 2007. But with its introduction it brought in unprecedented volumes of problems rather than a solution. The said Act does not have any clear-cut admission guideline. In fact, there is no clear-cut guidelines for filling up of NRF seats and general vacant seats. Students were more, and seats were less but for last 5 years the seats are more and students are less. As such more than 50 per cent seats remain vacant. And above this we have to face obstacles from our government when we try at our level to fill up these vacant seats. With such problems we have to run from pillar to post to get permission from the government for filling up vacant seats and move for legal help.
The Act Amendment Committee formed by the government, vide order no. 9630/1, dated 4.7.2009, had invited for suggestions with regard to amendment of the Act. OPECA had suggested a few amendments through our proposal dated 21.8.2009. Among them the main points are: Seat sharing ratio of 50: 25: 25. That is JEE would be held for 50 per cent seats, 25 per cent seats shall be filled up through AIEEE counseling and 25 per cent management quota including 15 per cent NRI seats to be filled at college level. With regard to vacant seats we had suggested that all vacant seats after 1st round of counseling to be handed over to the colleges to be filled up at their level from JEE & AIEEE qualified candidates, and if seats still remain vacant then from +2 science qualified students.
We have already submitted our suggestions several times to the government with admission guidelines of other leading states like Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerela, Gujarat Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, etc. The Amendment Committee gave its recommendation with respect to amendment of the Act on 9.1.2010, but till date the OPE-Act-2007 has not been amended and each year we have to face problems during admission procedure and in fee structure.
With regard to job opportunities most colleges try to bring very good companies for good students and middle-level companies for mediocre students. Most colleges try to give campus placement to as many students as possible.
Institutes well-equipped to provide Education
Many institutes in the state have good infrastructure well-equipped laboratories and classes to give updated knowledge to the students.
By Binod Dash
(The writer is Honorary Secretary, Odisha Private Engineering College Association and Chairman-Cum-Managing Trustee, Synergy Group.)