Published: 23rd November 2020
Engineering studies see spike in Odisha amidst pandemic and recession
A growth has been seen in key areas which education experts feel may boost popularity of technical courses as soon as the situation normalises
The coronavirus pandemic may have left schools, colleges and universities shut for nearly 10 months now but the crisis has not been able to dampen student community’s interest in engineering and technical courses in Odisha.
Student enrollment in various courses across engineering colleges, ITIs and polytechnics of the State are likely to steady this year, given the application and registration numbers. A growth has been seen in key areas which education experts feel may boost popularity of technical courses as soon as the situation normalises.
Despite the Covid crisis, a record number of students applied for Odisha Joint Entrance Examination (OJEE) 2020 which was 22 per cent more than the previous year. “We received 14,868 more applications in engineering and professional programmes this year,” said OJEE Committee Chairman SK Chand.
The number of candidates appearing in the BTech entrance was at least 400 more than the previous year. For OJEE 2020, as many as 79,754 applications were received and more than 49,278 students appeared the test and allotted rank. Though rank allotment is around 5,000 less compared to 2019 when 54,217 candidates got them, the number in BTech has seen a rise from 6,170 last year to 6,605 this time.
The Odisha Private Engineering Colleges Association, umbrella body of private engineering colleges in the State, is hopeful of a better admission rate this year. “As admissions have started, we are witnessing a rise in demand in core engineering courses such as civil, mechanical, electrical, electronics telecommunication and computer science,” said OPECA secretary Binod Dash.
With students preferring not to travel outside Odisha in view of the pandemic, colleges are hopeful of bringing down seat vacancy below 50 per cent this year. Last year, as many as 19,429 (around 62 per cent) engineering seats had remained vacant in the State.In ITIs too, the candidate registration for enrollment in 2020-21 has been very positive. As many as 70,875 students registered for various trades, of which, 58,877 have already completed their fee payment process.
This is a mere 4,000 less than last year’s number of 62,589 and nearly double than 2018-19 session’s figure of 31,550. There are 492 ITIs in the State including 49 government institutions. The Skill Development and Technical Education department is elated that more than 95 per cent seats in government ITIs are already taken.
Deputy Director, Skill Development and Technical Education (SDTE) Narayan Patel said more than 70,000 students had registered for admission in Diploma courses this year and 49,424 have paid fees to take part in enrollment process.
The department introduced Post Diploma in Industrial Security course for 2020-21 academic session for which more than 1,400 applications have been received.The department had launched a drive before outbreak of the pandemic under which which principals and heads of ITIs and polytechnics visited schools to interact with students to inform and educate them about scope and opportunities in these institutes.
Patel said, ITIs and polytechnics had also organised campus tour for high school students which clicked. As part of the campaign, ‘role model’ talks were also organised where ITI students shared their experience with school students. Currently, admission is underway at engineering colleges, ITIs and polytechnics and the government is hopeful that enrollment will improve further.