B.Tech Admission Without JEE, OJEE: AICTE’s Decision Elicits Mixed Response

The decision of All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) to allow students who have not appeared for the OJEE or JEE to take B.Tech admission on the basis of entry-level qualification and eligibility criteria prescribed by it has generated mixed response among students.While a section of students believe that the decision will help those who failed to turn up for the exam due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some believe that it will belittle the standard of the course.“This decision will only help private colleges. It’s an unfavourable decision for us,” said a student, Arvind Sethi.Another student, Soumya Ranjan Das said, “This decision will help students, who couldn’t appear in the exams, get admission without wasting a year. It will also minimize the vacancies in engineering colleges.”Besides, educationists believe that proper modalities should be fixed for the admission of students after completion of the OJEE counselling. They also opine that repeated revision in the admission process is not a good sign.“There is no relation between admission into B.Tech courses and Coronavirus. The decision is not in favour of people of Odisha and it must be addressed,” said Sunil Sarangi, former director of NIT Rourkela.Students need to have Physics, Maths and Chemistry as their subjects in Plus 2. If a student has at least 45 per cent marks in these subjects, they get admission in engineering colleges.Earlier, the Odisha Private Engineering Colleges Association (OPECA) had filed a writ petition in the Orissa High Court after the State government declined to extend the benefits as per the AICTE  circular and the Skill Development and Technical Development Department was made a party in the petition.Hearing the petition, the HC directed the State government ‘not to create any unnecessary obstacle/ hurdle in allowing the petitioner’s institution to take admission of the students in B.Tech (Engineering) course for the current academic session’ 2020-2021.Moreover, OPECA has also written to the State Skill Development and Technical Development Department stating that the move will result in more admission of students into the B.Tech course. “People have been hit by the COVID pandemic. Many students couldn’t even appear for the exams. The HC has also accepted our plea,” said Binod Das, secretary of OPECA.He further said that no one should have any problem if eligible students can get a chance to study engineering. “We have requested the State government to consider the same and implement it immediately so that students will get benefitted,” he added.