Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Techno Educational Institutes (TEI) in Orissa are facing severe debacle this year. More than one third of their collective seat-strength is lying vacant. Candidates selected in Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) are reluctant to take admission in allotted TEIs, as to them, they are not of their expected standard.

TEIs are mafia’s new area of investment wherein profit fetching is smooth and stable. So, this year’s debacle is a shock to the traders of high tech education in Orissa.

Over and above the four numbers of TEI in public sector, there are 87 of these Institutes in the private sector, offering 33,000 seats in different areas of technology.

Selection of candidates for all of these seats is done through JEE and allocation of streams is done through counseling by the State. This year around 64,000 aspirants had applied for JEE and 33,000 candidates were selected for admission. When the public sector TEIs were the first preferences of the selected candidates, the privately run TEIs were cogently scrutinized by the career conscious candidates specifically in the matter of faculties available therein. This has led around 12,000 of them to abandon the idea of joining any of them as to their perception, teachers there are either deficient or of impaired efficiency.

The private TEIs are similar to each other in collecting as much money as possible from the students often in offensive violation of the norm fixed by the state and to the total detriment of didactics in the institutes.

After the matter was exposed in these pages on July 20, 2006 under the caption, “Scam engulfs high tech education in Orissa: merit markers silent!” the State Government had asked the private TEIs to submit through affidavits the amount they charge the students for admission and tuition vis-à-vis the curricular standard. But they did not comply with that instruction.

When the Industry Department contemplated administrative action to discipline the illicit money grabbers, whose avarice, as exposed in these pages, was clearly detrimental to quality of education in the TEIs, the Orissa Private Engineering Colleges Association (OPECA) coined a cunning stratagem to derail the official steps. Sri Biswabhusan Harichandan of BJP was then the Industries Minister of Orissa. The OPECA brought Swami Ramdeb for the first time to Orissa and spent several lakhs of Rupees in introducing him to the public at Bhubaneswar. There was a closet talk between Harichandan and Ramdeb for around an hour. Thereafter the Industry department’s contemplated action against private TEIs was surprisingly abandoned and the practice of auctioning seats to aspirants not selected in JEE continued.

Added to this incorrigible compromise with quality, in the private TEIs, working environment for faculties is conspicuous by its absence. There is no service code, no cadre rules, no standing orders, no matrix for promotion, no job security and no uniformity in scale of pay for the teachers. When the teachers in every private TEI suffer from sense of instability, as we have exposed on July 24 and August 30 this year, there are TEIs that treat them like helots and bonded labors. Aspirant students with higher I.Q. know that therefore there is no working environment for the faculty members in Orissa’s private TEIs.

On the other hand, there is no study environment for the students in most of the private TEIs. No perfect library, no perfect laboratory, no proper teachers, no proper common room, no proper playground, even no properly cared for toilets are available to students. Hence the aspirant students know that there is no study atmosphere in private TEIs.

This is why, even after passing the JEE, around 12,000 candidates have refused to take admission.

But as TEIs are meant for profit fetching and their owners are capable of satisfying the mandarins in the State secretariat as well as the men who matter in the ruling party, attempts were made to fill up the vacant berths through a second JEE, offering accommodations obviously to aspirants that were found not suitable in the first JEE.

That the students are aware of the farce going on in private TEIs in the name of high tech education is proved by the very fact that the later JEE could not get the required number of candidates to fill up even half of the seats lying vacant.

Factotums of Chief Minister Navin Patnaik claim that he will be remembered for helping the Vedanta University emerge in Orissa.

When under plea of paucity of time, he had made the budget session of Orissa Assembly guillotine the demands of as many as 20 departments, he had extended the session’s life to pass the Vedanta University Bill.

If Navin is so serious in bringing high quality education to Orissa through Anil Agarwal, why is he unable to see how high tech education is being butchered in the private TEIs as exposed and discussed in these pages?

OPECA had the audacity to openly offer seats in B.Tech, MCA etc to students with “just the pass mark acquired in +2 science through its ad on 04 June 06. We had expressed our concern over such sacrifice of quality at the altar of avarice of high tech education traders. But the administration run by the path-cleaners of Anil Agarwal and Ravishankar did not bother.

Consequently such a quagmire has become the private TEI sector that more than one-third of the JEE triumphants have refused to take admission in these institutes.

Should we still silently wait and watch?

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