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Since 1st March, 1999
 
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500 seats in engineering lie vacant

There are no takers for more than 500 engineering seats this year. The seats are vacant in engineering and technology colleges across the state ' excluding Jadavpur University, Bengal Engineering and Science University, (formerly BE College), and some other government-run technology and engineering institutions.

Surprisingly, this year, in a desperate attempt to ensure that not a single of the total of nearly 13,000 engineering seats remained vacant, the government undertook a string of measures.

The most significant of these was that for the 13,000-odd seats, the government had directed the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) board to take out a merit list of 30,000 students ' almost two-and-a-half times more than the actual number of seats.

'We understand there is a need to fill up each and every seat in our engineering colleges. We are working hard to find out a way to fill up these seats,' Sajal Dasgupta, director, technical education, said.

Sources in the colleges, however, said there is hardly any possibility of filling up the 500 vacant seats in the current academic session, as classes in most of the colleges started nearly two months ago.

Though the current trend of engineering seats remaining vacant is not new here, the poor response from the students this time has come as a shock to the government.

This is because apart from taking out a long merit list, the government, in another attempt to fill up the seats, had opened the JEE from all over the country this year.

Earlier, students of other states were not allowed to appear in the JEE.

The purpose of the move was to attract students from other states, so that the number of examinees is more and the seats get filled up easily.

This year about 65,000 examinees had written the JEE, against about 45,000 last year.

The central selection committee of the state JEE board, which manages placement of students according to their ranks on the merit list, has failed to fill up all the estimated 13,000 engineering seats this time because of 'poor' response from candidates.

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