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17 tech colleges to close down

Bhubaneswar, Jan. 14: The technical education department has received 17 applications from private engineering colleges in the state to close down some of their branches or the institutes altogether from the academic year 2013-14.

The applicants include 13 institutes in Bhubaneswar.

International Institute of Engineering and Technology in the city has applied for closure, stating that they have “no students” while 16 others want to shut down one or two branches for the same reason.

As many as 70 colleges had more than 50 per cent vacant seats. “We have received the applications and will forward them to the All India Council for Technical Education,” said department secretary Chandra Sekhar Kumar.

The branches that they have pleaded for closure include IT, MCA, applied electronics and instrumentation and pharmacy, each of the disciplines having around 60 seats. The department has 98 colleges. Engineering colleges have been struggling to deal with seat vacancy since 2009.

Although 63,000 students took the Odisha Joint Entrance Examination and were eligible for BTech courses, 18,000 took admissions, leaving more than 23,000 seats vacant in various colleges.

“The engineering colleges have become like sick industries and we demand that the state government provide them with rehab packages,” said secretary of the Odisha Private Engineering Colleges’ Association Binod Dash.

The institutes in the city that want to close some of their branches include Silicon Institute of Technology, Mahavir Institute of Technology, N.M. Institute of Engineering and Technology, Koustav Institute of Self Domain, Krupajal Engineering College, Koustav Engineering College, Mahavir Institute of Engineering and Technology, Roland Institute of Technology, Temple City College of Engineering and Technology, Roland Institute of Pharmaceutical Science, Techno School of Bhubaneswar and Gayatri College of Pharmacy.

Others are Ajay Binay Institute of Technology in Cuttack, Padmanava College of Engineering in Rourkela, Vigyan Institute of Technology and Kalyan Institute of Technology, both in Berhampur.

“The demand for some disciplines, especially IT, has gone down especially post recession. In another development, there has been a simultaneous increase in demand for core disciplines such as civil, electrical and mechanical. Also, students, who are in any other branch, are being absorbed in the IT sector whereas the opposite does not happen. That is the reason why most colleges have applied to close the IT discipline and we are among them,” said director of N.M. Institute of Engineering and Technology Subhas Chandra Mishra.