Staff Reporter

BHUBANESWAR: The Orissa Private Engineering Colleges Association (OPECA) on Tuesday said it would not participate in the counselling conducted by Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) for admission into engineering colleges in the State till Supreme Court disposed of a case pertaining to controversy.

The decision was taken by the association after its meeting with the Industries Minister and other government officials at the State secretariat.

Supreme Court was scheduled to hear the case on July 18, he said. “But at present we don’t know the outcome of the court battle. If JEE authorities decide to go ahead with the counselling from July 18, they would do that at their own risk,” OPECA Secretary Binod Das warned.

Moreover, there was no room for discussion in the Ministry and Secretary-level since recommendation was sent by them to Chief Minister’s office in this regard on April 2, he said adding the file was returned a fortnight ago without any assurance. “We had submitted an elaborative representation on June 24. But there was no urgency on the government side,” the OPECA Secretary said adding that in the worst situation they would not take students for a year. On Tuesday, Industries Minister Biswa Bhushan Harichandan said the matter had been referred to Law Department seeking its view on the Act. The government would take decision on July 18, Mr. Harichandan said.

Private engineering colleges were demanding autonomy over filling up seats, which were lying vacant subsequent to general counselling by Joint Entrance Examination JEE committee. Besides, OPECA was opposed to various provisions under the Act.

In odd situation

But whatever is the status of engineering counselling, the JEE authorities have found themselves in an odd situation. They had already invited the wrath of parents by declaring postponement of medical counselling in the last moment. There are about 21,000 seats in both government and private engineering colleges across the State.