"The number of engineering aspirants from the state this year is comparable to the numbers last year when the mode of selection was Odisha Joint Entrance Examination (OJEE). Around the same number of students from Odisha had applied for engineering through OJEE in 2013," said Priyabrata Sahoo, secretary, OJEE.
OJEE authorities will conduct counseling for engineering and architecture admission in the state from the state-level merit list generated on the basis of JEE Main.
Around two weeks after the application process for JEE Main started on November 15, only around 22,000 students had applied by the first week of December. Worried about the small number, private engineering colleges had apprehended unprecedented number of unoccupied undergraduate engineering seats in the coming academic year and had asked the state government to plan a special state-level joint entrance to fill up the vacancies after JEE Main.
"The response is very good. We hope there will be far fewer vacant seats in the coming academic year," said Binod Dash, secretary, Odisha Private Engineering College Association ( Opeca).
Apart from students from Odisha, another 7,000 to 8,000 students from outside the state will take admission in Odisha colleges as the government allows private colleges to fill up 15 per cent seats with outsiders.
In 2013, 68,000 students had applied for engineering admission through OJEE, including around 19,000 students from outside the state. Of them, 62,000 had qualified for admission. However, over 24,000 of the total 42,000 engineering seats remained vacant in 2013-14.
"We hope for a better admission position in 2014-15 since admission in the state will be held around the same time as other states because of a common entrance. Previous years, since OJEE was delayed, many students joined elsewhere," Dash said.
The offline mode of JEE Main is scheduled on April 6 while the online test will be held between April 9 and April 19.There are 88 private and eight government-run engineering colleges in state, besides two deemed universities.