Bhubaneswar: Students completing their education from government-run school will now be eligible to avail quota during admissions to medical and engineering colleges in the state from next academic year.
A decision to this effect was taken by the State Cabinet at a meeting presided over by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in a video conferencing on Monday.
Briefing media after the meeting, Commissioner-cum-Secretary, Higher Education Saswat Mishra said after the introduction of centralised examinations like NEET and JEE for medical and engineering courses, it is observed that the number of meritorious students from government high schools and colleges in Odisha eligible for admission in these institutions has come down over the years due to a deeper divide in access to coaching classes, which is missing in rural areas.
These centralised competitive examinations require special skill sets which are imparted mainly at coaching centres and online coaching classes. But, as such centres are limited to mostly urban pockets and high economic cost of access to such facilities, thousands of meritorious students from the government school system are at a disadvantage and therefore, fare lower than their potential in the entrance examinations, he said.
To correct this imbalance and provide confidence to the meritorious students of government schools, the state government has decided to provide reservation to eligible government school and college students for admission in medical and engineering colleges from the next academic year onwards, Mishra pointed out.
To finalise the modalities for implementation of the Cabinet decision, a high-powered committee headed by retired Judge of Orissa High Court will be constituted with eminent persons, including educationists as members.
The Committee will be mandated to submit the report within three months so that the recommendations can be implemented from the next academic year.