Though students have a reason to cheer with the state government waiving off the JEE condition for admission into BTech courses, colleges are far from having a sigh of relief.
The technical department has allowed admission to only those students, who have secured minimum 65% aggregate marks in three subjects (physics, maths and one of the subjects from chemistry, biotech, computer science and biology) in the qualifying exam.
According to sources, only 350 BTech seats have been filled out of 7,000 seats in 17 private colleges in the state.
The association of private engineering colleges has called a meeting in Chandigarh on Sunday for discussing the issue. The private engineering colleges have raised the question that when the All-India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) allows students in engineering with 45% marks than how the norms could be different in the state. "We welcome the decision of the government for withdrawing the condition of JEE, but it has not given any relief to colleges as another condition of 65% marks has been imposed," said chairman of the HP Technical Institution Association RK Abhilashi.
He added that the neighbouring states had not imposed any such condition so a large section of students from the state had migrated to other states. He said if the condition was not waived off, they would have to shut down the colleges.
Sources said the private engineering colleges have been allowed admission till August 15.
Sources said the private engineering colleges had also given an undertaking that a separate test for admission in BTech courses would be conducted for colleges in the state and they would recruit 10 lecturers from Himachal.
Sources added that the private engineering colleges might take a decision to admit students as per AICTE and if needed they would move the court.
According to a rough estimate, in 2012, around 40% seats were filled in engineering colleges, but this year the figure may reduce to 25% putting a question mark on the existence of engineering colleges, despite relaxation in the JEE norms.
Sources said the intake in 30 polytechnic colleges was also very low and only 250 seats have been filled against the available 7,500 seats.
Minister for technical and vocational education GS Bali was not available for comment. Registrar of HP Technical University Manoj Kumar said the colleges were apprised of the decision of the government. Secretary, technical education, RD Dhiman was also not available for comment.