Freedom of Press is Severely Threatened in Orissa: MUFP

A meeting of Bhubaneswar based mediapersons, conveyed by Media Unity for Freedom of Press, after deep deliberations at the Lohia Bhawan , Bhubaneswar in the evening of 28 April 2010, unanimously determined that the Freedom of Press is severely threatened in Orissa. While exploring remedies, the following resolutions were unanimously adopted.

Resolution No. 1

This meeting condemns the bloody attack on mediapersons on duty covering plight of students of privately run Silicon Institute of Technology, Bhubaneswar. It appreciates the police action in arresting some of the spotted miscreants comprising management and staff of this institute; but simultaneously it puts on record that the police is yet to proceed in the right track, as all the arrested miscreants are enlarged on bail in absence of police ability to forward the case details promptly to the court of hearing and the body of the student that succumbed allegedly to food poisoning has been disposed off sans post-mortem and other medico-legally studies.

This meeting takes serious note of the advertisement of OPECA in various newspapers designed to denigrate the Press. OPECA advertisement goes on to say that “allegation against the Directors and employees of Silicon Institute of Technology for allegedly manhandling the media is absolutely false and fabricated”. When in subsequent advertisement the OPECA admitted the offense and offered unconditional apology, a team of its members have disowned it the next day and have openly tried to influence the Police Commissioner to drop the charges under 307 IPC under which prima-facie the attackers were booked. This meeting condemns the first ad. Of OPECA as blatant lie and resolves that the state government be called upon to appeal against the grant of bail to the miscreants specifically as their collective body has been trying to influence the Police to drop the charges under 307. It is clear that the miscreants were using their group to tamper with normal process of law by trying to influence the police commissioner to drop the charges of attempt to murder and if they are allowed to stay on bail, it cannot be said for sure that they will not try to tamper with evidences. Hence this meeting call upon the Government to go instantly on appeal against the bail order as well as to take action against the in-charge police authority that have helped the miscreants be enlarged on bail by not submitting the CD in time.

Taking into consideration the above scenario vis-à-vis the exhibition of cold silence by the Silicon College authorities over the sordid development this meeting hold that the Silicon College perpetrated the murderous attack on the media persons to obliterate the proofs of havoc they have played on the lives of students as well as to intimidate the Press and therefore, calls upon the Government to take exemplary action against SIT as a measure to discipline the errant traders of techno-education and to restore professional climate for the Press.

To bring the truth to light, this meeting of MUFP urges upon the Chief Minister to institute a time bound Judicial Commission of Enquiry under the Commission of Enquiry Act. to be headed by a Retired High Court Judge to probe into the incidents that lead to murderous attack on the media persons inside the Silicon Institute of Technology , after they went there to cover the alleged death of a student due to food poisoning, functioning of the SIT and all technical institutions who are members of OPECA, where neither the students nor the media persons are safe. The Commission may kindly probe into the cause of the sudden death of the student, role of police for not registering an Unnatural Death Case and handing over the body to the parents without ascertaining the cause of death and allowing the body for cremation. It may also probe into the role of the police in not filing the CD before the Court in time, role of the Public Prosecutor and circumstances under which all the ten accused persons were bailed out in absence of the Case Diary.

Resolution No.2

The MUFP expressed its grave concern over murderous attack on Mr. Amulya Pani by anti socials, while on duty. Though he has named the assaulters in his F.I.R. before the police so far the Kalinga Nagar police have not arrested the assaulters because of their high political connections.

This meeting of MUFP therefore urges upon the Chief Minister of Orissa to intervene in the matter and ensure arrest of the assaulters within a week and to take exemplary actions against the police officials and politicians for protecting the assaulters.

Resolution No. 3

This instance of bloody attack on media persons calls for immediate legislation against any such attack in future. Hence it is resolved that the government be moved to promulgate an ordinance pending framing of a law on physical protection of media persons, the nomenclature of which should be something like ‘Physical and Intellectual Protection of Media persons Act’ with provision of severe punishment. As such, this meeting calls upon the government to frame and promulgate an Ordinance styled as ‘physical and intellectual protection of media persons’ Order, 2010’ to be turned into an assize by the Assembly.

Resolution No. 4

It was shocking to note that the Lokpal of Orissa has been addressed by the Secretary of the Public Grievances & PA department to initiate appropriate action as per Section 15 (5) of Orissa Lokpal and Loayukta Act 1995 against journalists and media organizations that according to him have violated Section 15(4) of the said Act by publishing recommendations of the Lokpal in cases against Vedanta. Even as this meeting wants to make it clear that with evolution of peoples’ right to information, any restriction on press coverage of matters unrelated to defense privilege has become redundant; it is of the considered opinion that the concerned Secretary has no locus standi under the said Act to post such a notice to the Lokpal.

Hence it is resolved that the Secretary, PG&PA department has acted without authority in posting the notice against Press to the Lokpal and has, by seeking action “so as to prevent” the Press from publishing the Lokapal’s recommendations “in future”, has resorted to a criminal act of intimidation against the media persons/houses.
It is therefore further resolved that the role of the Secretary of the PG&PA department in the instant case is condemnable and therefore his action is condemned as anti-people, anti-Press and pro-dubious_industrial_operators. This meeting, on this ground, calls upon the State Government to take exemplary action against the PG&PA Secretary in order to assure that gagging of freedom of Press is not the job of this Government.

It was decided to submit these Resolutions to the Chief Minister in a Memorandum.

Advertisements

TECHNO EDUCATION IN DISARRAY: JEE TRIUMPHANTS RELUCTANT TO JOIN SUB-STANDARD INSTITUTES


Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Techno Educational Institutes (TEI) in Orissa are facing severe debacle this year. More than one third of their collective seat-strength is lying vacant. Candidates selected in Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) are reluctant to take admission in allotted TEIs, as to them, they are not of their expected standard.

TEIs are mafia’s new area of investment wherein profit fetching is smooth and stable. So, this year’s debacle is a shock to the traders of high tech education in Orissa.

Over and above the four numbers of TEI in public sector, there are 87 of these Institutes in the private sector, offering 33,000 seats in different areas of technology.

Selection of candidates for all of these seats is done through JEE and allocation of streams is done through counseling by the State. This year around 64,000 aspirants had applied for JEE and 33,000 candidates were selected for admission. When the public sector TEIs were the first preferences of the selected candidates, the privately run TEIs were cogently scrutinized by the career conscious candidates specifically in the matter of faculties available therein. This has led around 12,000 of them to abandon the idea of joining any of them as to their perception, teachers there are either deficient or of impaired efficiency.

The private TEIs are similar to each other in collecting as much money as possible from the students often in offensive violation of the norm fixed by the state and to the total detriment of didactics in the institutes.

After the matter was exposed in these pages on July 20, 2006 under the caption, “Scam engulfs high tech education in Orissa: merit markers silent!” the State Government had asked the private TEIs to submit through affidavits the amount they charge the students for admission and tuition vis-à-vis the curricular standard. But they did not comply with that instruction.

When the Industry Department contemplated administrative action to discipline the illicit money grabbers, whose avarice, as exposed in these pages, was clearly detrimental to quality of education in the TEIs, the Orissa Private Engineering Colleges Association (OPECA) coined a cunning stratagem to derail the official steps. Sri Biswabhusan Harichandan of BJP was then the Industries Minister of Orissa. The OPECA brought Swami Ramdeb for the first time to Orissa and spent several lakhs of Rupees in introducing him to the public at Bhubaneswar. There was a closet talk between Harichandan and Ramdeb for around an hour. Thereafter the Industry department’s contemplated action against private TEIs was surprisingly abandoned and the practice of auctioning seats to aspirants not selected in JEE continued.

Added to this incorrigible compromise with quality, in the private TEIs, working environment for faculties is conspicuous by its absence. There is no service code, no cadre rules, no standing orders, no matrix for promotion, no job security and no uniformity in scale of pay for the teachers. When the teachers in every private TEI suffer from sense of instability, as we have exposed on July 24 and August 30 this year, there are TEIs that treat them like helots and bonded labors. Aspirant students with higher I.Q. know that therefore there is no working environment for the faculty members in Orissa’s private TEIs.

On the other hand, there is no study environment for the students in most of the private TEIs. No perfect library, no perfect laboratory, no proper teachers, no proper common room, no proper playground, even no properly cared for toilets are available to students. Hence the aspirant students know that there is no study atmosphere in private TEIs.

This is why, even after passing the JEE, around 12,000 candidates have refused to take admission.

But as TEIs are meant for profit fetching and their owners are capable of satisfying the mandarins in the State secretariat as well as the men who matter in the ruling party, attempts were made to fill up the vacant berths through a second JEE, offering accommodations obviously to aspirants that were found not suitable in the first JEE.

That the students are aware of the farce going on in private TEIs in the name of high tech education is proved by the very fact that the later JEE could not get the required number of candidates to fill up even half of the seats lying vacant.

Factotums of Chief Minister Navin Patnaik claim that he will be remembered for helping the Vedanta University emerge in Orissa.

When under plea of paucity of time, he had made the budget session of Orissa Assembly guillotine the demands of as many as 20 departments, he had extended the session’s life to pass the Vedanta University Bill.

If Navin is so serious in bringing high quality education to Orissa through Anil Agarwal, why is he unable to see how high tech education is being butchered in the private TEIs as exposed and discussed in these pages?

OPECA had the audacity to openly offer seats in B.Tech, MCA etc to students with “just the pass mark acquired in +2 science through its ad on 04 June 06. We had expressed our concern over such sacrifice of quality at the altar of avarice of high tech education traders. But the administration run by the path-cleaners of Anil Agarwal and Ravishankar did not bother.

Consequently such a quagmire has become the private TEI sector that more than one-third of the JEE triumphants have refused to take admission in these institutes.

Should we still silently wait and watch?

KGI TEACHERS ALLEGEDLY ON ANVIL FOR METAMORPHOSIS INTO BONDED LABOURS

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

A senior faculty of Krupajal Engineering College, Bhubaneswar has confided in me that he and his colleagues holding faculty positions in the techno-educational institutes under the employer called KGI, are on the anvil for metamorphosis into bonded labours. They had been given draft copies of a Bond they were to sign and submit after authentication executed in Bond Papers, supplied to each of them (totaling 300) by the management of KGI on 29th August 2009, which they have complied with.

The Bond is so cunningly drafted that it shows the concerned teacher as having voluntarily offered to work as a Bonded labour in search of sustenance.

When in the first paragraph the teacher indicates his position, in the second he states, “I lawfully bond myself to serve the Institute /College at least for a period of 12 (twelve) calendar months / one academic session which is called as the bond period which in the present context i.e. for the academic session 2009-10 starts from 1st August 2009 to 31st July 2010”.

When the above statement makes it clear that the concerned teacher’s job is coterminous with the Bond after twelve months, oblivious of the fact that some of them have rendered continuous service for several years till date, every teacher is made to declare in the next paragraph that during the “bonded period” he/she cannot leave the Institute without completing the year’s course in its entirety. “I will ensure that my absence is not affecting the academics,” notes the vow under para.3.

In case the faculty leaves the Institution during the bonded period, he or she shall have to return the entire amount of money received as salary during the entire period of his /her tenure!

And, in the next paragraph the teacher makes the “employer i.e. KEC / KES / OCA / KBS / AMS / KITC” “empowered” “to recover the amount through due process of law” by stating therein that he or she shall be personally “liable for all incidental costs”.

bondI put here the copy of the draft of the bond for perusal by every faculty member of the above-mentioned employer as well as the employer, beseeching counter, if any, from one and all of them so that I would publish the same with a sense of relief that the teachers that are in a profession to build up technological man power in my State are not being compelled by private managements to distress-sell themselves as bonded labours.

In these pages on 24 July 2009, under the caption High Tech Teachers Treated Like Helots In Orissa, we had discussed how the teachers in these private Institutes / Colleges are perishing under unfair labour practice as the State has not yet framed and enforced Service Rules and Conditions of Services for them, even though massive growth of High Tech Institutes/ Colleges in the private sector has even encouraged mafia to explore the field.

Prof. Dr. Damodar Acharya, presently the Director of IIT, Kharagpur, who, as founder Vice Chancellor of BPUT, Orissa, was in the position of directly knowing the scenario of technical education in private sector here, has admitted in a TV interview on Friday that didactics in such Institutes in Orissa is in a mess. A former Chairman of AICTE, Dr. Acharya has expressed apprehensions that the private High Tech Institutes in Orissa are cultivating AICTE approval through manipulation inasmuch as the names and qualification of faculty members shown to AICTE are seldom the same as on their acquaintance rolls. Dr. Acharya’s observations are corroborative of our observations in these pages.

When a few of Orissa ministers are owners of some of these Institutes and in that capacity are the members of Orissa Private Engineering Colleges Associations and their activities are already extended to Medical education too, it is possible that if the KGI experimentation of acquiring Bonds this way would succeed, the others may adopt the technique with full immunity taking advantage of the power they enjoy. That would injure technical education beyond repair.

It is time, therefore, that the State as well as the AICTE / UGC should intervene and ensure that high tech teachers in the State are not reduced to bonded labours as such.

HIGH-TECH TEACHERS TREATED LIKE HELOTS IN ORISSA

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

At Sijua of Bhubaneswar stands NM Institute of Engineering & Technology. It is one of the 87 privately run high-tech educational institutes in Orissa, where teachers and staff members are being treated as helots in absence of any codified condition of service.

By an order on July 15 it has reminded the teachers and staff that there is no lunch break and hence they are debarred from going out for lunch. The order bears number NMIET/Academic/2009/139.

Under its stipulations, teachers and lab-staff are to stay on duty for 7 hours 30 minutes on all the working days that usually span from 9.30 AM to 5.00 PM. They are also required to attend duty as and when necessary at 7.30 or 8.30 AM, in which case their duty hours would end at 3.00 or 4.00 PM. So one is to work without lunch till 4.00 or 5.00 PM in a sub-human condition.

Behind this sub-human provision there seems to be a game plan of the owner of the institute. It almost compels the teachers and staff to cough up money as dictated by the owner in captive canteens where any food taken happens to be Hobson’s choice.

This is just a sample.

The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), suspected since long but currently in headlines for corruption, seldom inspects any private technical institute to find out if its norms are honored.

AICTE was set-up in November 1945 as a national level Apex Advisory Body to conduct survey on the facilities on technical education and to promote development in the country in a coordinated and integrated manner. And to ensure the same, as stipulated in, the National Policy of Education (1986), AICTE be vested with statutory authority for planning, formulation and maintenance of norms and standards, quality assurance through accreditation, funding in priority areas, monitoring and evaluation, maintaining parity of certification and awards and ensuring coordinated and integrated development and management of technical education in the country, says its pivoting document.

The document goes on to inform that the Government of India (Ministry of Human Resource Development) constituted a National Working Group to look into the role of AICTE in the context of proliferation of technical institutions, maintenance of standards and other related matters. The Working Group recommended that it be vested with the necessary statutory authority for making it more effective, which would consequently require restructuring and strengthening with necessary infrastructure and operating mechanisms; pursuant to which, the AICTE Act, framed in1987, came into force with effect from March 28, 1988 that equipped AICTE with statutory status on May 12, 1988 with power to formulate and implement proper planning and coordinated development of technical education system throughout the country, to promote qualitative improvement of such education in relation to planned quantitative growth and to regulate and ensure proper maintenance of norms and standards in the technical education system and to control, interpret and instruct in the matters connected therewith.

All these formulations are discarded in respect to Orissa. Instead of promoting qualitative improvement of technical education in relation to planned quantitative growth, Orissa has been allowed to become the hunting house of the mafia in this field. On 20 July 2006 we had shown in these pages how scam engulfs high-tech education in Orissa and how the mafia running the private institutions sale seats for several lakhs of Rupees to absolutely ineligible children of black money hoarders or fund-raisers. The report was captioned, Scam Engulfs High-Tech Education In Orissa: Merit Markers Silent! It took two years for the Government of Orissa to act. For the first time, the controlling department of Industry has only today banned admissions in Purusottam Institute of Engineering & Technology (PIET), Rourkela this year onwards while simultaneously clamping a cash fine of 5.4 lakhs of Rupees on situational spotting of high-priced sale of seats. But the AICTE is conspicuous by its absence in promoting qualitative education.

In almost all private technical education institutes there are teachers who could never have qualified for such posts in Government institutes. I was astonished to see a man whom I knew as an assistant electrical engineer with a checkered career in the chair of the Professor of Electrical Engineering last year.

The AICTE norm on faculty stipulates that Lectures should be recruited on merit basis through open competitions and higher posts up to the rank of Professors, on promotion from amongst the faculty members on merit and seniority basis. But Orissa’s private TE institutes recruit teachers on private preference of the owners and mostly nepotism plays the tricks. There is no recruitment yardstick, no Recruitment Board, no emphasis on competence. In such a situation, deficient hands get faculty positions within the pleasure of the owners of the institutes. And, work sans any demand for fair pay. And, this position encourages the owners of the institutes they serve to treat them as bondservants.

This year most of these private institutes have got a shock as a new institute, one of the 25 to get AICTE approval for admission, Shibani Institute of technical Education (SITE) has announced to pay its faculty and staff at the rate recommended by the 6th Pay Commission and seemingly under its impact, three other institutes such as KIIT, STI and SoA have declared to implement the same while GITA is reportedly contemplating to adopt the line. It is clear from this scenario that till this year none of the private TE institutes in Orissa has paid its faculty and staff at the rate adopted by AICTE or recommended by the Pay Commission.

On the other hand, a look at any of these institutes reveals that there are no permanent faculties in any of them. The primitive method of hire and fire keeps the faculty position ever so rolling that students are never assured of a regular course-guide. You will never find a single teacher or member of the staff in any of these institutes that does not suffer from sense of job-insecurity.

With students having “just the pass mark” in Plus-Two Exams in the classes of these institutes under the auspices of OPECA (Orissa Private Engineering Colleges Association) taken up by teachers that are too deficient of requisite qualification and competence to harp on fair and proper salary, the scenario of high tech education in Orissa is so alluring for the mafia that whosoever has earned and accumulated black money is in a position to become a baron of academic business in the field of TE.

Orissa has now 30, 000 seats approved by AICTE for admission under 4 governmental and 87 private TE institutes. They are to be taught by 2000 teachers. If the present pedagogic scenario does not change, there should be no doubt that the ultimate outcome would be most disastrous to the society.

Arrest of some AICTE officials on chance discovery of corrupt practices or penalty on a private TE institute on violation of admission norms will not solve the problem that has engulfed technical education in Orissa. The State Government must have to rise to the occasion and drag the owners of the private TE institutes that are being increasingly marked for their avarice than for academic service into discipline. To ensure that pedagogy in these private institutes runs on AICTE formulated norms, immediate steps should be taken to assize justiciable Service Code and Condition of Service for the teachers and staff in the TE sector including private universities with unambiguous stipulations to screen out deficient teachers with retrospective effect and with clear provisions to build up a select list of teachers through a Selection Board from which alone the private institutes may pick up their faculties.

The present treating of high tech teachers as helots by their masters in private TE institutes must have to be stopped by the State if at all it is run by a Government worth the salt, purely in interest of our future generations.

SCAM ENGULFS HIGH TECH EDUCATION IN ORISSA: MERIT MARKERS SILENT!

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

A casual calculation leads to a scam exceeding Rs. 200 crore per annum in Orissa�s High-Tech education sector. But the merit markers are silent!

Only a few weeks ago, we have seen, in the name of merit, how a horrifying protest was raised against proposed reservation of seats for the socially disadvantaged in institutions of technical education.

The medicos, most of whom have been able to get admission into institutes of medical education simply because their parents have amassed enough money to meet the charges of coaching schools, were the ones, who whipped up an agitation that paralyzed the heath care sector of the nation for around a month, till at least the Supreme Court intervened.

Reservation was / is designed to do away with merit, they had argued.

But, we see, they refuse to see how merit is butchered by operators of high-tech education. We will concentrate only on the Orissa scenario as a matter of principle.

Let us start with the admission notice of Orissa Private Engineering College Association (OPECA) advertised in the media on 04 June 06.

It says, �Students who have just acquired a pass mark in 10+2 Science� are eligible to seek admission into B.Tech, MCA and Hotel management courses under its member institutions.

How many such seats are available to the third class students whose merit manifests at the high point of �just�.a pass mark� in 10+2 Science in Orissa?

Out of 12806 seats in Engineering in Orissa, 11916 seats belong to private Engineering Colleges and out of 816 seats in MCA and Hotel management, 664 belong to them. This means out of a total 13622 seats in B.Tech. MCA and HMCT in Orissa, 12580 seats belong to the members of OPECA. According to the notice noted supra, the private colleges �have decided to share 50% of the seats with the Government�. This means, 6290 seats in Colleges clubbed under OPECA are available to students having �acquired just a pass mark in 10+2 Science�.

And, who are these students, who, having �acquired just a pass mark in 10+2 Science, aspire to acquire degrees from high-tech institutions? They are they, whose parents have enough black money to pay.

So whosoever has sources of black money is considered meritorious enough to have a seat in high-tech institutions in Orissa with �just a pass mark� in 10+2 Science.

How much these institutes take to hold these fellows with �just a pass mark� as meritorious enough for high-tech education? Bargain begins from five lakhs of rupees.

In the Admission Rules it is stipulated that no college can demand extra money over and above the approved fees as per Industry Department Resolution No. 10823-I-TT-I-2005 Dated 03 June 2005. The approved fees are: Rs. 30,000/- for Engineering/Arch; Rs.36,000/- for MCA; Rs.40,000/- for Marine Engineering and Rs.45,000/- for MBA/ HMCT/ Pharmacy. But this resolution is a shield to cover up the black deal done clandestinely.

There is no punishment specified under the Rules against any contravention thereof. Rule 19 only says that if any of the instructions provided under the Rules is violated by any College a complain should be lodged to either the Vice-Chancellor of BPUT or Director of TE&T or the Joint Secretary of Industry Department. And the matter ends there. Neither any of these functionaries has any power or authority to take up any proceeding against any manager of any un-aided private college that violates the Rule nor any of them has any power to inspect any institute to spot any violation of the Rules.

The Rules begin with the declaration that �There shall be no State Quota or Management Quota and the Private un-aided Technical/ Professional Institutions are free to fill up their approved intake as per options exercised by them for 2006-2007�.

This is as per the Supreme Court decision in P.A. Inamdar Vrs State of Maharastra case.

So when the un-aided private techno colleges are admittedly free from Government control as per the Case Law made by the Apex Court judgment, entertainment of any complain against them by any of the above officials is bound to push the issue into the labyrinth of Laws. Action against the errant is therefore, far from reality.

But on the matrix of reality, when the Supreme Court has given them a carte blanche to �fill up their approved intakes as per option exercised by them�, why have they decided to share 50% of their seats with the Government? It is they who can give the answer. But in public perception it is a mutual sharing of the booty.

Though the Private un-aided Technical/ Professional Institutions are, according to the Supreme Court, free to fill up their �approved intake� as they like, none of them can afford a confrontation with the Government officials. They know they are safe as long as Government stands with them. Beginning from approval to affiliation, there are umpteen opportunities for official authorities to harass private college operators. So they, notwithstanding whatever the Supreme Court says, cannot say no to what the officials suggest. They know that they have not invested money in private un-aided colleges for social service. This is a business they operate for profit and the rate of fees as fixed by the Government noted supra cannot give them any profit matching their investment. So collection of extra money from students is the only way to fetch a profit. Unless officials cooperate, this cannot be possible. And for officials, allocating seats to aspirant students, who are not meritorious enough to get admission to Government Colleges, is a sure source of un-noticed income. Saswat Pattanayak, presently in USA, while reporting for the Asian age and later for the Hindustan Times, had exposed the scam resorted to by government officials in blocking seats in private colleges for such students. Corruption has crippled the State so much that notwithstanding the in-depth exposure, this evil game has never been looked into by officials with the terseness it warrants. Hence the game relentlessly goes on. The officials� eagerness to see that 50% of private seats rest under their control is a pointer to this. Had they not succumbed to officials� pressure, the private, that too un-aided, college operators would never have �decided to share� 50% of their seats with the Government, when the Supreme court has given them the clearance to freely fill up all the seats of their respective colleges as per their own option.

It is common knowledge that mafia excels in coining words to transmit an intension, which is in fact opposite to his own, so that under a cover of public praise he can proceed towards his prey. Such a cover has been provided for in the guise of 15% reservation for the NRI children. Outwardly it looks very nice. One sees in it our Government�s benevolent concern for our own people staying away from the motherland. But in reality, it is a gift given by government to private colleges. Indians residing in foreign countries normally do not send their children to study in private colleges in a place like Orissa. So the seats reserved for the NRIs remain vacant. These vacant seats are usually, off the records, auctioned away to undeserving aspirants, thereby, generating unnoticeable income of about seventy crore of Rupees.

So it is a massive mechanism of scam that has engulfed technical education in Orissa. And in this scam, beginning from private college operators to BPUT to the Directorate of Technical Education & Training to the Administrative Department to the Chief Secretary to the Chief Minister, all are involved. Otherwise how �just a pass mark in 10+2 science� has been declared as the high-point of merit for entry into engineering and other professional courses?

Grease the palms and get anything done in Orissa.

You know this, I also know.

But I would like to know, how the fellows, who shanghaied our medicals into anarchy a few weeks ago under the claim of protecting �merit� from the shadow of reservation of seats for the socially disadvantaged, react to this open butchering of merit.

Will any of them react?