Wednesday, October 05, 2011

IIT exam panel behind poor student quality: Super 30 founder

Anand Kumar, who founded Super 30, Bihar's widely acclaimed free coaching centre for Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) aspirants, has blamed the institutes' entrance exam panel for the poor quality of students making the cut, a concern voiced by Infosys Chairman Emeritus N.R. Narayana Murthy.

Anand Kumar said if poor quality students, as felt by Narayan Murthy, were able to get into the IITs, it was the responsibility of the joint entrance examination (JEE) committee. He said that students went to private coaching institutes simply because they don't find the school education system up to the mark for the JEE.

"The IITs should frame questions in such a manner that the real talent reaches there. The IITs should try to bring in greater transparency and have a proper examination pattern," Kumar told IANS. "It is because of the lack of knowledge about the IITs' pattern that the students have to run around the coaching institutes to acquire that little bit extra, which makes the ultimate difference," he said.

Anand Kumar, who welcomed the reforms announced by the IITs for the JEE, said that the students needed to be applauded, rather than criticised. It is their hard work that makes them crack arguably the toughest competition. "Once the students reach the IITs, it is the job of the teachers there to provide the environment where they grow.

Blaming the coaching institutes will not solve the problem. It is the professors and the teachers to teach in a manner that brings the best out of the students, who are from different backgrounds and social classes." he said. He said it was a shame that in a country like India, Hindi is plays second fiddle to English. Just because students cannot speak English, his talent can be undermined.

Addressing a gathering of hundreds of former IITians at a 'Pan IIT' summit in New York, Murthy said the quality of students entering IITs had deteriorated over the years due to the "coaching classes that prepare engineering aspirants".

Anand Kumar's Super 30 has helped many poor students from Bihar to enter the prestigious IITs. He had set up Super 30 to prepare 30 students for the IIT-JEE in 2002, providing free boarding, lodging and coaching to the selected aspirants. In the last nine years, 236 students from Super 30 have made it to the IIT-JEE. Most of the successful candidates have been from the less privileged sections of society.

Anand Kumar, who could not go to Cambridge University in the UK for higher studies due to extreme financial constraint after the death of his father, started the Ramanujam School of Mathematics in 1992 and founded the Super 30 a decade later.

Source: The Economic Times (Online Edition), October 5, 2011

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