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
"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.
(Imran Khan can be contacted at email@example.com)