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Updated: April 28, 2010 16:46 IST

Opening the IIT doors to the underprivileged

R. Keerthana
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Anand Kumar Photo: R. Ravindran
Anand Kumar Photo: R. Ravindran

“Finish the syllabus and understand the application of theories.” This is the advice that Anand Kumar, founder of educational initiative ‘Super 30' gives to aspirants of the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) that determines admission to the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs).

Anand Kumar has been training underprivileged students for the JEE, and he believes given the right kind of coaching and motivation, all students can excel in the examination. He was in Chennai recently to conduct a workshop on ‘Secret of success in IIT-JEE' at Fulcrum, an institute that offers training for competitive examinations. He said “You don't have to be genius material to crack the JEE. All that one needs is basic knowledge of the subjects and hard work.”

Helping hands

‘Super 30' is an educational initiative that focuses on training students from economically backward sections for the IIT-JEE. Last year, all 30 students of the batch cleared the exam and got into various IITs.

He provides all students free accommodation and food, along with a year-long coaching in mathematics, physics and chemistry.

In the last six years of the programme, ‘Super 30' saw children of peons, autorickshaw drivers, sweepers, roadside vendors, farmers and daily wagers making it to IITs. Some of them have passed out with flying colours and are placed in very good companies, he said.

Anand Kumar attributes the success to his students and team. “The students are focused and dedicated. For them, entry into IIT is a life jacket. All that they know of is tests and more tests,” pointed out Anand.

Anand Kumar is planning to extend the batch's strength from 30 to 60 and cater to other competitive examinations. He is also planning to start a separate programme for girl students in the near future.

Dalit students

Taking cue from this organisation, Fulcrum will initiate a programme in Chennai for Dalit students. According to I. Ahmed, co-promoter, Fulcrum, “Fulcrum will start a programme for Dalit students of Tamil Nadu with the support of government of Tamil Nadu. As many as 40 students from Classes 11 and 12 will be identified and trained to excel in IIT-JEE.” Super 30 will work closely with Fulcrum offering guidance and regular lectures by Anand Kumar.

On the IIT-JEE 2010 confusion in question papers, Anand Kumar said he had appealed to Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for fresh entrance for IIT-JEE following several errors in the question papers, who in turn sought Union Minister for Human Resource Development Kapil Sibal's intervention.

Anand Kumar said, “I am awaiting the result and would like to appeal to IIT-JEE organising chairman Prof. T S Natarajan to consider the issue.”

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