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HindustanTimes Thu,24 Apr 2014

IIT admission comes with a bestseller

Vanita Srivastava, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, July 08, 2012
First Published: 00:19 IST(8/7/2012) | Last Updated: 01:53 IST(8/7/2012)

The 117 students, who have been given an admission offer in IIT-Gandhinagar this year have  got a special gift from the institute - Paulo Coelho's bestseller, The Alchemist. And the students will have to read the book before they come for their Foundation Day programme, which begins on July 19.

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"We will have a special session to review and discuss the book," says associate dean (academics) Amit Prashant.

This unique way of bonding with the newcomers began last year when the institute sent Khushwant Singh's Train to Pakistan to students.

"Those who prepare for IIT-JEE don't study anything apart from their books on physics, chemistry and mathematics. We wanted to revive their reading habits. This idea came to us after several rounds of brainstorming sessions. We have noticed that there is a change in students who read books beyond their school curriculum," says Prashant.

The books generally reach 2-3 days after the offer letter he said, adding: "This helps build a slow attachment of the students with the institute."

On the selection of the books, he said: "We choose books that are easy to read."

"While copies of the book have already been sent to those who have opted for IIT-Gandhinagar, we will not ask those who decide to switch to any other IIT, after the third round of seat allotment, to return these books," Prashant said.

"In fact, anyone who joins us after the third round will also be sent this book."

Maintaining that his institute was taking several steps to inculcate reading habit, he said: "Even our meritorious students are felicitated with books every semester."

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