A room on the second floor of a Munirka institute has around 15 students jostling for space. The students nurse dreams of getting the most coveted government jobs. The notice board outside has several clippings and photographs congratulating those who have cracked the recent government exams. Another coaching centre in the same lane claims of producing numerous bankers and government servants. The programmes vary from short-term capsules to classroom courses for a year. These institutions are among the 40 such centres in Munirka. A visit to the lane in the afternoon seems like a matinee show in a single screen has just got over as hordes of students can be seen on the street.
Kailash Singh Bisht, who has been in the business of coaching students for more than five years now, said, “Around five years back, there were just two to three coaching institutes in this lane. But in the last four years more than 25 have come up.” While some of them operate out of a room with not more than 10 students, the bigger ones have batches of over hundred students.
Hari Mohan, who teaches at one of these coaching centres, said, “When the bigger brands in the world of coaching began opening their branches in Delhi, Munirka was an obvious choice as several students lived here.” Seeing these coaching centres get good business, others followed suit.
Though the area has all kinds of coaching institutes for Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), Chartered Accountant (CA), Company Secretary (CS), engineering, journalism and medical exams, in the past couple of years the number of coaching centres for banking and Staff Selection Commission (SSC) has seen a sharp rise. With around 80% of them now dealing specifically in these exams, it has become a hub of sorts.
“Coaching hubs usually turn into ghettos. Laxmi Nagar is known for CA classes, Mukherjee Nagar for IAS and Kalu Sarai has several engineering entrance coaching centres. Since these areas already had a tag attached to them, Munirka was a natural choice for opening coaching for banking and SSC,” said Amit Panday, a teacher.
“With government banks opening their branches across India, several vacancies have opened up in the last three-four years. Also, it is easier to crack bank exams compared to the UPSC. The demand is naturally high, so is the need for coaching institutes,” he said. Students not just from south Delhi but other areas of the NCR and states like Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Jammu and Kashmir throng Munirka. “The level of quality is impressive due to the competition here,” he added.
THE ENGINEERING ASPIRANTS LANE
Though the Central Board of Secoundry Education (CBSE) will take another week to declare the results for Class 10, the level of competition has reached an altogether different level in Kalu Sarai. One can find young students thronging these institutes to understand which coaching centre offers them a ‘guaranteed entry’ to IIT Delhi which is separated by a road from Kalu Sarai.
Kalu Sarai’s tryst with the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) started in 1992 with the start of the Forum for Indian Institute of Technology Joint Entrance Examination (FIIT-JEE). Thereafter, several coaching centres for engineering entrance exams like FIIT-JEE, Narayana etc opened here. Presently, there are more than 20 coaching centres in the area.
A counsellor at a coaching centre said, “Coaching definitely offers a direction, but it is not easy for all students to take the load of coaching as well as school curriculum. There have been cases of students committing suicide in Kota this year, too. So parents must be very clear whether their child would be able to handle the pressure of IIT coaching and school together before taking a decision.”