For students sitting for the IIT Joint Entrance Examination (IIT-JEE), a talk with previous year’s toppers is just a call away now.
In a unique initiative, a group of entrepreneurs across Delhi and Mumbai have begun a free telephone service, where students aspiring to crack various institutes and universities across India can speak with those who have already got through.
“You have websites and counsellors to give you advice. But nothing is better than talking to someone who has qualified the exam or the interview and knows what it requires,” said Mrigank Tripathi, co-founder of Voicetap and an engineer by profession.
“Initially, students can register on the website and we will inform them via email and SMS about the scheduled date of the call,” said Tripathi.
“We are focusing on phones because we can reach more than 156 million mobile phones users including those who do not have access to the Internet," he added.
For the first call scheduled for April 6, students can talk to IIT-JEE toppers.
“There are intangible things like how to tackle a question you do not know. Or what to do if there is a problem with your signature. Or how to manage the days prior to the exam,” said Archit Gupta, who came fourth during IIT JEE 2008.
“Nobody talks of what to expect on the final day and it is here that I expect to help aspiring students,” said Gupta, a first year B Tech student at IIT Delhi.
The Voicetap team will soon be roping in student experts to help students applying to both Indian and international universities. They will also cover entrepreneurs and give tips on setting up businesses in India.
“Teachers and alumni will always tell you about the positive aspects of a college. But a student will be able to give you the good and the bad,” said Reva Sharma, second year history student at Lady Sri Ram College. Sharma is one of the student experts and she working at roping in friends from various DU colleges.
“I am talking to students from other colleges including private institutes so that we can address a wide range of queries,” said Sharma.
Although Voicetap is launching in the two metros, it plans to expand operations to tier B and tier C cities in the country.
“Students in smaller cities are the ones who need our help the most as they are often cheated by coaching institutes and touts,” said Vivek Khandelwal, founder member of Voicetap and M Tech student at IIT Bombay.