Beginning next year, students in Maharashtra will have the chance to vie for a place in the exclusive Super Thirty coaching institute in Patna. Super Thirty, run by Anand Kumar, involves training 30 bright but economically deprived students for the Joint Entrance Exam (JEE) free of cost.
Students appear for JEE to get admission into the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT).
Super Thirty selects students through an entrance test. “We are looking at conducting the entrance test for admission to Super Thirty in Pune, Mumbai and Nagpur some time in March,” said Kumar, who was in Mumbai to speak at an education conference on Saturday.
“We have not finalised the details, but it will be based on the same principle of selecting talented but financially-weak students.”
Kumar opened Super Thirty in 2003 to train students, who could not otherwise have the opportunity to pursue their dream. So far, 182 of the 210 students he has coached have cracked the JEE.
The idea of the institute came from his own thwarted desire to study mathematics further after he had to turn down an offer to study at Cambridge University because of a lack of funds. He now also plans to open his own school.
“It will be something on the Leningrad model in Russia, where there are no barriers of money and students can come and learn from a young age, and go on to do well,” said Kumar.
Offers for funds for the proposed school have already come in from corporate houses and universities.
Kumar is today an international celebrity, having been featured in Time magazine and Newsweek, among other international media. The attention has also endangered his life and work.
“The coaching class mafia once hired a criminal to attack us,” said Kumar. “Another time, someone fired a revolver, then they exploded a bomb, so it has been difficult. These are some of the challenges of this enterprise. Then the government stepped in and began to provide us security.”
A coaching institute in Mumbai called the Super Fifty is for the first time this year attempting to replicate the same model with tribal students. “It is very good if people try and imitate this model because we cannot take it everywhere ourselves. But, we can help with our multimedia and teaching material,” added Kumar.