Former cop’s Magadh Super 30 is helping students get into engineering
Former Bihar director general of police Abhayanand, who runs the institute, had co-founded the legendary ‘Super 30’ in Patna along with mathematician Anand Kumareducation Updated: Jan 22, 2018 17:50 IST
Patna Students from remote villages of Maoist-hit districts of Bihar have made it to top engineering institutes over the past few years, thanks to an unconventional coaching centre in Gaya town.
Bright students from underprivileged families of Gaya and neighbouring districts of Magadh region prepare for tests like the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) at Magadh Super 30 for admissions to undergraduate engineering programmes at NITs (National Institutes of Technology), IIITs (Indian Institutes of Information Technology) and other centrally funded technical institutions (CFTIs) located across the country. Help and guidance comes from a former police officer.
Former Bihar director general of police Abhayanand, who started the endeavour in 2008, told PTI here, “We do not boast that all our students will make it to the IITs, though many of them do. Others are not left in the lurch either as they get selected for institutions like the NITs.
“Although it is called Magadh Super 30, the number is only indicative. The focus is on helping students with the requisite aptitude and not on admitting a certain number of boys and girls.”
Incidentally, Abhayanand had co-founded the legendary ‘Super 30’ in Patna along with mathematician Anand Kumar.
A gold medallist in physics from Patna Science College, Abhayanand had been driven by an urge to help meritorious students from underprivileged backgrounds to realise their potential.
“Due to unavoidable circumstances, I had to dissociate myself from the Super 30 in 2007. But in 2008, I was egged on by my friends in Gaya, my home town, to start a similar project there,” the 1977 batch IPS officer, who has devoted himself full time to teaching since retirement in 2015, said.
“The situation was quite bleak in the region. An atmosphere of fear that pervaded in the area because of Maoist violence, which was at its peak in the 1990s, had cast a long shadow”, the former DGP said.
There was no dearth of talent but basic facilities like good, functional educational institutions were a rarity in the region. “So I felt that this was a place where I ought to expend my energy,” he said.
Pankaj Kumar, a Gaya resident who serves as the secretary of Magadh Super 30, said the institute does not depend on any grants from the government or political parties.
“Our motto is samaj ke liye samaj ke dwara (for the society by the society). Good samaritans provide us with financial assistance and all funds are put to social audit. The monetary assistance helps us arrange for food, lodging and study materials for the students,” he said.
The students are selected through a rigorous screening process, involving a written exam to assess proficiency in physics, chemistry and maths and an interview with Abhayanand.
Vishwesh Bhatt, who passed out from NIT Sikkim in 2016 and is now employed with the Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd, said “It used to be like a home away from home where all our needs were taken care of.”
Hailing from a lower middle class family, Bhatt said his stay at Magadh Super 30 exposed him to the outside world.
“We had, as our peers, people from all sorts of backgrounds, not just from Gaya but districts more remote and backward like Aurangabad and Rohtas.”
Bhatt is now eager to do his bit along with other students of the institute to keep the project running.
“We have set up a fund to which contributions are made by Magadh Super 30 beneficiaries who have completed their engineering courses and landed good jobs. You can call it our guru dakshina”, Bhatt said.
As Sonu Kumar Gupta, a third year student at IIT Delhi and Soni Rashmi, studying in the second year at NIT, Sikkim, say: “we are waiting for our turn to give something back to the institution which has changed our lives”.