New Delhi: The Narendra Modi government has given in-principle approval to a proposal under which Anand Kumar of ‘Super 30’ fame has agreed to mentor 400 students from the Scheduled Castes and provide them coaching for the IIT entrance exam, ThePrint has learnt.
According to sources in the Union social justice and empowerment ministry, which is tasked with ensuring the welfare of marginalised communities, the proposal was given in-principle approval on 14 April, the birth anniversary of Dr B.R. Ambedkar.
Anand Kumar, a mathematician from Bihar, is the brain behind a successful, globally feted programme that provides free IIT entrance coaching to 30 meritorious students from the poorest families every year. His students are known to have a high success rate, with all 30 acing the JEE (Advanced) in 2017, 28 in 2016, and 26 in 2018.
“The proposal inspired by Anand Kumar of ‘Super 30’ fame has been submitted by Sumeet Foundation Trust, Greater Kailash, New Delhi, headed by Mona Puri, a renowned educationist. We will be finalising the details soon and the modalities of the proposal will be fleshed out,” said a senior government official who didn’t want to be named.
“The idea is to bring premier IIT coaching to students from the SC community, so that they can compete on equal footing with others,” the official said.
Sources said the free coaching is likely to start before Independence Day, 15 August.
As part of his partnership with the government to help more meritorious students from poor families, Kumar will also look at the possibility of setting up a residential school in Greater Noida, sources said.
Coaching benefits extended
The social justice ministry has also decided to streamline its current free coaching scheme — from giving money to institutes, it plans to pick “bright students”. So, now, around 4,000 meritorious students belonging to SC and OBC communities across the country will be given free JEE and NEET coaching.
The issues were taken up by the ministry in a review meeting held on 12 April.
“The scheme is aimed at handholding and facilitating the poorest meritorious students in meeting their aspirations to join Group A and Group B services of central and state governments, and to secure admission in reputed technical and professional courses through the financial support under the scheme. Hence, the scheme is being revised,” the official quoted above said.
“Earlier, money was given to institutes and they used to select students. But we found a number of irregularities and have decided to select bright Class 10 students from across the states, who will be given Rs 1 lakh and will be free to take coaching from the best institutes,” a second official added.
(Edited by Shreyas Sharma)
Why news media is in crisis & How you can fix it
India needs free, fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism even more as it faces multiple crises.
But the news media is in a crisis of its own. There have been brutal layoffs and pay-cuts. The best of journalism is shrinking, yielding to crude prime-time spectacle.
ThePrint has the finest young reporters, columnists and editors working for it. Sustaining journalism of this quality needs smart and thinking people like you to pay for it. Whether you live in India or overseas, you can do it here.