| The coaching institutes in the Bhikhna Pahari area. Pictures by Ranjeet Kumar Dey |
The exodus of IIT aspirants from the state to Kota or New Delhi to get better training for the tough entrance examination is waning, thanks to the spurt in new and quality coaching centres in the city.
Kota — a town in Rajasthan around 240km south of Jaipur — is a popular destination for students who want to take the tough entrance tests for entering the IITs or other premier engineering institutes. A major part of the town’s economy is dependent on the reputable private coaching institutes. It has been the setting of Chetan Bhagat’s best-selling novel Revolution 2020.
The national capital, too, has many such coaching centres. Till recently, students from Bihar used to go to these cities in hordes to prepare for IIT-JEE (now JEE advanced). But now, few do so because quality training is available at or near home.
Professionals engaged in teaching aspiring IITians claim that opening up of a large number of quality coaching centres in Patna, return of Bihari teachers to the state from Kota and the introduction of the new format for the JEE has reduced the outflow of students from the state.
“Till a few years back, around 50,000 students from the state would go to Kota and other places every year for IIT-JEE preparations. Now, the number has come down to 20,000,” said Kanhaiya Singh, the director of Vision Classes.
The chemistry teacher added that the figures had been gathered from the records of different institutes in Kota and a market research conducted in Patna.
One of the major reasons for the change in the trend, said Singh, was the return of quality teachers to the state from Kota and other places. “A number of teachers like Pradeep Kumar Verma (mathematics), Rajiv Goyal (chemistry), V.K. Singh and Nitin Agarwal (both physics), who have recently joined Vision Classes, are from Kota.”
Both students and teachers corroborate this claim.
“When we are getting all the facilities in Patna, why would we go out?” said IIT aspirant Amit Kumar.
The 18-year-old passout of a government school in Buxar said the new format for the entrance test, which lays emphasis on the board examination marks, has also made students stay back in the state.
Teachers attributed the check in the departure of students mainly to the opening up of new institutes.
Mathematician Anand Kumar, who has helped hundreds of students crack the IIT-JEE over the years, said apart from local institutes improving their standing, better law and order condition has prompted national coaching institutes (like Aakash Classes, Brilliant Tutorials, FIITJEE, Career Point and Narayana) to open up centres in the city.
This development acted as a boost to local business as well. As students from other places pour into Patna, lodging and boarding service providers are making moolah.
Some students, however, feel that despite the increase in their numbers, the coaching centres in Patna still do not provide the quality of their counterparts in Kota.
For instance, a Kota-based IIT-JEE coaching centre, Eduwave, conducted a seminar, “How to crack IIT-JEE in first attempt” on Thursday. Institutes in Patna are yet to organise such events.
Rishi Verma (18) from Ara who recently took the JEE after preparing from an institute in Kota, said: “Training centres in Kota have different teachers for different topics. For example, different persons specialising in physical chemistry or organic and inorganic chemistry teach students. In Patna, most institutes have only one teacher for chemistry (or other subjects).”