OBC XI does IIT, quotaless

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  • Published 1.06.06

Patna, May 31: The anti-reservation lobby can take heart. As many as 28 of 30 students have cracked the IIT entrance test from Bihar’s Ramanujan School of Mathematics, 11 of them from the other backward classes who appeared in the general category and said reservation wasn’t necessary.

The students are part of the “Super 30” scheme offered by the coaching institute under which it trains meritorious boys and girls from the economically weaker sections cutting across gender, caste and religion. The 30 students accepted for the scheme are offered tuition, lodging and meals free of cost.

The school, run by Anand Kumar, himself an OBC who has an M.Sc degree in Mathematics, made its presence felt in its very first year (2003), with 18 students getting through to the IITs. It improved its tally to 22 in 2004 and 26 in 2005.

The star of 2006 is Divyanshu Mishra of Darbhanga, who secured 10th rank and has been picked along with four others to represent India at the International Physics Olympiad to be held in Singapore shortly.

Abhayanand, an IPS officer who teaches physics at Super-30, was elated at the success of the students. “It proves that talent, or its lack, is not birth-specific,” he said.

Kumar, who teaches mathematics, has a balanced take on the 27 per cent reservation announced by the government for OBCs in higher education. “While merit should be given priority, the government should ensure some relaxation for OBC students,” he said.

But most Super-30 students are against reservation. Pankaj Kumar Kapadia, an OBC student from Nasirganj in Rohtas, who has bagged the 1,079th rank, said: “Why do we need to be lifted up to reach the top rung of ladder?” The government, he said, must spare at least the IITs, IIMs and AIIMS to ensure quality.

Kapadia, whose father is a retail cloth merchant, feared foreign companies would start losing interest in Indian students if the Centre implemented the quota regime.

He claims to have worked out, by talking to friends across the country, that more than 27 per cent OBC students are already making it to IITs and other engineering institutes.

Saurav Kumar of Fatuha, who got 2828th rank, said the success theory lay in intensive practice sessions, regular interaction with successful seniors and three internal tests every week. Students are not allowed to go home during their seven-month stay at the lodge.

Abhayanand said the institute was started with the objective to give a fillip to meritorious students from rural areas.