Top 10 ranks elude Kota

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  • Published 27.05.10

Jaipur, May 26: Coaching hub Kota has failed to bag a top-ten rank in the IIT Joint Entrance Examination for the first time in a decade after the Rajasthan town was scrapped as an exam centre amid concerns over alleged cheating.

Sanchar Sharma of Vibrant Academy is the highest ranker from Kota at 16th.

In 2008, Kota had accounted for six of the top-ten rankers including the topper. After the town was dropped as a home centre (though not as a centre) in 2009, it still bagged four top-10 ranks.

The coaching institutes acknowledge that the failure to secure a top-ten rank is the latest in a series of setbacks the town has faced in recent years, including the denial of an IIT it was clamouring for.

Some of the coaching institutes tried to explain the blow by citing the controversies over marking in this year’s IIT-JEE and the problems faced by those who took the exam in Hindi.

“This year’s IIT exam was conducted by IIT Madras and most top ranks have been secured by them (candidates from the Chennai zone), which is very surprising. That Kota hasn’t figured in the top 10 after 10 years is difficult to digest,” Vibrant Academy general manager R.D. Sharma said.

Naveen Maheshwari of Allen Classes said: “There were several discrepancies and errors in the paper for which Rajasthan High Court has issued notices to IIT Madras. Students who took the exam in Hindi too voiced problems, which should be looked into.”

Some of the coaching centres, however, claim the overall number of students from Kota on the IIT merit list has gone up this year although Maheshwari believes the number has fallen.

The precise figures are not in yet, with most of these institutes still collating the data. Some, however, said the number from Kota would definitely be more than 4,000 out of a total 13,000 from across India — in keeping with the town’s past record of accounting for a third of the seats.

Some 50,000 students come to Kota’s IIT coaching institutes from across India every year, giving the industry an annual turnover of around Rs 500 crore. The students pay tuition fees of Rs 50,000-60,000 a year, their overall expenses reaching up to Rs 1 lakh. About one in seven cracks the IIT entrance, compared with the all-India rate of one in 50.

However, the concept of students shifting to Kota to study at coaching institutes from Class XII, neglecting their school studies, has come under a shadow. The success of the students — and the business — has prompted suspicion of cheating at its exam centres in the past years, leading to Kota being dropped as an IIT exam venue.

The town had been hankering after the new IIT proposed for Rajasthan but the Centre chose Jodhpur, saying Kota’s massive coaching industry was a hindrance.