IITB Central Library 2.0 Service

A place that gives you the highest number of IITians

Posted on: October 26, 2010

Kota, Rajasthan: Nearly 40,000 students arrive in Kota every year from across India, to prepare for the entrance tests to the exclusive Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT).

More than 450,000 students take the IIT exam but only three percent succeed.

17-year-old Vijay Singh dreams of getting an engineering degree. To fulfill his ambition, he studies morning, noon and night.

“Money can be earned by many other ways, it is not necessary to do IIT for that. IIT is done for respect,” he said.

Another student, Suvraj Kumar from Bihar, spends his days in a dingy, fluorescent-lit room in a boys’ hostel, sharing it with four others. It’s a place to study ten hours a day and sleep a few hours a night. Most importantly, it’s just Rs. 2000 a month. Kumar’s father went to loan sharks to pay his fees.

“The loan puts pressure that you have to do this. That is why I am moving in that direction,” said Suvraj.

Passing the IIT exam has become the ultimate sign of success, and about one-third of those who pass are believed to have studied in Kota.

There are more than 100 institutes in Kota, from fly-by-night, one-teacher operations, to marble-floored six-story institutions that have enviable infrastructure.

One of the first institutes here was started by V.K. Bansal. Struck down by muscular dystrophy, he tutored students for the IIT in his spare time. In 1991, his classes became a full-time operation. Others followed.

At these institutes in Kota, no one is talking about Nobel Prizes or making contributions to science, their dream is more prosaic: a steady job, respectability and, above all, money.


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