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Monday, December 12, 2016

Now, A Booklet Of Filmy Dialogues To Curb Suicidal Tendencies In IIT Coaching Hub Kota - Scoop Whoop

Dec 11, 2016 at 12:29
by PTI

To release stress and keep the suicidal tendencies of coaching students in check, district collector Ravi Kumar Surpur has come up with an interesting and humorous 20-page booklet titled 'Why This Kolaveri Di'.

The booklet authored by Sachin Jha in assistance with clinical psychologists contains fun reading, graphics, famous quotes and catchy one-liners from the popular lip-twisting dialogues of Bollywood movies to boost the confidence of students.
'Why This Kolaveri Di' addresses its readers as 'Dost' and has different quotes for every gloomy emotion.

To shrug off the home sickness feeling, the booklet has a positive one-liner - 'Come on! You are going home'.
The middle section of the booklet, where the author brings quotes from ancient Indian philosopher Chanakya, deals with the core issue of distress and fear among the coaching students.
To shake off the fear of defeat and failure, the book has a philosophical dialogue from the movie Sultan - 'Koi jab tak tumhe hara nahi sakta, jab tak tum khud se na haar manlo'.
The booklet, which was launched by district collector Kumar yesterday at Tagore Hall, also educates by creating a sensibility among the students and to lead a well-disciplined life.

            Representational image. Source: Twitter

Underlining the significance of 'sleep' for the students, the booklet says that "they would not be able to think well if they do not sleep well."

It also promotes awareness about various issues related to changes in our body.

Taking a note on 'gender distraction' it says that it is a common tendency among the teenagers and illustrates the gender magnetism through cartoons of girl and boy from the movie 'Hum Tum' asking the students to "chill it" as it is just a normal hormonal change and advises them "do not allow your hormones to hijack your intelligence".

The booklet touched an very important point asking the students to seek help from siblings, teachers, parents, friends, relatives and doctors if they find them unable to cope with the pressure and study stress.

It asks the students to consider parents as well wishers because they motivate them for their "own good".

         Representational image. Source: Twitter

The unconventional and motivational booklet is an another initiative like the previous measures by district collector Kumar to check the suicidal tendencies among the coaching students.
Earlier on the onset of current academic secession, Kumar had written an emotional letter to the parents of coaching students asking them "not to burden down the kids with their ambitions and dreams."

"The booklet 'Why This Kolaveri Di' has no copyright and any coaching institute can publish it and circulate it among its students," said the district collector.

He also added that the digital format of the same book is underway.

At least 17 coaching students have committed suicide so far this year since January.

Kota is the main centre for coaching institutes where students come to prepare for entrance tests of IIT and medical colleges.





Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Coaching institution’s print advertisement claims Kota to be the ‘Suicide Capital of India’ - Financial Express


In a bizarre advertisement published at the front page of an English daily, Kota, a hub of coaching centers for the engineering and medical entrance examinations, was described as the 'Suicide Capital of India'.

By: FE Online | New Delhi | Updated: December 4, 2016 12:25 PM


The print ad claimed that unethical institutions, most of which are in Kota, “purchase results, poach brilliant students and their results do not reflect their capabilities.”

In a bizarre advertisement published at the front page of an English daily, Kota, a hub of coaching centers for the engineering and medical entrance examinations, was described as the ‘Suicide Capital of India’. The advertisement of ‘FITZEE Talent Reward Exam’ had further claimed ‘This is Kalyug’ and unethical practices had emerged in every sectors of the country including educational institutions.

The advertisement promoting coaching institution, Forum for Indian Institute of Technology and Joint Entrance Examination (FITZEE), in its ad printed at the front page of Hindustan Times mentioned, “Whole world is passing through unprecedented corruption, exploitation & sleaze. In every activity we find mafia like people & institutions. Education is no exception.”

The print ad also claimed that unethical institutions, most of which are in Kota, “purchase results, poach brilliant students and their results do not reflect their capabilities.”

Blaming institutions Kota for driving students to commit suicide, in its advertisement FITZEE urged parents to not ‘compromise on Value System’.


At least one and a half lakh students of the country, ever year, comes to Kota to take coaching for engineering and medical entrance examinations. Following reports of student suicide in Kota, citing study pressure or depression, recently, several institutions in the coaching hub had launched 24 hours helpline to offer counselling to students and also track callers suffering from depression and provide them with assistance.


In the most recent incident of student suicide in Kota, a body of a 16-year-old was found from the Chambal River on November 24. The student from Muzaffarpur district of Bihar was undertaking coaching, to crack the IIT entrance examination, at Kota.

Depressed over low marks, medical aspirant commits suicide in Kota - Deccan Chronicle

PTI
Published
Dec 1, 2016, 3:48 pm IST

17-year-old Mahima Yadav was found hanging from a ceiling fan at her room in the morning around 7.30 AM.

Representational image

Kota: A 17-year-old girl who was taking coaching at an institute in Kota for National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) to get a medical seat allegedly committed suicide by hanging herself at her room in RK Puram area today.

The medical aspirant who hailed from Raiwadi area in Haryana was taking coaching at a premier coaching institute in Kota for about an year.

She was found hanging from a ceiling fan at her room in the morning around 7.30 AM, police said, adding she was living with her mother and brother at the rented accommodation.
Her mother had gone out to drop her brother at school at the time of incident, said Sub Inspector Kamal Singh.

The deceased girl identified as Mahima Yadav was a class XI student and was reportedly depressed over low scoring in routine tests in the institute.

"No suicide note was recovered from the room. However, the girl was reportedly depressed over her low score in the routine tests," Singh said.

The body was sent for the postmortem and further investigation into the matter is underway.

Despite constant efforts by district administration and coaching institute managements to check suicide by the students, at least 15 have taken the extreme step since January this year. This incident has taken the toll to 16 so far.

The district administration has also asked the coaching institutes to conduct screening tests for the students seeking admissions in the institutes and to give their parents an assessment of their ward's chances of cracking the entrance exams of prestigious IIT and medical colleges.

Around 1.75 lakh students from across the country arrive at Kota every year for admission in coaching institutes to prepare for entrance exams to these colleges.

Notebandi, bewafa Sonam test even IIT students in exams -

Isha Jain | TNN | Updated: Dec 1, 2016, 06.44 AM IST

A professor of IIT-Guwahati incorporated ‘Sonam Gupta bewafa hai’ meme in a question paper on probability.

LUCKNOW: Demonestisation has now reached the examination halls at Indian Institute of Technology. While at IIT-Delhi, a humanities professor put up a question on the effect of demonetisation on the suicide rate in India, a professor of IIT-Guwahati incorporated 'Sonam Gupta bewafa hai' meme in probability question paper. 

The sociology question paper of IIT-Delhi, TOI has a copy of it, sought answers from students on the effect of demonetised high value currency notes on the suicide rate in India. Would the suicide go up or down due to demonetisation? The compulsory 10-mark question also asked the context in which Durkheim's (French philosopher) suicide theory discussed such events and will the demonetisation be different in rural or urban areas or for different classes.

Prof Ravinder Kaur, head of humanities and social sciences department at IIT-Delhi, said, "In social sciences (and humanities), we often try to illustrate and explicate theoretical concepts and ideas by relating them with contemporary events and happenings. Students engage more with what we are teaching when they realise it has some usefulness for understanding what is happening around them. Also, such questions make students learn how to think logically and creatively and not simply reproduce what has been taught in class or given in a book or a theory."

She added, "I am sure, the same is done in many science and engineering courses—Narmada dam would be a good example for civil engineers, smog for atmospheric sciences students and others."

A student told TOI: "It is fascinating to write on an issue the entire nation—in fact, other countries too—are talking about.

The question could have been simply put up by asking Durkheim's suicide theory but linking it with demonetisation was a creative way to present. The answers will be worth looking at.''

Giving a dash of humour to the end semester, a professor in the department of electronics and electrical engineering at IIT-Guwahati used the 'Sonam Gupta bewafai hai' meme, which took the internet by storm, to ask a question in probablity course. The question asked to determine if a person 'x' is bewafa, what is the probablity that Sonam Gupta is bewafa given a dependence structure between variables where all variables are binary and their high values mean the following: G means gender of 'x' is female (~G means the opposite), S means biological parents of 'x' are strict with her, W means x is wealthy, A means x is attractive, L means x has lots of options, B means x is bewafa, C means at least one other person y claims that the person x is bewafa.




Using further information given on the question paper, students were asked to draw a Bayesian network and convert it into a factor graph. The question which when shared on Facebook by an IIT-Guwahati student received over 150 shares and 600 likes. "The response is overwhelming. We all love the professor for making the question so exciting. It has spread to other IITs widely been commented up on,'' said he, without wanting to be named.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Body Of Missing IIT Aspirant From Bihar Found In Kota River - NDTV


All India | Press Trust of India | Updated: November 24, 2016 03:00 IST

Body of missing IIT aspirant was found from Chambal River. (Representational image)

KOTA:  Body of a 16-year-old student from Bihar's Muzaffarpur district, who was preparing for IIT entrance examination in Kota and has been missing since November 19, was found this morning from Chambal River.

Aashish Satyam, son of Sadu Charan Shaha, had gone missing from his rented accommodation and his body was found floating in the river near Govindham under Jhawaharnagar police station, said OP Sharma, the investigating officer (IO) and SI at Jhawaharnagar police station.

The body was fished out and handed over to family members after post-mortem, he said.

Mr Sharma said Mr Satyam left a suicide note in his room which is addressed to his father.

He has written in the purported suicide note that he was taking the extreme step due to study stress, the IO said. 

Mr Satyam had been taking coaching at an institute in Kota for around one-and-a-half year and was staying at a rented accommodation with one of his friends in Talwandi area of the
city, the SI said.

He said, on November 19, a missing persons report was filed and Satyam's parents were informed.

He said a case under relevant sections has been lodged in this connection, he said.

Around 1.75 lakhs students from across the country come to Kota every year to take coaching for entrance in engineering and medical colleges.

JEE Advanced 2017: How to manage stress while preparing for exams - India.com


The admission tests for these colleges, the JEE Advanced 2017 and JEE Mains 2017, respectively, are now about 4 months away.


By Kristina Das | Published: November 24, 2016 4:16 PM IST

JEE Advanced 2017: How to manage stress while preparing for exams

Engineering has long been the favoured career choice of Indian students. Every year, thousands of students from across the country prep to gain admission into the top engineering colleges of the country – the IITs and the NITs. The admission tests for these colleges, the JEE Advanced 2017 and JEE Mains 2017, respectively, are now about 4 months away. Though many students follow steps to ensure their best preparation, they discount the importance of managing stress. More so, as the news of another IIT JEE aspirant’s suicide in Kota surfaces, the question that many parents and aspirants have in mind is how to handle the stress.

Kota off late has been in news for all the wrong reason. The hub of test preparation for IIT aspirants sees students from all over the country coming in. Off late, there has been a spurt in suicide cases from the city.  Recently, a 16-year-old IIT aspirants from Muzaffarpur in Bihar committed suicide. The boy named Ashish Satyam went missing for three days and then his body was found from Chambal River. He was a Class XII student and before committing suicide he had emailed his suicide note to his friend on November 19 telling they will find his body near the Chambal River. In his suicide note, it was mentioned that he was unable to handle the pressure of studies and he also didn’t score well in the test. He was supposed to appear for the IIT next year.

We lament the loss of young lives and urge students not to succumb to stress. So here in this article there are few ways mentioned to manage your stress:

Study Routine: Plan your study routine, so that you can enough time to do other things. Practise a lot and ask your teacher for a practise test. Try to understand the notes given by your teacher and then try to write it down in your own words. This practise helps a lot in long term. Answer the questions with friends and grade each other’s work.

Relaxation: Get enough sleep because mind stops working after continuous study. And relaxation is important. Popping bubble wrap is another stress reliever you can save for home study. Play with puppies, watch television, and listen to good music. The benefits of a proper night’s sleep can never be underestimated. Most importantly, sleep helps your brain to assimilate new knowledge into your long-term memory so that you can recall it when it comes to test day.

Staying Healthy: Exercising and eating good food can help you remain healthy, so try to maintain that. Avoid eating junk food; it will actually make you feel better and lighter. Exercising or doing yoga is very important, it will keep your body fit. Meditation is also helpful for avoiding stress; it keeps your mind calm.

Break Free: Yeah, you heard it right! Break free as in you can use mobile apps. Apps like some game apps, facebook, instagram, hike, etc. Chat with people, share your feelings. Even if you are at home try to interact a lot with your parents, siblings, etc. Talking and sharing your feelings with other can help a lot to manage stress. But one thing you should keep in mind that over- doing something is bad. So instead of wasting time on apps, one can use self control website blocker.

Self Motivation: Last but not the least one should always motivate oneself. Just think that you are writing the exam and knowing the answers. And when you motivate yourself and try to imagine success, you are more likely to succeed.

Published Date: November 24, 2016 4:16 PM IST
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Study pressure claims one more IIT aspirant in Kota - TNN


TNN | Nov 24, 2016, 09.41 AM IST

JAIPUR: The body of an IIT aspirant Ashish Satyam (16) from Muzaffarpur in Bihar, who has been missing for the past three days, was fished out from Chambal river on Wednesday morning. 

Satyam, a Class XII student had mailed his suicide note to his friend on November 19 telling they will find his body near the Chambal river. 

"The suicide note reads that he was unable to handle the pressure of studies and is committing suicide by jumping into the Chambal river. His body should be searched around the river and his parents be informed," said Om Prakash Sharma, SI, Jawahar Nagar police station. 

Since the note was mailed, the deceased was not seen by anyone and had gone missing. His friend who received the mail informed the coaching institute which had informed the police. A missing complaint was filed in the Jawahar Nagar police station that had launched a massive search operation. However, the search team failed to trace him till his body was spotted floating near Chambal garden in the morning. Police who was already searching the entire area reached the spot and sent the body to the hospital.

"His parents, who were in Kota since they were informed of being missing, identified the body . A case has been registered and body was sent for post-mortem," said a police officer. 


During his period when he was missing, police had searched his room for clues but to no avail. "Even at his coaching institute police questioned his classmates to find that deceased was not interested in studies."His scores in the test were also not impressive," said police, who have not revealed his academic scores. He was a student of Class XI in a `ghost' school.He came from Muzaffarnagar last year to appear in the IIT examination.




"He was slated to appear in the IIT next year. Had he not left the suicide note, nobody would have believed him to have committed suicide in Class XII. This is 15th suicide by a coaching student and has pushed Kota closer to the last year figure of 17.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Kota: Body of missing IIT aspirant found in Chambal river - Indian Express

Kota: Body of missing IIT aspirant found in Chambal river
Kota suicide: Satyam had been taking coaching at an institute in Kota for around one-and-a-half year and was staying at a rented accommodation with one of his friends.


By: PTI | Kota | Published:November 23, 2016 4:25 pm

Kota suicide: The body was fished out and handed over to family members after post-mortem. (Representational)

Body of a 16-year-old student from Bihar’s Muzaffarpur district, who was preparing for IIT entrance examination in Kota and has been missing since November 19, was found this morning from Chambal River. Aashish Satyam, son of Sadu Charan Shaha, had gone missing from his rented accommodation and his body was found floating in the river near Govindham under Jhawaharnagar police station, said OP Sharma, the investigating officer (IO) and SI at Jhawaharnagar police station.

The body was fished out and handed over to family members after post-mortem, he said. Sharma said Satyam left a suicide note in his room which is addressed to his father. He has written in the purported suicide note that he was taking the extreme step due to study stress, the IO said.

Satyam had been taking coaching at an institute in Kota for around one-and-a-half year and was staying at a rented accommodation with one of his friends in Talwandi area of the city, the SI said.

He said, on November 19, a missing persons report was filed and Satyam’s parents were informed. He said a case under relevant sections has been lodged in this connection, he said. Around 1.75 lakhs students from across the country come to Kota every year to take coaching for entrance in engineering and medical colleges.

Kota's journey from a dying town to a coaching hub - Goernance Now

 Kota's journey from a dying town to a coaching hub

A dying industrial town transformed itself into a booming coaching hub of the nation. Then came the suicides
Neelam Gupta | November 21, 2016

- See more at: http://www.governancenow.com/news/regular-story/kotas-journey-a-dying-wn-a-coaching-hub#sthash.IxzZi9BS.dpuf

Photo : Neelam Gupta

Till the mid-1990s, Kota’s air was fragrant. The scent emanated from trees of neem, mango and guava, rose bushes and vines of chameli, mogra, and raat ki rani – varieties of jasmine – that grew in plenty in this Rajasthan city. Life was pleasantly slow, accompanied by a moderate climate, clean and green atmosphere and wide roads. 

Today, as I step out of the railway station, huge hoardings of coaching institutes – Allen, Bansal Classes, Resonance, Rao Academy, Career Point, and so on – greet me. They fill the skyline and haunt you for miles till you reach the industrial area, the coaching hub. I can imagine how the stories that the hoardings dish out through pictures of successful candidates and numbers of those who ‘topped’ entrance exams of top institutes impact the minds of both parents and students.

Some 1.5 to 2 lakh students come to Kota chasing their dreams each year, but only a fraction of them make it. While many, like Rupesh Kushwaha of Nanakhedi village in Madhya Pradesh, realise that they are not cut out for the tough regimen of coaching, for most of them it is often too late. Rupesh was one of the victims of the rat race; he ended his life in August, in his third month of coaching. However, locals are furious at the media’s propensity to focus on student suicides – 35 recorded last year and 16 this year so far. They fear such coverage could give the city a bad name, and make students look elsewhere – without solving the problem at all.

Gaurav Tower on Jhalawar road houses Bansal Classes

Kota, a city of 12 lakh people on the banks of the Chambal river, was once famous for stone and saree – each has a variety named after the city. Today, the floating population of some two lakh students has become the mainstay of the city’s economy. For this reason, one has to understand why everyone, from a hawker to an auto-rickshaw driver, blames the “irresponsible media” for hyping the suicides and defaming the coaching industry.

Gajendra Yadav, president, Kota Hostel Owners Association, confronts me: “Do you people [journalists] have any idea how many people will commit suicide if the coaching institutes are closed?” He claims thousands of residents have borrowed money to the tune of crores from banks for building hostels. “If students don’t come, I can tell you there will be suicides and people will forget the aftermath of JK.”

Yadav, who owns two hostels, is referring to a bleak era in the history of Kota. In the early 1980s, a number of factories including JK Synthetics downed the shutters, leaving thousands jobless. At that time Kota was an industrial town nicknamed the Kanpur of Rajasthan. Besides, JN Marshal and Oriental Power also had their factories here. Gradually, trade union politics and other economic factors started telling upon the output, leading to the bleeding of factories and their closure. In 1983, JK Synthetics laid off 12,000 people who had nowhere to go. In the living memory, some 200 locals had committed suicide in the wake of the JK Synthetics closure in Kota in 1997. 

Before this, the city had already ceased to be an exclusive centre of the handloom sarees. Also, traditional paddy crop was being replaced with soyabean. This saw the death of numerous rice mills. Soon, as the soyabean crops failed and poppy stood banned, the economic crisis deepened. Already, due to an irrational revenue policy, traders had lost interest in Kota stone. This left many in penury.

Ironically, Kota’s rise as India’s coaching hub started with this depression. Maybe, that is why the locals refer to the coaching business as ‘Kota coaching industry’.

The story begins with Vinod Kumar Bansal, who was once an employee of JK Synthetics. He along with his family lived in the factory employees’ colony. As he had good mathematics skills, children from the neighbourhood flocked to him for help. One day he was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy, a condition that rapidly weakens one’s muscles and bones. This disease restricted his movement and he could no longer work in the factory. It was time for retrenchments.

Fearing he might lose his job, Bansal started giving maths tuitions at his home. In 1986, one of his students cracked the IIT joint entrance exam (IIT-JEE). Next year, some 100 students had joined his classes and by 1998, Bansal was coaching more than 1,000 students. Soon he built a big building in the city’s industrial area and set up Bansal Classes. 

The word spread and Bansal Classes brought Kota on the national stage. Parents eager to see their children enter top professional institutes started flocking to Kota to enroll their wards in Bansal Classes. As more and more students from his classes started making it to the IITs year after year, others took the cue and set up their coaching classes. Allen, Career Point, Resonance and Rao Academy – all have originated from the success of Bansal Classes. 

Bansal, 64, moves in a wheelchair. The eight-storey Gaurav Tower on Jhalawar road that houses Bansal Classes has a ramp for the convenience of the founder and others to move around. “Had there been no signs of closure of the JK Synthetics unit, I would not have taken to coaching so seriously,” he says. The hardworking man had unknowingly helped almost the entire city emerge out of the economic depression.

Going down the memory lane, he recalls how his desperate efforts for livelihood spawned a full-scale industry in Kota during 1986-2000. Inspired by his success, one of his neighbours, Rajesh Maheshwari, was the first to start a tuition centre, which is now known as Allen Career Institute. Pramod Maheshwari, who was teaching physics at Bansal Classes, started Career Point. “My physics teacher RK Verma opened Resonance coaching centre. He also poached my faculty and students,” he says. Bansal however adds that he has managed to do well in spite of attritions and growing competition.

In 2000, one of his students topped and 300 others cracked the IIT-JEE. It created a stir. “There was a long queue outside my study centre and I finally selected 18,000 students that session,” he recalls.

Bansal claims all other coaching institutes are reaping the harvest of his hard work. Apparently, a crucial preparatory tool – the ‘daily practice paper’ (DPP) which is given to students in all coaching centres – is Bansal’s invention. “They took away my intellectual work of years that I had put into creating methods and techniques of coaching and are using the same,” he says. 

However, later Allen innovated and started ‘doubt removal counters’ where students can clarify matters confusing them.
Today, Allen alone has close to one lakh students. Bansal says that Allen’s intake of students is the highest as it also offers coaching for medical entrance tests. The admissions are open to all and there is no entry test. “I don’t believe in the numbers game and the tactics used by others. I don’t use cheap marketing tricks like others do. I know they [other institutes] are going to states like Bihar and UP and luring students with concessional fees. They don’t care about the IQ, inclination and capacity of a student,” Bansal says. “I don’t follow these marketing tools; for me my products are my marketing tools.”

Next, I am at Parag Mess at Mahaveer Nagar. At 8.30 pm, Manoj Sharma and his wife Hema are serving dinner to students. The ambience in the dining space is homely. The venture was started by Manoj’s father Radhey Shyam Sharma. Now in his seventies, Sharma too had lost his job at JK Synthetics. “I had no source of income then,” recalls Sharma, whose family lives in a large house, of which one part is the mess. When he became jobless, Sharma set up a sugarcane juice vend in front of the Kota engineering college. It was a seasonal business and didn’t get him enough to feed his family of three daughters and a son. He had to do odd jobs to make ends meet. At that time, Manoj was studying for B.Com.

As luck would have it, in 1994, Sharma set up a snacks joint in front of Career Point. One day, a student asked him if he could also provide him lunch and soon he was selling home-cooked meals in tiffin boxes to five students. The demand grew and a year later Sharma opened a mess and tiffin service in his small house, and named it Parag Mess. He soon built a new house in Mahaveer Nagar, which today houses a pantry, kitchen and a dining hall. By then, Allen had opened a new branch in the neighbourhood and it helped Sharma get guests for the mess and also students for his five-room hostel.

With the ever-growing demand from visitors, the local market was booming. Most of the residents, who had lost livelihood due to the industrial downturn, by now added rooms to their houses for hostels. In Kota, mess, tiffin and paying-guest services became a cottage industry. Each year during the admission time, one can see service providers waiting outside coaching centres and giving out their visiting cards to offer room and mess services at competitive prices.


Manoj, who manages the mess after his father took retirement, is witness to the changes that has brought prosperity to the city. He says about one lakh students live around his mess, in localities like Mahaveer Nagar, Indra Vihar, Rajiv Gandhi Nagar, Talwandi, Jawahar Nagar, and many hostel owners are now outsourcing food from him and others. I lived in Kota till 1983. 

In those days most of the houses had large compounds and gardens. The neighbourhoods of Vigyan Nagar, Dadabari and Talwandi – where most coaching institutes are located – were open residential areas and each had a separate market and commercial quarter. Today, the once picturesque Rangbari road is lined with four-to-seven-storey houses; many with a board of ‘To Let’ to draw attention of students. The next day I head towards Talwandi to meet a friend. Keeping with the times, her family has also added two floors to their one-storey house. They live on the ground floor and 20 rooms above are used for the hostel. From the terrace of her house, I can see boards of hostels hung on virtually every house. I see a building with a halwai shop on the ground and six storeys on top of it serving as a hostel. Residents told me that not long ago there was plenty of open land on both sides of Rangbari road. Except a few shops and a jhuggi cluster, the land along a drain was not much sought after. When Allen opened its new branch at Talwandi, many people of means and influence bought this land and built hostels. No wonder, the domestic helps in the area are highly paid and fruits and vegetables are overpriced. On Rangbari road behind my friend’s house, the scene is similar – a line of hoardings of hostels, professional college entrance coaching institutes, coaching for getting jobs in railways, state administrative services, bank, army, olympiads, etc. Amid this are shops of grocers, laundry, fast food, electronic goods – all housed in multi-storey buildings. The once popular food joint Amar Punjabi dhabha near the railway station has opened a branch at Keshavpura on Rangbari road. It is teeming with customers, many waiting outside. Tinku, the owner, tells me that he opened this branch in 2010 to cater to students and locals. He says though students are his main customers, locals too eat out often. “Due to the coaching industry people’s economic condition has improved and they don’t mind spending money,” Tinku says. He tells me that many big food chains have also opened their joints in Kota. But the industry is much bigger than it looks at first glance. Yadav says that politicians, bureaucrats, professionals and wealthy traders have built hostels. One estimate puts the worth of the coaching services at Rs 1,500 crore. The hostel and food business is also pegged around the same figure and so is the retail sale. Today Kota has about 1,500 hostels, 25,000 paying-guest facilities and 1,500 messes. Two-thirds of the hostels are on lease, he adds. In my quest to understand the working of Kota’s coaching institutes, I met Pramod Mewara, the media advisor to Allen. He accepted that they admit even those who fail the entrance test for admission. “If we don’t take them, we know they will go to another institute. So, isn’t it better that we admit them?” he asks as if seeking my affirmation. Resonance, another big name in coaching, also came up with the same logic for mass admission of students. Manviki and Harshita, who have been attending coaching classes at Allen for four years, tell me, “Our teachers are good but there are too many students. We can never get a chance to clear our doubts from teachers. There is a large mob at the doubt counter. The weak students never get a chance.” The students admit that the centres have good teachers but complain that nobody cares if they are stuck at some point. The students shell out around '1.25 lakh in non-refundable fees at the time of admission. Since no pre-test is required for admission, a lot of non-serious students also join the coaching. “If there is a screening of students through a pre-test, we would not get ‘scrap’,” Manviki says. The word ‘scrap’ is commonly used in coaching centres for students who do not have the required aptitude, as per the institutes. 

In Allen’s medical coaching, students have to write a test on the third Sunday of every month. Based on the result, each student’s batch is reshuffled, says Manviki, a student preparing for medical exams. She adds that this makes the underperformers suffer from inferiority complex; they also feel ignored by the teachers. The high-scoring ones are paid attention and also given preference at the doubt counters. Only meritorious students are given teachers’ personal phone numbers and they can call them even at late hours, she says. The coaching institutes have nothing to offer to those students who are afraid to call or those not articulate enough to grab attention at the doubt counters. The counter is often manned by a trainee teacher who, as such, has limited knowledge and therefore cannot help everyone. A video showing Allen director Rajesh Maheshwari coaxing his faculty to focus on achieving five lakh enrollments by 2020 had gone viral on social media in March. It brought to fore the numbers game being played in Kota. Referring to his competitors, Bansal says, “Teaching competition is healthy but the number competition is a disaster.” This, he claims, is the real reason behind student suicides. He says when a student realises that he won’t be able to clear the medical or the IIT entrance test, he feels trapped. Such students are prone to depression and many commit suicide. “Mind you, it’s most difficult to hate yourself – it takes a long time and effort. I started coaching to save my body and soul but some did it just for money. When I embarked on this journey my mentor Prof JP Aggrawal had told me, ‘Don’t chase money, that is an inevitable byproduct of this profession. Far greater results can be achieved if one concentrates on the main objective – teaching.’ ” With many people setting up coaching centres and hostels, banks provide loans to the tune of Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 crore. It’s obvious why they fear the negative media coverage of students committing suicides in Kota. In July, the hostel owners in Kunhadi, which is just across the Chambal, had approached MLAs against the district authorities’ temerity to ask them to pay for power and water at commercial rates. Former minister and Congress leader Shanti Dhariwal says all the hostels in Kunhadi are illegal as no three-storey house can be built along a 17-foot road. The fact is that most of the buildings here are five-storey or more. It is the same with Jhalawar and Rangbari roads. There, in fact, some of the hostels are made even along open nalas. The hostels, except a few, are poorly ventilated, like pigeonholes. Most of these are on lease and rentals are obviously high. Since food catering is also outsourced, the cost of living is high. When I asked Kota district collector Ravi Kumar Surpur about illegal buildings, he said, “This is the responsibility of UIT [urban improvement trust].” But does he not feel responsible towards students who are housed in these illegal buildings? He replied: “This situation is because of market forces and these forces will ultimately regulate it one day.” He however agreed that there is a glut of hostels in Kota. The large number of hostels have certainly created the competition but management of hostels, especially those run on lease, is highly irresponsible. Ishmat Khan, a student, says: “I used to live in a place, which is a hostel on lease. The food was not nutritious; the warden and guard used to misbehave with us.” Bharti, who stayed in a hostel in Rajiv Gandhi Nagar, says, “We never saw the owner of our hostel. There was no arrangement to take care of the sick.” She has since shifted to a new place which is run by an aged couple. In the new hostel “uncle and aunty” take good care of them and are around for any contingency. So, has the coaching industry of Kota that started with a human face of Bansal coaching in 1989 and flourished with homely environment at Parag Mess of Sharma, been overtaken by enterprises which are solely driven by profits and money power? The game, it seems, is to lure students with advertisements, discounted fees, offers of BMW cars, scholarships, etc. These institutes have started enrolling students, right from sixth standard. It was already a common phenomenon of youngsters starting their preparations for entrance exams after 10th standard. And now, they are starting even earlier. Consequently, they do not attend schools regularly and only go to take exams. Thus, many a local schools are facing closure. A friend of mine told me the story about how coaching institutes play the numbers game to trumpet their success stories. Her son had cracked the IIT-JEE without coaching. She told me that all the big names in coaching offered her money for allowing her son’s picture to be included in their list of their successful candidates. “They offered me '5,000 and asked me to fill an admission form showing that my son had joined them.” Ganesh Tarey, founder and principal of Albert Einstein School, too says it is a common practice of coaching institutes to increase their figures. He blames these centres for diminishing the value of school education. The coaching institutes, with branches across India, love to talk about a few who have made it to the prestigious colleges. However, they will never tell the world about the thousands who could not. Who cares for those who found coaching classes a drag, often dozing off on the back benches? The institute would dutifully inform the parents about the scores of their wards through SMS but none feels responsible toward the hapless student, who is mostly driven by the parents’ dreams and desires and not necessarily by their own preference or aptitude. However, after the high court’s order in 2014, the district collector has asked coaching institutes and hostels to work on reducing the stress levels of students. As a result, the coaching institutes have reduced the number of students per class and also given them a weekly off. However, admissions without assessing the aptitude of students continue which, it seems, is the key reason for suicides – 16 reported till August 17, an average of two deaths per month. Examining Rupesh Kushwaha’s case, I found he had joined Career Point in May. Had the institute taken note of his marks in school and asked for his aptitude, he possibly would have not got into the trap. Maybe he would have been counselled to return home and pursue another career option. Maybe he would have not taken his life. From day one, Rupesh, it seems, was not able to score and was under pressure. In fact, Rupesh had not attended classes for three days before he was found hanging from the ceiling of his rented room, where he lived with two other students. His institute had not noticed his absence. Today, all the institutes tell me that they have appointed psychologists to help students. But when I ask to meet any of them, I get a stock answer: “Right now, he is not around.” Dr BS Shekhawat, a psychiatrist, who works for Hopeline, an NGO and a 24-hour helpline for patients of depression, says, “The district magistrate had set up a committee to deal with the growing stress of students in coaching institutes of which I was a member. I am sorry to say that not a single recommendation of ours has been implemented. Forget about helping them, the institutes are not even ready to accept the fact that students need help.” He alleges that the coaching institutes don’t even display the Hopeline number. “They want to shift the blame for stress on parents and hostels,” he says. The institutes don’t accept that their way of teaching is causing anxiety and stress and needs to be changed, he adds. “They can’t help a student who is insomniac, withdrawn and aloof.” Shekhawat says that teachers should spot students with symptoms of depressions in their classes. He also blames parents for constantly reminding their children of the huge fees they have paid for the course and in turn pressurise them. Though as per the fresh guidelines issued by the district collector, the institutes should refund the fees to a student who wants to quit mid-session, there is no mechanism to monitor its compliance. Surpur, whose orders have angered the industry, says, “My responsibility is to create an environment for children where they do not resort to drastic steps like suicide.” - See more at: 


A look at the cycle stand of coaching institute Resonance tells about the number of students preparing for competitive exams

Dr RC Sahani, who runs a de-addiction centre in Kota, says there is a need for a regulatory authority for the coaching industry of Kota. People like Yadav, however, don’t believe that suicides have a link with the city. “Students come here by choice. The parents [of students who commit suicide] are to be blamed for pressuring their children for scoring higher.” All those whom I spoke to in the city had a similar view: suicide is an act of an individual for which a town should not be held responsible.

I was only able to meet Bansal; owners of other institutes refused to see me. Most of them, I was told, remain incommunicado with the local media. I, however, met their ‘media advisors’ who, in turn conveyed the inability of their bosses to meet me. I somehow got the number of Naveen Maheshwari, director of Allen, and contacted him. He virtually snapped at me and told me curtly that I had broken the protocol by dialling his number. Earlier, while I was trying to speak with students at Allen, a guard rushed and asked me to leave. He told me that CCTV cameras had recorded my ‘escapades’ and the central office had been alerted about me. I wonder what the coaching masters of Kota are trying to be secretive about.

As such, Kota’s coaching industry is pegged at around Rs4,400 crore. Besides opening centres all over the country, institutes have started their schools from sixth standard where they offer a composite course in school curriculum and competitive exams like Olympiads or national talent hunt. Career Point has gone further and opened a university, in addition to the school for standards 1-12. Kota probably represents all that is wrong with the Indian education system.

(The article appears in November 16-30, 2016 edition of Governance Now)

- See more at: http://www.governancenow.com/news/regular-story/kotas-journey-a-dying-wn-a-coaching-hub#sthash.IxzZi9BS.dpuf

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

'I couldn't clear JEE Mains and my parents won't talk to me' - Catch News


@piercingharmony | Updated on: 9 May 2016, 10:56 IST

http://www.catchnews.com/education-news/i-couldn-t-clear-jee-mains-and-my-parents-won-t-talk-to-me-1462767843.html

I didn't get a good score in JEE Mains. Will I ever be successful in life?"
"My parents are not talking to me because I couldn't clear JEE Mains. How will they show their face to their friends?"
"I studied only for eight hours. My friends studied for 16 hours a day."

These are some of the actual questions that student helplines have received after the JEE Mains results were declared on 27 April this year.

Clearing the two-tiered JEE exam (Mains and Advanced) along with scoring well in the Class 12 examination is no child's play. And yet, this is what 17-year-olds in India are required to do in order to make it to an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT).
"The JEE exam is associated with pride and success. If you are an IITian, you are considered to be successful in life," says Richa Singh, an IIT Guwahati alumna.

"I was also in Kota and can relate to what aspirants are going through. There is an extreme competition to get into the IITs or into good medical colleges. Aspirants get up at 4AM, study till 12PM. Life has no other meaning," she adds.

Singh is now the founder of YourDost, an initiative to help students and aspirants overcome depression.

While the race to join IITs seems to claim a number of lives every year - with five student suicides this year alone - it is important to note that these institutes rank poorly in the list of world's best universities.

IT ALL BEGINS WITH KOTA


Aspirants appear for an entrance test to get a seat at the top coaching institutes (such as Allen, Bansal, Resonance, etc) in Kota. Getting selected to a good coaching institutes in this little town in Rajasthan is often equated to reserving a seat in IITs.
According to sources, more than 30,000 students from across the country compete for a mere 800 seats in Bansals' IIT classes.
"For many parents, it is a matter of pride. 'My kid is studying in Kota', 'My kid made it to Kota Resonance or Allen'," says Singh.

However, Kota has been making news for something else entirely of late. In 2016 alone, five aspirants from Kota committed suicide.

Every year, over one lakh students head to Kota to crack the entrance tests to leading institutes across India. In the study environment provided by Kota coaching institutes, aspirants study for up to 18 hours a day, submerged in a competitive environment with rigorous mock tests, classes and unending assignments, away from the security of home.

But backing out is not an option for all. The coaching classes cost anywhere between Rs 2 to 3 lakh and the guilt of not being able to perform well or the idea of quitting mid-way creates a panic situation for the teenage aspirants.

"It's a pressure-cooker situation. The pressure to perform well, coping up with the gruelling coaching schedule and living up to parents and communities' expectations can take a toll on the aspirants," says Singh.

In this high-pressure environment, students are trained to prepare for the JEE examination along with their Class 12 Board exams.

The students have to crack the JEE Mains exam and secure a good rank in CBSE's All India Rank list, which is prepared with Mains score and Class 12 marks before they can sit for the JEE Advanced exam - which will lead to a seat in the IIT.

COACHING CENTERS ENTERING PANIC MODE?

This year, Bansal Classes put the name of one of its student on a massive billboard, claiming that the student would top the Math section in JEE Mains 2016.

Pagalguy quoted AK Tiwari, Administrative Head of Bansal Classes, Kota as saying, "Kota has been in the news for all the wrong reasons in the past few months. It is a small step to instill positivity among the students. We want to reaffirm their faith in coaching institutes here and tell them that all said and done, we are doing whatever it takes to get you into the engineering institute of your choice."

But flaunting probable toppers even before JEE Mains results were declared is bound to further add to the extreme pressure the aspirants are under.

Catch tried to get in touch with various coaching institutes in Kota and Hyderabad in a bid to understand why aspirants resort to suicide. Many refused to comment on the issue - but were initially willing to tell us about the JEE toppers from their classes.

We spoke to an instructor from a leading coaching center in Hyderabad. "Sorry, we don't comment on these issues," he first said. After some probing, the instructor said, "We do have some training programmes at the beginning of the coaching session for both parents and students on how to deal with stress." He refused to explain anything about the programme.

"Somewhere they know, that culture has penetrated because of their existence. That they put candidates in pressure-cooker situation. They should create better environment to student," says Richa Singh.

WHAT CAN BE DONE?

According to a report by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, the coaching institutes form a massive Rs 24,000 crore industry in India.

The ministry is now seriously mulling ways to reduce the dependency of aspirants on coaching by introducing a series of changes in the current testing pattern which could be revealed by the end of 2016.

When it comes to the alarming number of suicides - of student or IIT-aspirants - it is difficult to pin the blame.

Most candidates come from environments where they are conditioned to believe that cracking the JEE and making it to an IIT is the biggest thing they will achieve. This belief is not just limited to the aspirants. Families and communities seem to advocate it too.

"Often, candidates are unaware of available options. What other options? Can I pursue photography as career. Can I pursue cooking as a career, become a chef?" says Singh.

"Life should not be about getting into these colleges. A lot of people want to pursue something else but never encouraged. When one is pursuing something they don't like, chances of failure is high. When someone asks you 'Why you do want to be in IIT?' You better have a good answer. Not 'My parents told me this is the only thing to do. Motivation level in such a case will be very different," she adds.

SUICIDE PREVENTION AND COUNSELLING HELPLINES

Suicide Prevention Helpline:
Vandrevala Foundation Helpline - 1 860 266 2345 (24x7)
Aasra - +91 22 2754 6669 (24x7)
For online counselling and emotional support platform, you can visit yourdost.com

First published: 9 May 2016, 10:22 IST

Parental pressure biggest reason for Kota suicides, feel IIT Kanpur students - Catch News


@piercingharmony | First published: 19 November 2016, 13:17 IST

As many as 66.5% respondents to an IIT Kanpur survey feel that parental pressure is a major factor behind suicides of students who study at Kota coaching classes. About 51.9% feel that students take the drastic action due to stress, followed by 38.7% respondents who believe poor academic performance is the chief reason.

Drugs, narcotics, broken relationships were also other contributing factors. About 20% survey respondents personally knew someone who had committed suicide in Kota.
This was reported in the recent findings of `Kota Juggernaut Survey', conducted by the institute's campus newspaper - Vox Populi, which documented responses of about 212 undergraduate candidates, who studied at Kota before joining IIT Kanpur.

"The estimated success rate in Kota maybe 10% against the national average of 3%, but still it is a very small number, which parents need to understand rather than harbouring false hopes of assured 'success' once they admit their wards to coaching institutions," stated an article 'IITK Survey: The Kota Juggernaut'.

About 59% respondents admitted to higher stress levels in Kota coaching institutes than at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur. The survey also stated that 50% institute students, who took coaching classes at Kota institutes before joining IIT Kanpur, felt worn out by the stress experienced at Kota. The survey also stated that nearly 75% respondents felt that said Kota faculty were better at teaching than IIT Kanpur faculty, while 94% respondents feel that coaching institute teachers are better than school teachers.


According to Mayank Sharma, a student of the freshman batch (Y16), "The stress levels are almost equal. In Kota, academics is the sole contributing factor to stress, coupled with financial difficulties for some families. Over here, apart from academics, we also have to take time out for extracurriculars and other engagements."

Kota tutors are better than IIT-Kanpur profs: Study - TNN


TNN | Nov 18, 2016, 09.53 AM IST

LUCKNOW: Mayank Sharma, a student of IIT-Kanpur's freshman batch (Y16) already feels worn out and is gradually losing interest in studies, thanks to Kota's rigorous coaching culture which has left him disillusioned. 

In fact, 50% of the students at IIT-K who had studied at a coaching institute in Kota prior to joining IIT-K say they are worn out by the stress experienced at Kota. 

As many as 59% respondents say stress levels are higher in Kota than at IIT-K, which provides a comparatively relaxed environment. 

These are the findings of a `Kota Juggernaut Survey' at the institute which received responses from 212 undergraduate candidates who had studied at Kota before joining IIT. Conducted by IIT-K's campus newspaper, Vox Populi, the survey peeps into Kota's coaching culture. 

Looking at Kota, a small city in Rajasthan, once known for its industries, which every year makes headlines for producing JEE toppers, the survey found that IIT teachers were not the best. Nearly 75% respondents said Kota faculty were better at teaching than the IIT-K professors. Professors may be stalwarts in research but then, teaching is a different art, says Vox Populi team. 

"The basic idea to conduct the survey came after a spate of suicides at Kota post JEE results. We made our survey more inclusive to include factors like pressures students feel at Kota and how their lives vary at IIT-K from Kota.The survey aimed at finding out how the coaching hub influenced a student's life at IIT-K and the results were extremely surprising,'' said Vox Populi chief editor Karandeep Sharma

The survey found that the poor quality of education in Indian schools pushed students to leave their homes and join coaching institutions in Kota. It also revealed that 94% of students were of the opinion that Kota's coaching institute teachers are far better than their school teachers. 

As for suicides, parental pressure was cited as a major reason by an overwhelming 66.5% respondents.

This, says the `Vox Populi' team, echoes the sentiments of Kota DM who this year, in his open letter dedicated to all the parents of IIT aspirants made an emotional appeal by asking them "not to force their expectations and dreams on their children''. Stress, poor performance, loneliness and substance abuse are other reasons for suicides in Kota, shows the survey .

Shockingly , 80% respondents say that their stay in Kota has affected their creative side, a major cause of concern. Kota and Hyderabad, reports `Vox Populi', have often been projected as being a "factory of IITians", merely churning out products perfectly tuned for JEE, but illequipped with life skills.

The survey also validated the concept of dummy schools, an open secret, with 60% respondents saying they were enrolled in Kota's dummy schools. Another 42% respondents say they went to Kota to escape the conventional schooling system - which they considered either inadequate or a deterrent to the primary goal of "cracking" JEE.

Almost 23% went to Kota after listening to success stories of people they know. As many as 66% respondents joined Kota's coaching institutes in class 11. 

Class X Board Exams For CBSE Schools From 2018, Says Prakash Javadekar - Scoop Whoop

Nov 15, 2016 at 12:15


The government will reintroduce compulsory class X board examination for CBSE schools from the 2017-18 academic year, Union HRD minister Prakash Javadekar said on Monday.

In an informal conversation with reporters after a meeting with the Rajasthan Education Minister, he informed about the decision to re-introduce class X board examination.

Javadekar also said state governments will be given authority to reintroduce class V and VIII board examinations, a proposal for which will be tabled in the Cabinet and then in Parliament.

           HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar/ Source: PTI

"The decision to conduct class V and VIII board examinations will be left with the state," Javadekar said.

The main focus of HRD Ministry is on improving the quality of school education, specifically of government schools, he said.
Praising the initiatives taken in school education sector in Rajasthan, Javadekar said much improvement in the quality of education in government schools have been brought in the state, which was 25 years ago called "Bimaru".

He said that enrolment in government school in Rajasthan has increased by 15 lakh where Utkarsh Adarsh schools have been opened at panchayat level.

Narendra Modi-led government is working to improve academic standard and wants the curiosity among students to grow with education, the Minister said.

Asked about several students committing suicide while preparing for IIT-JEE at coaching institutes of Kota, Javadekar said a website IIT-PAL will be introduced for free of cost on which students will get facilities like study material, guidance by experts and discussion options.

You can read in details about Kota becoming a suicide zone for IIT aspirants here
(Feature image source: PTI)

HRD Ministry to launch ‘Online IIT-Pal’ for engineering aspirants - Chandigarh Tribune

Nov 14, 2016, 6:41 PM;  (IST)


Our Correspondent
Jaipur, November 14

Expressing concern over incidents of student suicides at coaching institutes in Kota and other places, Union HRD Minister Prakash Javedkar on Monday said his ministry will set up "Online IIT-Pal" to provide coaching free of cost.

“Online IIT-Pal would provide course material, tutorials, discussion forum and fortnightly tests to students. For this purpose, the HRD Ministry is getting prepared best course material from competent teachers,” Javedkar said.

Earlier in the day, Javedkar addressed a review meeting with Rajasthan education department officials and state minister for school education Vasudev Devnani. 

Some TV channels have joined hands to launch this new initiative to provide best course material and atmosphere to students to compete in IIT-JEE and other competitive exams, Javedkar said, adding this would certainly relieve the aspirants of tension and would help check unfortunate incidents of suicide.

Stating that the Central government is committed to the Right to Education from class 1, the Minister said there was a need to conduct "learning outcome assessment" in primary schools (class 1 to class 8) before promoting students. 

Necessary amendments are being introduced to decide the parameters and benchmark for learning outcome evaluations for primary school students, he said, adding the amendments would go to the Union Cabinet for approval and then to Parliament. 

The Minister hailed the Rajasthan government's success in school education saying 15 lakh students had returned to government-run schools from convent education, one lakh teachers have been promoted, most of the vacancies have been filled up, dropout rate has been reduced and B.Ed. students were allowed to do practise in government schools.

Devnani said the state government has already stopped the "no detention policy" (introduced by former HRD Minister Kapil Sibal) and introduced annual examinations at 8th standard and is going to do same for class 5 students in 2017-18 session.

From class 1 to class 4th there would be evaluation process twice in a year but no one would be failed, Devnani said.  

To a question related over demonetisation of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes by the Prime Minister, Javedkar said people across the country have hailed this decision and are cooperating to eradicate corruption, stop terrorism and black money in the market.

Entire exercise would lead to economic reform and strong social system without any corruption, he added. 

Monday, November 7, 2016

IITs to offer free JEE coaching classes - Live Mint

Last Modified: Sat, Nov 05 2016. 06 30 AM IST


Beginning January, IITs will provide tuitions through dedicated DTH TV channels and Internet to students of Classes XI and XII aspiring to join the institutes

Prashant K Nanda

IITs’ decision to offer free coaching classes for JEE will potentially hurt India’s multi-billion-dollar coaching industry. Photo: Mint

New Delhi: The Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) will offer free tuitions to students across India to help them crack the joint entrance examination (JEE) for admission to the elite engineering schools—a test billed as one that only the best and brightest can crack.

The IITs aren’t saying so, but the move will potentially hurt India’s multi-billion-dollar coaching industry, a large portion of whose intake is made up of IIT aspirants.

Beginning in January, the IITs will provide tuitions through dedicated direct-to-home TV channels and the Internet to students of Classes XI and XII aspiring to join the institutes.

“We know what kind of conceptual understanding is lacking in a sizable portion of aspirants. Through our coaching we shall clear those and make them IIT-ready,” said V. Ramgopal Rao, director of IIT-Delhi.

Tuitions for the JEE will be offered in physics, chemistry, mathematics and biology.

The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) will prescribe the problems that students would have to solve, Rao said.

“We are starting from January 2017, which will give students ample time (for over four months) to prepare for JEE,” he added.

IIT-Delhi is in charge of the project, which is being implemented by all the older IITs (Delhi, Mumbai, Kanpur, Chennai, Kharagpur and Guwahati). Some Kendriya Vidyalaya teachers have also been enlisted in the exercise.

Rao said the human resource development ministry is supporting the exercise, which would be interactive, helping students ask questions and seek clarifications.

Professors will record at least 200 hours of lectures in each subject. For regular problem-solving exercises, a key component of the JEE preparation, IIT students will chip in as teaching assistants for free.

Coaching schools have been accused of preparing students for the entrance test without making sure their understanding of fundamental concepts is clear. Earlier this year, the coaching industry came under the scanner after Kota in Rajasthan, seen as the biggest coaching hub in India, witnessed nearly a dozen students commit suicide under pressure to perform.

The offer of free tuitions is expected to attract an encouraging response from IIT aspirants, around 1.2 million of whom appear for the JEE main stage every year. Only 150,000 are short-listed for the JEE advanced stage for selection to the IITs. India has 23 IITs which admit around 10,000 students every year at the B-Tech level.



Thursday, November 3, 2016

Government has no proposal to set up its own counselling centre yet in Kota: Officials - India Today

Government has no proposal to set up its own counselling centre yet in Kota: Officials


"There is no proposal from the government to set up its own counselling centre but the district administration is mandated with monitoring the situation. All the coaching institutes have been asked to appoint professional clinical psychologists for counselling of students and their parents before admission," said District Collector Ravikumar Surpur.

No proposal from government to set up a counselling centre yet in Kota, Officials (Representational Image)

Kota, which witnessed several incidents of students committing suicide over the last few years, still awaits a government counselling facility for medical and engineering aspirants coming from different parts of the country. 

Experts said that stress remains the prime cause behind youths' suicide who came to Rajasthan city, for preparations for entrance into prestigious colleges like the IITs.

This year, 14 students, including girls, have committed suicide in Kota, whereas 21 committed suicide last year. Still the government has no proposal for setting up a counselling centre of its own for the students, officials said.

The coaching centres in the town has also contributed hundreds of crores of rupees to the government fund in the form of service tax. 

What did the district administration say?
  • The district administration has asked all the coaching institutes to appoint psychologists for counselling but the city has no full-fledged centre to start the counselling programme
  • "There is no proposal from the government to set up its own counselling centre but the district administration is mandated with monitoring the situation. All the coaching institutes have been asked to appoint professional clinical psychologists for counselling of students and their parents before admission," said District Collector Ravikumar Surpur
  • According to the collector, two local organisations are running helplines and conducting counselling for students for stress management.
Rs 167.79 crore collected as service tax: RTI's findings
  • The RTI reply to Chandrashekar Gaur of Madhya Pradesh revealed that in the last fiscal, Rs 167.79 crore have been collected as service tax from the coaching institutes, while Rs 87.59 crore have been collected till June this year
  • Gaur suggested that the government should set up a professional centre to counsel the students
Views of a doctor:
  • Dr M L Agrawal said he has counselled 540 students and many of them were accompanied by their parents. He runs a helpline called 'Hope'
  • "The level of stress was so high that 26 students were about to commit suicide and they were properly counselled and the thought of suicide was washed from their mind," he claimed
  • "In most of the cases, study-related issues are the main cause of stress. Besides, relationship and home sickness are also some of the important reasons," he added.

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No proposal for government counselling centre yet in Kota: officials - Indian Express



The district administration has asked all the coaching institutes to appoint psychologists for counselling but the city has no full-fledged centre to deal with the stress in the young minds

By: PTI | Jaipur | Published:October 26, 2016 6:36 pm

At one of the centres, there were only four counsellors for 77,000 students

Education hub Kota, which has over the last few years reported several incidents of students committing suicide, still awaits a government counselling facility for medical and engineering aspirants coming from different parts of the country.

According to experts, stress remains the dominant cause of suicide among the youths who flock to the Rajasthan city, one of the most sought after destinations for preparations for entrance into prestigious colleges like the IITs.

This year, 14 students, including girls, have committed suicide in Kota, whereas the number of students’ suicide last year stood at 21, even as the government so far has no proposal for establishing a counselling centre of its own for the students, officials have said.

The district administration has asked all the coaching institutes to appoint psychologists for counselling but the city has no full-fledged centre to deal with the stress in the young minds.

“There is no proposal from the government to set up its own counselling centre but the district administration is mandated with monitoring the situation. All the coaching institutes have been asked to appoint professional clinical psychologists for counselling of students and their parents before admission,” District Collector Ravikumar Surpur said.

The coaching centres in the town, however, contribute hundreds of crores of rupees to the government kitty in the form of service tax. As per an information obtained by Chandrashekar Gaur of Madhya Pradesh under Right to Information (RTI) Act, Rs 167.79 crore have been collected as service tax from the coaching institutes in the last fiscal, while Rs 87.59 crore have been collected till June this year.

The Collector said two local organisations are running helplines and conducting counselling for students for stress management. Dr M L Agrawal, who runs a helpline called ‘Hope’, said he has counselled 540 students and many of them were accompanied by their parents.


“The level of stress was so high that 26 students were about to commit suicide and they were properly counselled and the thought of suicide was washed from their mind,” he claimed.

“In most of the cases, study-related issues are the main cause of stress. Besides, relationship and home sickness are also some of the important reasons,” he added. Gaur, who obtained the information of service tax collected from the coaching institutes, suggested that the government should set up a professional centre to counsel the students.

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) had earlier in June this year summoned Kota District Collector regarding a spate of suicide cases involving IIT-aspirants studying in various coaching centres in the town.

The commission, probing 44 suicide cases in the coaching hub during past three years, was also critical of the prevailing conditions in many coaching institutes.

“There were 250 students packed in one classroom, there is no grievance redressal system for students and even though there is a helpline number available the same has not been displayed at these centres. We also noticed that at one of the centres there were only four counsellors for 77,000 students,” an NCPCR official had noted.

“The government is collecting service tax from coaching institutes, so it should also provide facilities for counselling on its own,” said Kamesh Sharma, a local social worker.