Anand Kumar, who founded the 'Super 30', Bihar's widely acclaimed free coaching centre, Monday said that despite the good intentions of the joint councils of IITs, NITs and IIITs behind holding a common admission examination, the complicated process could put students, particularly those in rural areas, at a serious disadvantage.
Kumar said the proposed reform to bring focus back to the schooling system by giving weightage to performance in Class XII Board examinations normalized on percentile basis would be a serious challenge, as there is a huge gulf between schools of the CBSE and ICSE boards and those under state boards. The formula to be adopted for percentile calculation is also not clear, as all state boards have different yardsticks, he added.
Kumar said that the present system would make students more dependent on coaching, as they would require it for three different examinations - one for the proposed JEE-Main which will also have an aptitude test, another for the proposed JEE-Advanced, and third for scoring high marks in the plus two examinations. This will put students psychological pressure, Anand said.
"What is more, the students from rural areas, who don't have the advantage of quality schooling, would miss out from JEE-Advanced for no fault of theirs. If there is one examination, they put their heart and soul together and try to compete with the privileged lot, which will not happen now and end up giving IITs an elitist look," he added.
Kumar said that for ensuring better secondary education, there was need to develop faith in the school system. "Students are running for coaching institutes not because they have extra money to spend. It is because they look for whatever quality they can get from the institutes, which is not available in schools. The proposed mechanism may work as a deterrent for rural students dreaming to get into IITs," he added.
Having set up 'Super 30' a decade ago, Anand provides free residential coaching to 30 meritorious students from underprivileged sections of society. So far, 263 students have made it to the IITs, drawing worldwide attention to the programme. Time magazine described his school as the ‘best in Asia', while Discovery channel made an hour-long documentary on 'Super 30'. England's famous magazine ‘Monocle' described Anand as the top 20 best teachers.