Can a coaching app and JEE question papers beat Kota’s institutes?

To combat the menace of coaching institutes, the Government has announced that the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and the Ministry of Human Resources Department (MHRD) will soon launch a mobile app and a portal containing free lectures from IIT faculty on various subjects and previous years’ question papers of entrance tests to these prestigious engineering institutions. 

The preparation material to be launched over the period of two months will help engineering aspirants prepare for the Joint Engineering Exams (JEE). Doesn’t this proposition threaten the hegemony of institutes in country’s coaching capital? The coaching institutes say that these steps will have little or no impact on their businesses. Nitin Vijay, Motion Eduventures Pvt Ltd, says, “Most engineering aspirants join the two-year programme and have already paid fees for the same. Hence, I don’t think this year the video lectures and question papers will have any bearing on enrolment figures.” 

Even if the MHRD sticks to its schedule, the promised preparatory material won’t be released until July or August. By then, it would be too late for engineering aspirants, especially those aiming for IITs, to start preparation. Ashish Gupta, MD, Bansal Classes, said, “While the government’s move is credible, it will take a few years to show any impact on the coaching culture in Kota. No doubt, it will help IIT aspirants, but students who have already joined classes may not consider dropping out for preparatory material to be delivered via MHRD’s app or portal.” 

The aspirants feel that classroom learning is more personalised and effective than video tutorials. Besides, the professors at coaching institutes are also IITians. Hence, teaching is considered at par with that of IIT professors. 

However, it is hoped that in the coming years, students’ dependence on coaching institutes will decrease and that on the government’s preparation material will increase. It will also reduce the monetary burden on parents and students alike. 

As of now, the only change that engineering aspirants are looking forward to is the dumbing down of JEE’s difficulty level as suggested by MHRD.