Kota Diaries: Engineering Coaching in Kota

Articles about Engineering Coaching in Kota will be published here before coming on the news feed. Feel free to follow the thread for early updates!


JEE Advanced topper Satvit Jagwani is now the inspiration for thousands of aspirants. Reason being, he is the topper this year in JEE (A). The lad, who underwent his coaching from the Bansal Classes in Kota, met with the media for conversation.How did he achieve this, is the question on your mind. Read on to know his mantra for success.

The simple trick of sticking to the basics in the syllabus worked wonders for the lad. "I have always been very clear with my studies. By laying proper stress on the fundamentals and paying attention during classroom coaching, one can learn more appropriately", he said.

He also suggested that the regular practice and sincerity in doing home works apart from the classroom coaching is also essential. "It is important to have doubts cleared as when they arise from the faculty", he added

He, unlike most toppers, denied following any fixed study hour while preparing for the exams. "Study hours did not matter to me. It was just the concentration while studying which was crucial", he said. His preparation gave him confidence that he would secure a top rank, but the 1st rank was a surprise to him as well.

He has scored 469 marks out of 504 and earned the 1st rank. He now wishes to pursue engineering in Computer Science at the IIT Bombay. He attributes his success to the support from his parents, who are doctors by profession, and his teachers at the coaching classes which he joined in the 11 standard.

Pramod Bansal, CEO, of the Bansal Classes was also very proud of his achievements. It is the fifth time that a student from their institution has secured the 1st rank in the span of 16 years. "He joined us when he was in the 11 standard. today we are proud his efforts paid off", he said.

Satvat like most teenagers of his age, is an avid reader who loves reading fictions, likes to solve Sudoku puzzles and also watch the Discovery channel on Television.


Kota yet again produces the topper for this year's JEE (A) exams. The engineering coaching hub at Kota is bustling with activity as each of the coaching institute is busy tallying the number of students scoring top ranks in the exam. Most of them were yet to confirm their numbers by the time of publishing this report. Read on to know the stats...

Bansal Classes Kota was the front runner in this race with its student, Satvat Jagwani securing the 1st rank in the JEE Advanced. They informed that three of their students have bagged All India Ranks (AIR) in Top 100 including the regular classroom coaching students Reshank Mittal and Prakhar Ganesh. The success of Satvat and other students was credited to their hard work by the Director,V. K Bansal. He also added that that the compilation of the results are underway but highly possible that there are a large number of selections in the JEE Advanced from their institute.

Allen Career Institute has also had a good number of selections in the JEE (A) this year. Brajesh Maheshwari, Director, informed that at least 7 students from the classroom coaching have secured a rank in the Top-50 and 14 in the Top-100. Divyansh Pareek achieved AIR 18 while another classroom student Kartik Singhal scored AIR 21. Kshititj Garg bagged AIR 23, Akash Trehan with AIR 24, Kshititj Jain AIR 36, Akshat Gupta AIR 40, Vishwajeet Singh AIR 48, Jatin Arora AIR 54 , Sheshansh Agarwal AIR 58, Pranay Agarwal AIR 59, Mukul Chaturvedi AIR 73, Ronak Agarwal AIR 77, Sarthak Mishra AIR 93 and Tanmay Bansal AIR 99. Incidentally the topper of the JEE (A) was from Allen career institute last year.

The second and the third rank in the ST category have been secured by Roshan Lal Meena and Thakurwar Rohit Gangadhar of the Resonance Institute.  R.K Verma, MD, Resonance Institute added that 4 students in the classroom program, Bhavya Chaudhary, Abhay Singh Chauhan, Rohit Jena and Anoosh R Kotak have made it to the Top-100.

Other institutes were not far from claiming success as Shailendra Maheshwari, Director, Career Point Institute, Kota, informed that 2 of their students have secured Ranks in the Top 100 in JEE Advanced. Abhivan Goyal was ranked at AIR 32. He also added 11 students of their institute in Top 500 and 22 in Top 1000 in General Category while 10 students in Top 500 in Other Backward Castes category and 6 students and 9 students in Top 100 and Top 200 in Scheduled Tribes category.

Kota based coaching institute Motion Education Private Limited has claimed 578 selections in JEE-Advanced. Nitin Vijay, Managing Director of Motion, informed that 3 students made their way to the Top 100 All India Ranks namely Arshdeep Singh securing AIR-41, Devansh Shah securing AIR-65 and Saksham Jindal securing AIR-97.

Narendra Awasthi , Director ,Vibrant Academy, claimed that a total of 10 students including 6 classroom coaching and 4 distance learning students have grabbed Ranks in Top 100 in JEE Advanced.


In a city which is so well known for its engineering coaching and education, one wouldn't expect a gang of cool dudes from diverse backgrounds to get together and form a music band. Here is 'Revelation', a band based out of Kota and their musical journey.

It is quite unbelievable that of all things, it will be music that will unite these guys, one of whom is an Operation and Admin Head at a corporate company, one who is a stone merchant and the last an entrepreneur. "As a child I was extremely fond of music, and loved to listen and play instruments as well. But the idea of a band was born when I met Akshit Soral, in 2008. He was my senior in school and played the guitar. This could have been a one-off conversation but Akshit invited me to his home for a jamming session. This is where I also met Ashwin Jain who is our lead singer and Sumit Edwin who is an entrepreneur and also a guitarist. This meeting then blossomed into 'Revelation'," says Clive Ansley, who is the lead guitarist. Incidentally, the bollywood flick RockOn! (2008), which the guys had gone to watch inspired them to take their jamming sessions a step further and form their band 'Revelation'.

Here is also another surprise, these guys have not trained professionally, but it is their passion for music that kept them going. As the years went by, the number of members grew, and today they are eight guys with two lead singers Bhuvan Malik who is student pursuing M.tech along with Ashwin Jain, Shashank Pandey, pursuing his B.Tech and Aditiya Chaudhary who just passed his 12th standard play the Keyboard and the Drums in that order. They even have a Lyricist, Ajay Nagar, who is Assistant VP at an engineering coaching institute in Kota.

With such diverse backgrounds and most definitely skewed schedules of each member, it sure must be a tough task to get together regularly for practice.  "We guys decide schedules only on the basis of every member's convenience. So it is a mandatory practice sessions which no band member must miss. We strongly believe that when you give out your heart and soul, that's when its music from the soul." He says.

Based at the hub of engineering coaching, they agree there is not much scope for performances, but they have had over 150 performances since 2008 for various corporate companies' such as Dainik Bhaskar, Zee News, Vodafone etc as well as various coaching classes. They have one upcoming event lined up for the Allen Career Institute.

Apart from the love and passion for music, these guys also bond over lunches, travelling and to just chill out as well.


With the declaration of results of the JEE (A) 2015, coaching institutes of Kota have claimed around 10000 selections of the total 26,456 students declared eligible for the counselling for admissions into the IITs. If this is true, Kota will have the largest share of selections from all over the country.

Bansal Classes of Kota is riding high on the success of their student Satvat Jagwani, who secured the AIR 1. This is not all the total number of students selected from this coaching institute is 930. "Apart from the topper we also have four students who have secured Top 100 All India merit list rank," said V.K. Bansal, Director, Bansal Classes.

3955 students from Resonance Eduventure Pvt Ltd have been selected in the JEE (A) final merit list. "Three of our students have also scored a rank in the Top 100 AIR this year," said Shivraj Singh, General Manager, Resonance classes.

One of the other major institutes of Kota Allen Career Coaching Institute was also not far behind in registering success with the results of JEE (A). Allen, Director, Rajesh Maheshwari said 2361 of their students got selected of which 14 students have secured Top 100 rank.

Apart from these institutes, Vibrant Academy claimed 1250 selections though the compilation of the results was still ongoing. The institute also informed that 10 students so far have secured a rank in Top 100 AIR merit list.

Career Point Coaching Institute of Kota has declared 937 selections, two of who have secured a rank in the Top 100 AIR. Motion Education Private Limited; have informed that they have a total of 578 selections with 3 students in the Merit list. Also last but not the least, Rao IIT Academy of Kota also informed 623 selections in JEE Advanced of which 4 students have secured a top rank.

Of over one lakh students who appeared for the JEE(A) only 26,456 students cleared and will soon be shortlisted for the seats in the 18 IITs and ISM Dhanbad.

The city of Kota has been revelling in a celebratory mood ever since the declaration of JEE (Advanced) 2015 results. The students who have secured a rank in the Top 100 rankers' merit list were recently felicitated by their Coaching institutes.

Leading the pack was Bansal Classes, Kota, who awarded Satvat Jagwani, a whopping sum of Rs. 11 lakh as reward. The felicitation ceremony was held at the Bansal Public School in Kota where other rankers Rishank Mittal (AIR 51), Anoosh Kotak (AIR-87) and Prakhar Ganesh (AIR-96) were also awarded prizes of Rs.1 Lakh each.

The occasion was graced by the Chief Executive Officer, Bansal Classes, V. K. Bansal, directors Sameer Bansal and Gaurav Bansal and R. K. Verma, CMD of Resonance Eduventures Limited. Dr. Bhumika Jagwani, mother of Satvat Jagwani, was the chief guest for the occasion.

The audience was addressed by V.K Bansal, who stressed on the importance of devotion and perseverance to succeed in life. "Success is directly related to devotion and not with materialism", he concluded.

 Similarly, the Allen Career Institute, Kota, also conducted a felicitation program 'Victory 2015' for their rankers of JEE (Advanced) and AIIMS MBBS Entrance Examination, 2015. Divyansh Pareek, who secured the 18th All India Rank (AIR) in JEE (Advanced), 2015 was awarded with a cash prize of Rs. 2 lakh. This was the highest rank secured by a student from Allen Institute in JEE Advanced this year.

Along with Divyansh, 12 classroom coaching students were awarded Rs 1 lakh each as a reward for securing a rank in the Top 100 in JEE (Advanced) 2015. A total of 2363 students qualified JEE (Advanced) from Allen this year, who were also rewarded with cash prizes, medals and scholarships. Similarly, the 30 successful students of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) MBBS Entrance Examination from Allen were also felicitated at the event.

Director of Allen Career Institute, Naveen Maheshwari informed that his mother, Krishna Devi Mandhana, along with her sons and other Directors of Allen Institute gave away cash awards, medals and scholarships to the successful students of JEE (Advanced), 2015 and AIIMS, 2015.


In real life, VK Bansal looks exactly like the way he does in
photographs.  A trademark white bush shirt, a half smile waiting to
break into a grin and a gaze that seems to be perennially fixed some
place far away.

What the photos do not incarcerate, however, is the moral fibre that
makes VK Bansal, the 65 year-old grand daddy of Kota, Rajasthan. The man who  singularly started an engineering coaching industry which is rolling in crores of rupees today  - and all from a handicap and a pink slip that was never meant to be.

Occupying the corner most office on the ground floor at the huge
Bansal Classes mansion in Kota, Mr. Bansal, until recently, took
lectures like other faculty at Bansals. These days, he is a bit unwound but lectures nevertheless. Meeting this man is a must for any journalist covering Kota - the Mecca for engineering aspirants in India.

"Why did you want to meet me," he asks when this correspondent walked  in and with a taciturn smile adds "You want to write about my handicap"?  Ironically, except for the automated wheel chair that peeps from behind Mr Bansal, handicap and the man seem far apart. Not a note of self-pity nor a word of lament. 

What Mr. Bansal calls handicap is muscular dystrophy - a disorder that left him physically  impaired at the young age of 28 (in 1974), a few
years after he graduated in mechanical engineering from the Banaras Hindu University. At that point Mr. Bansal had moved to Kota from Jhansi (his birth place) to join JK Synthetics, a chemical company. He was also married by then.

Over that, Mr. Bansal was told he was at an advanced stage of muscular dystrophy, which meant 7-8 years or maximum a decade to live. For most people, this diagnosis would have heralded a series of visits to  Gods and godmen, places of worship, astrologers and of course a string of doctors. Of all, Bansal chose the last.

"I wrote to many doctors across the world and visited a few in India. I asked only one thing - a list of professions I could undertake with my condition," said Mr. Bansal. It was then that a doctor based in Mumbai, (then Bombay) suggested that teaching could be considered. Mr. Bansal was also in a hurry since there were feelers from JK Synthetics to let him go since his arms and limbs had begun to get quite dysfunctional.

"I wasted no time in taking the 'teaching' suggestion seriously and hunted for students.  Yes, I had taught earlier in an institute but to make a career in it was different and that too in the condition that I was," Mr. Bansal remarked.

The Bansal chief then started hunting for students. "I used to go to the playground in the JK Synthetics' housing colony. where I stayed and picked up children to tutor. Those days' tuitions were still a novel thing," Mr. Bansal recalls. The tuitions were taken at the dining table in his house. What started with a single student grew to a sizeable number within a few years. Though Math was what Mr Bansal's forte was, he started taking an interest in engineering preparations too. 

He revisited his engineering books after a decade and bought new books as well to update himself. Sometime in 1983, when JK Synthetics closed down, Mr. Bansal started coaching classes on a professional scale. He gathered with him the brains and scientists who worked for JK and thus Bansal Classes came into existence in 1991. 

What follows is the inspiring journey that led to the Bansal empire. Catch the PART-2 of the story here.


By early 2000s, some of the students who Mr. Bansal had taught had

managed an entry into the IITs. Mr Bansal pioneered a new method of teaching. He invented what he calls the DPP which is Daily Practise Problems, which meant a daily look and grind into solving problems. Since the time between the Board exams and the IIT entrance exams is never enough to feel 'well-prepared'. Bansal  evolved a system wherein candidates could work through strict deadlines and solve those  questions which mattered. 

Mr Bansal handed over a sheet of paper to this correspondent which had a set of basic multiplication, square roots and other Math problems. "This," he said, "is the basis of all Math. It is not very different in JEE Mains. The papers are not too tough. Get your basics right and everything else will be easy."  

Mr. Bansal's love for teaching did not arise out of a selfish need to
make money but more as a route to survival. "I always loved teaching and loved learning too. I have studied under street lamps because my family could not afford electricity back home in Jhansi," Mr. Bansal disclosed.

As a child, Bansal earned scholarships and got through school because his family had no money to pay tuition fees. "I knew the value of education and what it takes to get a good education," Mr. Bansal said.

And soon the Bansal Empire was built. What was once a handicap turned into a blessing. Mr. Bansal has also built an institution to facilitate research on muscular dystrophy so that other people inflicted with the same infirmity could be saved of the anguish. 

At 28, Bansal was told he would not survive the coming ten years; it is more than 30 years now that he has not taken ill at all.

The austere allegiance to physio-therapy and diet has gained the grand daddy of Kota much approbation. When this correspondent visited him, Mr. Bansal had not taken lunch because he had gulped down two tiny pieces of mithai late morning. "I don't do exercise so I cannot afford to put on weight. Two pieces of mithai is the same, if not worse, than having lunch by way of calories"

Over the years, Mr. Bansal has been bestowed with many honours. A
'Memento of Honour' awarded on the eve of 50th Independence day by the Government of Rajasthan, a  "Kota-Man of the year" in 2001, and an Inshape, Aptech and Hariyali honour, to name only a few

But Mr. Bansal does not like too many praises heaped on him. Before this correspondent could get started on his diet, Mr. Bansal pressed a button on his wheel chair and swiftly slipped away into the long corridor outside his office. He turned  his wheelchair sideways once to bid a good-bye and then, single-handedly, pressed a few more buttons, rode on to a ramp outside the office and sped away into the expanse which connects the campus to his home. 

You can read the PART-1 of this series to know the story behind VK Bansal

 JEE Main ranks to be announced at 12 noon today. Students can check their results here.


The city has been a hot bed for news over the last couple of weeks, mainly for the outstanding performances given by students in the JEE Main and Advanced. Now, it is not just the performance that is in the limelight but also the pressure under which the students are, that is driving them to commit suicides. The four suicides that have occurred in the city have raised the concern of the coaching experts and psychiatrists. They now are looking at ways to reach out to students and detect early signs to prevent such untoward incidents.  

Rohit Singh (18) of Bihar was found hanging at his residence in Mahalakshmipuram apartments of Kota City. He was living with his parents and was preparing for the JEE at a coaching institute in Kota. Nibha Kumari of Chhatra district of Jharkhand, Sarthak Yadav (17) of Uttar Pradesh and o Divyansh Vishwakarma of Jonpur (UP) also committed suicides by hanging themselves in June. Most of these students have left suicide notes which points out to stress mainly because of the studies.

However, this is not the first time that students have committed suicides in Kota which is famous for the success of its coaching institutes in the medical and engineering entrance examinations. The trend of recent years reflects rise in such suicides. As per the Kota City Police records, the number of suicides was 11 in the year 2012, 26 in 2013, and fourteen in the year 2014. So far, this year, the city has recorded 12 suicides.

Vinit Kumar, a student from UP who is preparing for the JEE in Kota, said that, the expectations from the family was very high. He also added that the competitive environment in the city was also a major contributor to stress.

Coaching experts and psychiatrists cite several other reasons that force the students to commit suicide in the city. Dr. M.L. Agrawal, Senior Psychiatrist and Director, Agrawal NeuroPsychiatry Center, Kota cited physiological and psychological stress is caused due to homesickness, parental pressure and competition apart from the studies. He said that counselling is the best remedy for students.

However, apathy towards the issue can be gauged from the fact that the psychiatric and general counselling centre which was established with the support of district administration Hope Society, in Kota around 5 years back, for the aide of students is closed from the last few months.

The coaching institutes of Kota blame parental pressure and emotional issues of the students for the suicides. Naveen Maheshwari, Director, Allen Career Institute, Kota, informed that their coaching institutes have hired psychiatrists and counsellors for the counselling of students. He however also said that parents should not pressurize their kids over studies.

Psychiatrists, counsellors cite the best way to beat stress is to share their feelings and problems with close confidants. Students must also take out time for regular sports and other activity during their stay in Kota for coaching. Failure must not deter them, and it is important to remember that engineering and medical exam is not the end of the road. There are multiple career options available. Seeking help and reaching out when in distress is important as well.

After a delay of over a week's time, the JEE Main Ranks, 2015 were declared on Wednesday. The results bought in a lot of cheer yet again for Kota, as most of the coaching institutes claimed success. Kota's coaching classes have grabbed over 30 ranks in Top 100 Ranks of JEE Mains with 3 ranks within Top 10.

Allen claimed the best Top Ranks in JEE Mains. Brajesh Maheshwari, Director, Allen Career Institute of Kota, informed that 3 students from the institute have secured a rank in the All India Ranks (AIR) Merit list of Top 10 in the JEE Main; Sheshansh Agarwal 4th AIR, Divyansh Pareek 5th AIR and Jai Moondra 7th AIR.

12 students from the Allen Institute have secured a rank in the Top 100 AIR Merit list. Gorika Bang, who secured the 15th AIR in JEE Main is also the Topper in the Girls category. He also added that 37 students have secured ranks in Top 500 and a total of 75 students have made it into the list of Top 1,000.

Bansal Classes, Kota had witnessed huge success in the JEE Advanced, 2015 results last month with 1st rank being secured by their student Satvat Jagwani. He has scored the 740th rank in the JEE Main. They have claimed 3 ranks, in Top 100 of JEE Main merit list; Siddhanth Arora AIR 11th, Shukrut Rao AIR 34th and Anil Bera AIR 63rd have are the students who have secured the top ranks. Anuj Jain, who spoke on behalf of the institute, informed that 12 of its' students have secured a rank in the Top 500, 29 in Top 1000, 67 in Top 2,000 and 347 in Top 10,000.

The Resonance Eduventures Private Limited, Kota claimed the lion's share in the JEE Main Ranks. Shivraj Singh, General Manager, Resonance Eduventures Pvt. Ltd., informed that their institute has 25,383 selections in JEE Main Ranks. Out of the selected students, 18,657 are from Regular Classroom Program and 6,726 are from Distance Learning Program of Resonance. He said that a total of 11 students from Resonance, 3 from the Regular Classroom Program and 8 students from Distance Learning Program have made it to the Top 100 list from the General Category.

Career Point Institute of Kota has so far only claimed 5 ranks in the JEE Main. Pramod Maheshwari, Chairman and Managing Director, informed that total 5 of its' students have grabbed AIR in JEE Mains Rank result today. Ayush Khandelwal, Utkarsh Sinha, Kacham Praneeth, Abhinav Goyal and Meet Kumar have got AIR 58, 70, 77, 84 and 87 respectively.

Also, Rao IIT Academy of Kota, Director, B V Rao told that its student Vidhyasagar Naidu from Mumbai center of the institute has bagged 1st AIR in Other Backward Caste (OBC) category and 19th AIR in JEE Mains Ranks result that was declared. In the Scheduled Tribe (ST) category, AT Rajratna has secured the 54th AIR and Shreyas D Beetal secured the 66th AIR. A total of 2,610 students from their institute have qualified, said Rao.

Motion Classes Kota also claimed success in JEE Mains Ranks. Nitin Vijay, Managing Director of Motion briefed that, 2 students had secured a rank in the Top 120 All India Ranks, in which Simi Karan secured AIR-37 and Devansh Shah secured AIR-102. 18 students secured a rank in Top 1,000 and 1,187 students made it to the top 5,000. With a total of 1187 selections, Motion's success percent is at 56%.

After the declaration of JEE Mains Ranks 2015, now the Joint Counseling for JEE 2015 has also commenced. The students  who have got Ranks in JEE Mains would now vie for total 34000 seats of around 87 institutions including IIT, IIIT, NIT and other government funded central technical institutions of the country.


Well, at least not the kind of education many of the coaching institutes in Kota and Hyderabad have to offer.Having visited both places in the recent months,the spectacle outside and inside of the coaching centres is beyond belief. The scramble for admission forms, crowds thronging the reception desks and the harried expressions of both, the parents and students is what surrounds one. Given this, it is quite a braintwister how and why so many survive the scathing grub-work, popularly called coaching.

Kota caters to over a lakh of aspirants and Hyderabad (and places like Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam) under a lakh.Students enroll in coaching sessions that last anything from a few months to as much as 7 years.

Where do these go, if IITs and NITs don't happen? IITs or some other engineering college in all probability. And after all that a sizeable chunk of these end up doing their MBA and a good number of them end up in marketing.

Faculty at coaching institutes in both, Kota and Hyderabad who dared to speak against the coaching techniques say that there is little of 'real learning.' "The good students need little coaching and the not-so-good make it to either the very new IITs, NITs, and other engineering colleges so things are quite set," said one on condition of anonymity.

It is not that coaching institutes make wonders of a boilerplate student or get a non-performer into an IIT with overnight of coaching. Whichever category of students, rote learning is the buzzword since there is only one harbor in sight - IIT.

"Over the years, all coaching institutes have gained a fair idea of what is expected in the exams and a good dose of it over and over again ensures basic success," said another faculty.

Fuelling this mania for the IITs are parents who think it is a medallion their child should sport. "And why not," replied a parent spotted outside a coaching institute in Talwandi, Kota. "It is not easy getting into an IIT. When I search for a girl for my son later, I will have an edge."

Faculty members, who think contrary to the grain say that to get into an IIT or an NIT, every other growth is stunted. More often this true in places that encourage integrated coaching. "There is no skill or hobby development. No time to play sports or follow a talent, just coaching day in and day out - how does one develop a personality ready to take on the world," the professor adds.

He cited the example of a boy in a local school in Jaipur who always stood first in class. He did well at the Olympiad and coaching classes tried to win him over to nurture him to be a topper. He did not yield, more importantly, his parents did not give in.

About to complete school, this child has taken part in all the sports events and curricular activities within and outside school. "And this boy, if ever he decides to become an engineer and take up coaching, would have at least more of life experience," the professor concluded. Many coaching institutes work like factories, with a time-table chalked out to the last minute in the day with little 'recess' time.

Which IIT one gets through to is also imperative. Agreed that the sprint is always, for IIT Bombay and then the rest but there is quite a cultural divide even within the IITs. Having visited only four of the 17 IITs, I am not in a position to speak for all. But, boy, there is a huge variation in the sensibilities in the IITs. And that reflects in the mindtrips of the students. In some IITs, students do not freely associate themselves with the outside world till an external PR team says so.

Pramod Maheshwari, of Career Point adds that while the IIT as an institution is sacred, not many are doing what they set out to do. "How many have incubation centres where students are allowed to chase their dreams. Placements and that too often not in one's stream of study should not be considered success by the IITs like the thinking these days."

So, then, what is this crusade for?

For the small number of those who make it big, this is all worth it but for the vast number

-who do not get into the coaching institutes (they have entrance tests too)

-those who get through the coaching classes and do not get into the IITs,

-those who get into the IITs and don't do anything worthwhile in life.

Wouldn't it have been better then that children were just allowed to play in the garden and chase rainbows and feel good about life.

Deepak Agarwal, an IITian who has gone through the grind thinks similar. Below is an excerpt from his article titled Story of an Indian engineer in which he has explained, from first-hand knowledge why he does not think too much of the IIT JEE.  

'Less than 2% make it to get an admission through JEE to one of the prestigious IITs or NITs. 98% get beaten and are those who could not live upto system's criteria and parental expectation. Precious years lost in learning what they won't need. Precious years lost in not being good in social skills, communication skills, teamwork and self-awareness. They go back into oblivion to fight another battle of finding a job with their soul crushed. Net outcome, a nation full of so called losers and opportunity for another set of private coaching classes to polish students for bank exams, government jobs, B. Ed exams, soft-skills and so on. These 98% who have put in sweat, blood and money to become IITians then crank up the private engineering school business, who gleefully exploit the opportunity. Even those who make it to NITs more often than not carry a sense of inadequacy of having not made it to IITs. It breaks my heart.'

Read Agarwal's full article here. 

Besides VK Bansal, there was yet another person who helped to make Kota  the Mecca for engineering aspirants. A child of 12 and VK Bansal's first student.

The child who VK Bansal  tugged from playgrounds and tennis courts to tutor. The child who bore out  to Bansal that he could teach and all was not lost to muscular dystrophy.

This child Punit Pandey is 48  years old today and Executive Vice-President at 9Xmedia.  

"As a child, I was typically naughty and didn't quite enjoy studying and that's how it all started," Punit told PaGaLGuY. Punit's parents were worried about his academics and VK Bansal offered to teach. That's how the phenomenon called coaching started in Kota.

For a while, Punit was Bansal's first and only student and was tutored in Maths and Physics.  "Later my brother Nishith and another friend joined us," Punit remembers.

At first Bansal taught at Punit's home, much to the child' horror. "Typical like boys of my age, I didn't really enjoy studying. So Bansal uncle used to come to the playground or the tennis court and drag me from there."

After a while, when VK Bansal's muscular dystrophy began getting a little severe,  classes were shifted to the professor's house and at his dining table. "It was an informal atmosphere. Bansal's wife was like a mother to us and loved having us over. But Uncle Bansal was strict when it came to teaching us."

Slowly, the number of students increased and before time, there was a huge number of them flocking Bansal's home.

"My grades definitely changed and that was good enough for my parents. Similar was the case with other students, so more students joined us," said Puneet.

Then, all the students were from JK Synthetics colony  since their parents worked in the company plant, just like VK Bansal.

In true Bansal style, students took exams every Friday.  "We knew that our answer sheets would be stacked at Uncle Bansal's home so Saturday morning when Uncle was away at work, we used to go to his house and quietly change our answers. One day we got caught," recalls Punit.

That day hell broke loose for the boys but the lecture that Bansal gave them post the incident, is still vivid in Punit's mind.  "Mr Bansal used to cane us but that day he explained to us the meaning of education and honesty, and how both that would get us far in life. He explained how it is important to do difficult things in life to race ahead than find the easier way out."

Ironically, Punit did not go on to become an engineer, nor did his brother (who is a Director at  McDonald's). But somewhere both the brothers, for being Bansal student no 1 and 2 owe their life journeys to VK Bansal. "The man who taught us the importance of gaining a good foundation to do whatever else one desired in life later."

Read here the story of VK Bansal, The man who made Kota the Mecca for engineering student.

Money not Education drives Kota Teachers; who bears the brunt? (PART 1)

Money, greed, growth, competition! What drives one to the path of fickleness? IIT professors in Kota coaching classes sure have a lot on their plate. They might probably be the country's most expensive professors fetching a whopping 3-4 crores per annum as salary, and yet display unsatisfactory conduct and disloyalties at the end of each academic year. But are IIT professors really skipping stones or have they just fallen victim to another sickening controversy? After all, in a land that mass produces engineers, professors are the heart and soul of the industry. Here is a 3 part series that debates the issue of Coaching Classes Industry in Kota being stricken with teacher troubles, the frigid race to superiority and their personal experiences with it. This article, in the words of Ashish Gupta, Managing Director, Bansal Classes, discusses his own unpleasant experiences in keeping up with changing patterns of the coaching industry in Kota.

The industry is growing at a good pace every year and so there is an increasing demand for and competition among teachers. Salaries rise by 25-100% each year and the ideal pay-scale in our classes is a generous 60-65 % of our annual turnover. I am personally aggrieved with this deal and foresee difficulty in keeping up with the pace of changing.

Certain other classes have started pooling resources from outside investors and supplementary avenues. One of the top institutes has taken the private equity route and entered into collaborations with other firms, while some other big guns look for international funds for survival.

However, despite all these efforts, the industry still remains highly unorganised with rampant poaching and enticing. The big guns in the industry allocate precious funds not on upgrading teaching facilities but on buy-off strategies for high profile professors. This is done not just for profit purposes but also to attract more top ranking students that bring in prestige to the classes. Since the year 2000, in Jaipur, we have lost almost 800 professors. This year 600 students have left our classes in a bid to follow their favourite teachers. What people don't realise is that in this bargain, it is ultimately the students who suffer while the latter only benefitting from easy incomes.

In my opinion, poaching is a dirty practice which resonates with the morals and the oath of responsible professors. More importantly, one should refrain from this indulgence because this is a never-ending vicious cycle. But sticking by one's standards doesn't always bring in good auger. Over the years, the volume and quality of students has detoriated and the economy has forced several institutes to resort to cost-cutting. Our classes too have faced the bunt of this turn. While in 2008, Bansal took pride in giving the country at least 30-40 IIT rankers, today we have barely 10 students who achieve that feat. 

But unfortunately, we are in a bivouac where professors have become dealers of service and the only way of survival is to get your hands dirty.

Look out for the second part to this article tomorrow. 

For all those readers out there who have already developed opinions about the Kota teacher poaching issue, here is another angle to the story that will probably help you get some perspective. Through this article, Pankaj Birla (Vice President, Allen Career Institute) describes his content with the progress of the Coaching Industry in Kota. In his words....

Kota has today become the hub of IIT Coaching centers in Rajasthan. Students from different parts of the country relocate here to provide best coaching to their wards. I was amazed to hear about this controversy of teacher poaching being rampant in the city. In my opinion, there is no such poaching or buy-off happening in Kota. The industry is highly organised and is advancing at a remarkable rate. Not a single professor has left our classes in the past 3 years. But yes, since our student base keeps expanding with every academic year, we do find the need to frequently hire new professors.

Speaking about teacher's loyalties, as I said earlier, since the industry is going and the economy is in favour, there is an ever increasing demand for IIT professors. It is only human nature for one to shift jobs in pursuit of a better salary. However, you cannot attribute such shifting only to the money aspect. There are several other factors that attract professors to some top classes; such as better teaching facilities, larger student base, better use of technology, etc.

Besides, it's a known fact that Iitians make better professors. They have an edge over those from other colleges because the questions asked in IIT exams are not straight forward but are tricky and tough. It compels students and professors to focus not just on learning the concepts but also at innovative application. Teachers here have a better aptitude and students try to emulate the same and no doubt when teachers leave class, students follow suit. This is not some dirty conspiracy but the affectionate teacher-student bond that every coaching class tries to cultivate.

Now I agree that a lot of people consider the IIT Industry to be gender biased; and looking at the scenario, I am not surprised. But you cannot make generalizations based on a few observations. For instance, in our classes there are 35 teachers, 12 of which are females. Even the boy-girl ratio in our classes is not very off. Of course you can't do much if the choice of engineering is more widespread among boys than to girls.

PaGaLGuy Take - We are of the opinion that teacher poaching has become such a common phenomenon in the education sector today, that most people turn a blind eye towards it. The craze for marks, ranks and shortcuts to success is now a bandwagon effect. Education is no longer something that sets one apart from the other but in fact teaches them to follow the herd. The commercialization of education has created an invisible bubble which will soon burst leaving most students victims of a failed system; and when that happens, no amount of frantic pacing or screaming bloody murder will help. In fact the architects of this industry will themselves be the first ones to flee the scene. It is high time the current generation realizes the devastating and long-lasting impact this will leave on both their future and the society.

 --- Manaal Bhombal

You can read the Part 1, Part 3 and Part 4 of this series

The first two parts in the series threw light on the rampant poaching of teachers in Kota. Here is the third part in the series in which Nitin Vijay, Managing Director, Motion Education Ltd. Kota, gives his outlook on this matter of concern. His viewpoint of maintaining stability in an organisation throws some light on the probable solution that might actually help solve this crisis.

Kota, I believe, is the dream destination for anyone who wants to pursue teaching as their profession as there is no dearth of opportunity or facility in this city.

Many IITians return to Kota and teach at coaching classes. This shouldn't be surprising as it could be love for this city or simply because they are genuinely interested in teaching. It also could be because teaching as a profession pays very well. The average pay scale ranges between be Rs. 5-18 lakhs per annum i.e. it is between Rs. 5-10 lakhs for assistant faculty position and Rs. 10-18 lakhs for senior faculty members.

Parents would like to believe that having teachers who are IITians is good, but fact of the matter is that the students will only prefer a faculty who is good with the subject irrespective of an IIT background. If students dislike a teacher their careers might just end. If they are extremely popular with students then it is also worth paying them high salaries.

But good teachers these days are hard to retain.

The tendency of poaching teachers from coaching centres with a promise of higher pay is a concern. To be honest, who would want to refuse an offer that would double his or her income? I wouldn't call this as unprofessional conduct of teachers, nor blame them for this. It is in fact the institutes that try to lure teachers and students that are to be blamed for engaging in this mal practice. Post teachers switching jobs, students also have left the coaching class to join wherever their teacher has joined. Though teachers have been known to share contacts of toppers with the new institute they join, at other times students leave because of attachment to their teachers.

I am of the belief that teachers or students will not leave if there is stability in the organisation. Even if the best of the faculty members choose to quit, it should not affect the organisation in any manner. That should be the kind of stability that any institution must aim for. Also since there is no shortage of professionals, finding a good replacement is not difficult. The aim for any institue must be to provide stability to both teachers and students.

Though there is no permanent solution to this issue, stopping a teacher or student who chooses to quit is of not of much consequence to the institute at large.

You can read the Part- 1 and Part- 2 and Part- 4 story of the series.

The slow down server issue of the official portal of Joint Seat Allocation Authority (JoSAA) caused problems to a lot of students. Many JEE rankers were unhappy because of this server issue in which they had to lock in their choices. This meant that a lot of students could not participate accurately in the process.

The joint seat allocation for the IITs, NITs and IIITs was conducted for the first time from this year. Though several students have secured a seat in the first round of seat allocation, many rankers couldn't. Several of such rankers who have either not got seat allocated in the first round or are not satisfied with their seat allocation blamed the slow server of the JoSAA portal.

Sachin Sharma, whose rank in the JEE Mains, 2015 was 41500, alleged that the website of Joint Seat Allocation Authority (JoSAA) was down several times during the last 3 days of allocated for the online choice filling in due to which he could not partake. He demanded another round of counselling for students who faced issues like him.

Another student of Kota, Vedangi Mukadam, who secured the 42,000nd ranks in JEE Mains this year, told that she had participated in the online process and was hopeful for a seat allocation in the first round but she has not got any seat allocated. She also alleged that she could file only 176 choices of the Institution/branches out of over 550 choices due to server's poor speed which could also be the reason behind denial of seat allocation to her in the first round. "There are 3 rounds of seat allocation left in which I'm hoping to get a seat allocated," she said.

"Every time I tried to lock choices, the session expired and I was logged out", alleged another Ranker Dheeraj Kumar Patidar from Jhalawar who secured the 46,552nd Rank in JEE Mains, 2015. He said that he probably could have got decent seat in the seat allocation process but the server issues proved to be a shocker and he missed out on the chance.

While there were many JEE Rankers who participated in the online process but could not make the desired choices in the first round. A Counsellor at the Allen Career Institute, Kota, Amit Ahuja said that many JEE Rankers approached the coaching institute with problems related to poor server speed of JoSAA. "I myself saw the pop up message of server maintenance during Joint Counselling. This affected a lot a students," he said.

After the ranks goof up, it is now the server issues of the website that had piqued many students.


Once again Computer Science at the IIT-Bombay proved to be the most sought after choice of the JEE toppers. Apart from the first ranker Satvat Jagwani, a lot of other top rankers too have secured a seat for computer science at IIT-Bombay (IIT-B) in the joint seat allocation.

The dream of Satvat Jagwani to secure a computer science seat at the prestigious IIT-B turned into reality. "Computers always interested me and I wanted a seat for Computer Science (CS) at IIT-B, which is the most coveted stream. This was finally fulfilled in the first round of seat allocation," he said.

Once again Computer Science at the IIT-Bombay proved to be the most sought after choice of the JEE toppers. Apart from the first ranker Satvat Jagwani, a lot of other top rankers too have secured a seat for computer science at IIT-Bombay (IIT-B) in the joint seat allocation.

The dream of Satvat Jagwani to secure a computer science seat at the prestigious IIT-B turned into reality. "Computers always interested me and I wanted a seat for Computer Science (CS) at IIT-B, which is the most coveted stream. This was finally fulfilled in the first round of seat allocation," he said. 

Computer science at the IIT-B is the most sought after seat for most JEE toppers. Amit Ahuja, Counsellor at Allen Career Institute, Kota, informed that 10 top rankers of JEE Advanced, 2015 within the merit list of Top 100 from their institute have secured a seat for computer science at IIT-B through the seat allocation. "The closing Rank of Computer Science at IIT-B is 59 in the General category which is why most of the Top Rankers have secured admission at IIT-B for Computer Science," he said. He also added that, Chitrang Murdia the JEE Advanced topper 2014 from Allen too had taken admission in computer science stream at IIT-Bombay. The excellent placement records of IIT-Bombay's Computer Science course lure toppers towards to prefer it.

"The exposure and overall development of the student is at IIT-B is remarkable. The prospects in the computer stream in the recent times is also very good.  That is the reason why most of the toppers choose this stream and that too at IIT-Bombay." said Brajesh Maheshwari, Director of Allen Career Institute, Kota.

"It has become a trend these days for the toppers to choose computer science at IIT-B. The reason that most of the toppers hail from Western Zone in IIT-JEE is also a factor why toppers choose the stream. There is a lot of activity at IIT-B as well which is why it is the most sought after seat," said Shailendra Maheshwari, Director, Career Point Institute, Kota. He also added that the topper from Career Point Abhinav Goyal, AIR 32 also secured a seat at IIT-B for computer science.

This is the last article in our 4-part series about the Kota-teacher-poaching problem and we bring to you some solutions. Vipul Mehta, Professor at IIT Pace, Mumbai, gives his perspective of how and why the industry in Mumbai is resistant to this plaque and what can bring in a brighter future....

Kota is a small city where traveling time is not an issue and students are more or less aware of practically all the good  professors in the different coaching classes. Good professors  have a  fan base - wherein students  follow their lessons, read their books and consider them  role models. So it is only obvious that they would be willing to uproot their education in one class and migrate to another.

However, this is something you would rarely see in Mumbai. First, because the city is so spread out that students in one part, say  the eastern or western suburbs, may not know teachers in another part 40 kms away; and secondly, one does not want to waste so much time and energy in such arduous travelling through local transport in the scorching heat of the city or the rains.

Doing something like this in Mumbai would require a dedication beyond reasoning. Also, people here are more conscious about the whole brand of coaching classes rather than a single teacher. It should be the coaching institute that has  to prove results. After all, education is not something one wants to compromise with and I think it is only logical to want stability.

In order to tackle the issue of teacher poaching, one has to understand the root of the problem. In Kota, there are fewer number of players. The hegemony of a few big players is what drives the dirty race for power and prestige. Teacher poaching happens because competitors feel they could harm the business of the other. You are willing to pay a premium for somethings in life, and education is one of them. Everything that is difficult has value; and everything that has value is a race. Hopefully in future, if some more mid-sized players join the industry, it could help to break the monopoly and facilitate healthy competition.

Speaking about loyalties of teachers, migration exists because this is a highly skilled job. There is a good demand for people with adequate background  and they have a lot of options to choose from to. But you also have to consider the priorities of the teacher and how much weightage  they give to money. There may be some professors who, like students, are more concerned with the brand and the pride that comes from it. Such professors won't be easy to lure with high salaries. Besides, teachers are aware that constant shifting affects their own brand name as well.

The most sought after solution, I can think of is the improved use of technology. Coaching institutes should use video conferences and virtual classrooms to teach a wider and more diverse student base. Teachers can deliver lectures to upto 40 classes in one day and thus make more fruitful use of their resources. Such techniques can also be used to cater to outstation students and those from rural and backward areas. This way, the institutes can engage in CSR activities which will also help rally their brand name.

Now let's talk about the implementation of this idea. In IIT Pace, Mumbai, we have implemented this idea on an urban-rural level. I understand the cost of setting up one videoconferencing line in rural areas is very high, as much as Rs 10 lakhs. Hence, the government should play a role in setting up a collaboration between rural and urban institutes and give teachers an incentive to use innovative techniques to teach students having poor quality of education. This move will justify giving them higher salaries and enable them to expand their brand name on a national level.

Besides, the government will better be able to contain the illiteracy in the country and furnish higher economic growth. So in a way, we are gratifying the needs of three parties at the same time - the coaching institutes, professors and the government.

This idea requires a strategic investment of time, technology and funds, but I am hopeful that if it works, it will help dampen the practice of teacher migration from both ends.

You can also read part 1, part 2 and part 3 of the series

Academic admissions  criteria is something a lot of colleges and universities  in India don't get too right.  Two streams that I have watched closely in the last couple of years,  MBA (mostly)  and engineering  (for a couple of months only) and they  seem to be constantly evolving  to suit changing times, technology and shifting student profile (so they think).

B-schools across India, even the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) have been particularly worried about the excessive presence of the engineers in their schools. Thanks to CAT's obsession with Quant, engineers have been ruling the roost at b-school admissions.

Yes, tried and tested methods have been adopted to reverse the tide. From handing over marks in charity to women candidates, non-engineers  and even changing the exam pattern - but engineers still come knocking in huge numbers.

The new IIMs, two years ago, attempted an innovative stunt. They included a written test in the admission process. This, according to a director from one of the new IIMs was to make sure students have at least a basic level of 'English. ' "How else will they become managers in the future and write emails. Good English is a must," justified the same director.  

How much that helped, the coming years will tell.

And this is in the creamy layer of colleges. Lower down, cut-offs take a good beating and so do placements and performances.

The engineering space has also seen movement. Admissions criteria has changed. To offset the heavy dependence on coaching classes and to provide relief to parents who cannot afford coaching for their wards, the measures were changed two years ago.  While there is a scram for the top rung, empty seats stare back in the lower end of the colleges.

Last year, in Maharashtra alone, there were some 50,000 seats vacant.

Will this rigmarole ever end? The craving to become an engineer and later pursue an MBA and flaunt a CV and skills which are so hackneyed is not going to change the job skyline at all. Some originalities at the admission level may do the trick.

May be Deepak Agarwal has a few answers in his article.

An excerpt from his article. 

You would possibly do greater service to society and your institution if rather than finding applicants who would fit in from day one in management learning, you could select those eligible applicants who will grow along the learning path and attain as much proficiency as your system desires to produce at the end of the program. It may mean to have just a lower cutoff say of 24 for verbal in GMAT and likewise in CAT (vice versa for non engineering applicants). I think it will open a floodgate of true  and raw talent for your institution...