Bihar’s Super 30 coaching centre in Time magazine best list

PATNA: Super 30, Bihar’s free coaching centre which helps economically backward students crack the Indian Institute of Technology-Joint Entrance Examination (IIT-JEE), has been selected by The Time Magazine in the list of The Best of Asia 2010.

“It is a matter of great pleasure that the Time Magazine has included our school Super 30 in the list of The Best of Asia,” Anand Kumar, the institute’s director-cum-founder, said.

“Time Magazine has described Super 30 as the Best Cram School in its list,” he said.

Every year, about 230,000 students take the exam for a seat in the IITs but only 5,000 grab it. “Last year, 30 of them came from one coaching centre in Patna, capital of the impoverished north Indian state of Bihar. That may not seem like many, but for the Super 30 centre it’s a pass rate of 100 percent,” the magazine said in its latest issue.

“What makes that feat even more remarkable is that these students are the poorest of the poor, who would otherwise never be able to afford full-time coaching,” it added.

Kumar, who himself missed a chance to study at Cambridge because he didn’t have enough money, gives full scholarships, including room and travel, to every batch of 30 students. They pass a competitive test just to get into Super 30, and then commit themselves to a year of 16-hour study each day. Since 2003, 182 of a total 210 students have made it to one of the IITs.

“The project has even won the notice of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who met Kumar in February to hear his plan to launch a national programme for talented rural children. In a country that has struggled to offer those students even basic education, Super 30 is an example of what’s possible when human potential is tapped,” the magazine said.

“Education is their only weapon to rid themselves of poverty and social exploitation,” the Time Magazine quoted Kumar as saying.

The institute was started by Kumar along with Bihar’s Additional Director-General of Police Abhayanand in 2002 in Patna. But two years ago, Abhayanand dissociated himself from the institute.