BIG DADDIES OF COACHING
Private coaching classes are a thriving industry in India today. We look at the top engineering institutes that are making waves. By Sonali Acharjee
Payod Ahuja, has spent the last four months of his life living in a one- room flat in Kota. With no TV, Internet or computer access, Ahuja spent nearly 14 hours a day poring over prep material and notes from his coaching programme at Bansal Classes, one of the jewels of India’s Rs 1,41,416.33 crore private coaching industry. Along with 2 lakh other annual engineering aspirants, Ahuja had to make the journey to Kota to prepare for the upcoming Joint Entrance Exam ( JEE).
“I think it’s sort of a ritual now. If you want to sit for an engineering exam, you must attend a coaching class. So at first I really wasn’t interested. But now, after having attended the classes, I’ve changed my mind. You do learn a lot. Better yet, you learn inside tips and insights that help clear your doubts and apprehensions about the exam and improve your overall confidence,” says Ahuja, who grew up in Panipat. “It’s important however to not go to just any coaching class. There’s a lot of fraudulent ones out there as well. Enroll at a coaching programme that has had experience and credibility,” adds Ahuja.
Whether it’s the state- of- the- art classrooms at FITJEE or Resonance’s pool of 74 IITians in their core teaching faculty, the coaching industry today is not only offering student’s the best of faculty and infrastructure but is also promising parent’s a distraction- free study zone for their children. It’s little wonder then that despite charging an average of Rs 50,000 to 1 lakh per programme, the industry has still been growing at a rate of 15 per cent per year according to a 2008 study by Asian Development Bank ( ADB). “My parents started saving to send me to Kota two years ago. Money is not really a consideration. My education comes first with them. Even if the courses cost double, they would still have sent me,” adds Ahuja.
V. K Bansal began tutoring engineering students in his own dining room in 1981. With many of his students gaining admission into the IITs, Bansal decided to launch his own tutoring company in 1984. His vision was to create a space to mentor students and teach them the best practices for cracking the JEE. Today Bansal Classes is a coaching empire on its own with nearly 15,000 students enrolling for its programmes each year. The institute also credits itself for having produced over 16,000 IITians till date. From
pre- foundation courses to courses for JEE Main and Advanced and from satellite classrooms to teaching centres in major cities across the country, Bansal offers a wide variety of programmes tailored to meet the requirements of students as young as 13- years- old. The Kota branch is set in a sprawling five- acre campus with state- of- the- art teaching infrastructure, making it one of the most attractive coaching destinations for students in the city.
Last year close to 14,000 students appeared for the entrance exam to gain a seat at FITJEE coaching institute from just Kerala and Tamil Nadu alone. Such is the demand for gaining admission at FITJEE today. Started in 1992 by D. K Goel, a mechanical engineering graduate from IIT Delhi, FITJEE has grown to become a powerful brand and force to reckon with in the coaching sector today. The company boasts of 1,300 full- time faculty, over 40 branches across India and nearly 106 students in the top 500 all- India ranks for JEE Advanced 2013. From long term classroom programmes to concept strengthening programmes, FITJEE offers an incredibly diverse range of JEE training courses. Infact the success of these programmes has been so great that in 2012, the first three all- India ranks in JEE were bagged by FITJEE students. Now with FITJEE junior colleges in Bhubaneswar, Hyderabad, Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam, the institute has also expanded into the space of secondary education.
When R. K. Verma, a graduate of electrical and electronics from IIT Madras, set up Resonance in 2001 little did he know that the company would go on to produce over 15,000 IITians in the following 13 years. What sets the institute apart are its different learning and teaching modules. Classroom contact programmes, distance learning programmes and e- learning form the core programme offerings at Resonance. These courses have become
so popular for their success rate that over 1.5 lakh students have registered with Resonance till date. The institute also appoints a core faculty team to oversee the teaching methodology and quality control at its 12 classroom learning centres across India. To further add to its repertoire, Resonance recently partnered with HCL to set up over 100 pan- India centres for live- video learning coaching programmes for engineering students. Special student counselling and personalised doubt removal classes further make the institute a hit with both parents and students alike.
In the last 20 years Aakash Institute has produced over 40,000 selections in engineering and medical exams and has established an extensive network of 96 study centres and 125 exam centres across the country. The brainchild of J. C Chaudhry, Aakash currently enrolls 80,000 students each year in its various coaching programmes. Aside from having a number of IITians on board, the institute also emphasises on micro and macro analysis of student performance with regular follow- ups and doubt clearing sessions. In other words, every step of the student’s progress at the institute is thoroughly monitored for best results. Aakash also launched its freeship programme nearly 16 years ago. The programme gives 25 deserving students from various Delhi Government schools the chance to avail free coaching at Aakash every year. While the programme waives of Rs 2, 71,911, the total tuition fee for the integrated two years programme, the students still have to pay a nominal registration fee for the freeship course. The institute’s commitment to fostering talent and potential has made it a household name today.
The institute claims that ‘ a few minutes spent in its classrooms are equivalent to hours of study done by a student alone without any guidance’. Through its detailed theory section that outlines problem solving techniques, special remarks and notes for students and its objective type questions which gives students access to 20,000 different questions in all relevant JEE subjects, the institute has carved a niche for itself in the competitive coaching industry.
“I felt that teaching was much more personalised and less competitive at Paradise. From charting out a study plan to giving you tips on time management during the exam itself, the courses at Paradise will really help you get a good score,” says Chandan Sinha, from Mumbai. And with 12 of its students securing a rank in the top 100 All India for JEE 2012, this is one coaching institute worth checking out.
ALLEN CAREER INSTITUTE
A landmark in Kota and Jaipur, Allen is run by four brothers, three of whom are teachers themselves. The institute breaks its JEE coaching down into two modes — concept building and smart study material. Concept building includes 90 minute classroom lectures, revision classes, tutorial classes and board classes which is a flexible programme in which multiple options are given to students to attend concise classes of the entire syllabus of physics, chemistry, math, English and physical education.
The idea behind board classes is to help students secure a high score in both their board exams as well as in JEE. Allen also supports every class with Regular Analysis Through Continuous Exercise ( also known as RACE). RACE includes a number of multi- conceptual problems designed to give students a better understanding of the subject as well as improve their question solving speed through time bound practice. Questions under RACE are broken down into subject and topic wise booklets, board work- sheets, question banks, hand books, NCERT questions and solutions and AIEEE and CBSE question pa- pers for the last ten years. Allen also offers students regular online and offline tests and various practical workshops. Together with its team of 437 faculty, 558 staff members and nine well- equipped centres across India, it’s little wonder
then that over 40,000 students enrolled with Allen last year.
With experience in the coaching industry for the last 38 years, Brilliant Tutorials has an outstanding record in helping students ace various competitive exams. In JEE ( Main and Advanced), notably, Brilliant's students have secured the All India No. 1 Rank 21 times in the last 29 years. On an average, 7 out of the Top 10 and 55 out of the Top 100 have been students of Brilliant. The institute’s JEE Crash Course is quite popular amongst students who want a quick and intensive tuition programme. Spread over a course of 14 days, the course includes 1500 test questions, 10 sets of mock papers and online tests. For those looking for a longer coaching programme, the institute also offers a two year and a one year JEE Main and Advance course.
Born and raised in Kota, IIT- Delhi graduate, Pramod Maheshwari launched Career Point over 20 years ago. Today the institute offers students five different coaching programmes for JEE. These include a fresher’s course, foundation course, target course, special batch course and crash course for intensive revision. Career Point has today also expanded to include a university, pre- school and high school under its parent company. But it’s core strengths still lies in the coaching sector.
“My seniors from school had attended coaching programmes at Career Point. They praised the dedication of faculty, flexibility of teaching hours, doubt clearing support and quality of revision materials so much that I decided to try it out myself. I have not been disappointed,” says Karthik Natarajan, 17, a student from Bangalore.
Over the last 17 years, Career Launcher, or CL Educate has built a coaching empire for itself. With 225 learning centres spread across 175 Indian cities and a team of 3,000 full- time staff, CL Educate is one of the largest coaching conglomerates in the country today. Through its four different engineering coaching programmes, the institute has produced 1070 IITians till date. “CL has to be one of the most well- known institutes in the country. Perhaps because it has programmes for virtually every competitive exam in the country and a large number of centres its reputation has spread so quickly. Infact there’s a CL centre right next to my house, making it both convenient as well as cost effective. My brother attended CL two years ago and I plan on doing the same now,” says Gurdeep Singh, 17, from Delhi.
IIT- IANS PACE
Set up in 1999 by a group of IIT aspirants from Mumbai, IIT- ians PACE has quickly grown to carve a niche for itself in the coaching sector. In 2012 two- thirds of the selection of IITians from Mumbai were graduates of this institute. As of last year, PACE now runs 8 such colleges in Mumbai affiliated to the HSC Board. The colleges offer students a special Hybrid Education Programme. Under this programme, preparation for both competitive and board exams is completely synchronised under one roof to save students both time and effort.
“In the past 13 years , we have helped thousands of students achieve their dream of getting into IIT's and other top universities like MIT and Standford. We feel proud of the fact that the director of IIT, Mumbai, Devang Khakkar's son studied at IIT- ian’s PACE and qualified IIT- JEE in 2009. The dean of student affairs, Prakash Gopalan's son also studied at IITian’s PACE and got selected in IIT in 2008,” says Praveen Tyagi, director of the institute.
India’s private coaching industry is worth Rs 1,41,416.33 crore and has been growing at a rate of 15 cent per year according to a study
Be wise and enroll at a coaching programme that has both experience and credibility