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IIT exam: Signs of hope

Source : Deccan Chronicle
May 23, 2012

 Date: 23rd May 2012

News on higher education is like a silver lining amid the dark economic clouds. 

While it is heartening that more girls are cracking the IIT-JEE, still the benchmark of sound technical education in India, the surprising performance of a 12-year-old son of an illiterate Bihar farmer makes us even more sanguine. Given the very high ratio of men to women aspirants hoping to enter the IITs, it’s not easy to beat the gender monopoly. 

Of those who cracked the test from western India, still the most successful in tackling the objective test designed to bring out students’ innate abilities rather than learning by rote, over 10 per cent are girls.

The performance of Bihar’s Super 30 institute is the icing on the cake. Its 90 per cent success rate helps it prove there’s really no disparity in people’s abilities, and it’s only opportunity that tends to favour those better off economically. 

Many such “Super 30” institutes are now coming up across Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, and these are likely to do more to dismantle the system of class and economic advantage than all the reservations in place. 

The lesson is that there is a lot of talent in the country’s young — and India will soon have the world’s largest pool of young people — it’s simply a matter of giving them the skills and guidance they need in order to realise their true potential. That is something institutes like Super 30 appear to be doing much better than governments.

 

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