The Engineering Career Marathon At Kota

“Ji mera beta to engineer banega”( My son will become an engineer). I am sure all of us have heard this refrain sometimes or many in our short lives, no matter how much old we are. The rat race then begins. The child is enrolled in some of the initiating programs in any of the omnipresent national coaching brand, so that his success in life can be assured.

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By: Gaurav Nandan Tripathi

What’s the age of the kid when he’s learning about vectors and differentiation? Hardly 13 or 14. So these early teens are learning something of intermediate standard in highschool, in the name of base and early preparations. The child to be honest, is more or less socially and publicly constricted so much that expanse of vision (which soars high at this age) is highly limited. In most cases, this child is even not enrolled in a proper school in intermediate. He is enrolled in those so called “dummy” schools, in which he or she only goes to give exams. The child studies in the coaching. As you must have guessed, Kota is the brand ambassador of such systems. So, a teen hardly of around 15-16, leaves the comfort of his home and goes to Kota in pursuit of a seat in reputed engineering or medical colleges. I need not go into details about what he’s missing out by not going to school. The immense competition which they face in those branded coaching institutions is said to be a pre requisite for a good JEE or NEET rank. Hence, they are trained to perform. Let me just describe how this competition is carried out. These students are crammed in their PGs, with more or less no friends, and lot of pressure. They are taught to just study and not anything else, but only the noble sciences, which will help you get a good job. Again, I need not mention that how these things constrict and reconcile the mental horizon of students. Rather than understanding the significance of knowing what they are studying, they study just for the sake of jobs.

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It is sad, that we can’t only blame the coaching institutions like Allen, FIITJEE, etc for proliferating this mind set among students. The blame majorly has to reside with the education system of our country which allows such practices to flourish. The market of coaching institutes in a never ending one. I just don’ want to go into it. A lot has been talked about it. I just want to divert your attention to the plights of students. The number of suicides is all the way on a increase in Kota. If a survey
is carried out about the mental health of students enrolled at insititutes in Kota, I’m sure a huge number will be suffering from various disorders like anxiety, or hypertension etc. It’s sad that lakhs and lakhs of our revered human resourse in on the path to peril because of such a system.
Samarth Gupta is currently a first year BA hons student in Sonipat. He talks about his experience at Kota in a really sorry note. He says “ I never really wanted to go, but I was forced by my family to pursue engineering. And no place was better than the mecca of IIT preparation,’Kota’. I was sent. I lived in a hostel of atleast 120 students, all belonging to various parts of India. I liked the sciences in general, but I never wanted to be an engineer. I somehow spent my days in kota. All the time there passed as if I was in a trance. I felt nothing close to my heart, I just kept studying. It was a depressing place. No friends, no real motivation. I felt I was robbed of many aspects of my personality there. But, I got into NITs after the result and finally I settled for CS for a University in Patiala. But after an year, I had a final talk with my father. This life was sucking the passion out of my life.

I always wanted to study History and Political science, Land so after many rounds of pursuation, I’m now at other University, doing what I like.” This is only one story out of many. Not many have an escape or the strength to fight for their passion. The above example ended on a happy note, but not all do in that manner. Recently, an article got published in the Times of India about how the Kota model is helping students rediscover themselves and reach new heights. But, they forgot to mention that it is only 5-6% of the people who go there. The rest are suffering in vicious cycles of Peer Pressure, addiction and depression. The numbers of such cases are such huge, that we can’t give a rosy picture at all. The regular news of suicides in only a confirmation. I know that the problem is not something with an immediate solution. But we can at least begin by listening to our own family members. Asking them what they really want to do, what is their passion; and let them follow their cherished dreams. If not, we are again indulging in the business of crushing the buds before flowering.

What do you think?

Written by Sharad Maverick

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