After its huge success, Anand Kumar’s Super 30, which helps underprivileged students crack JEE test for entrance into IITs, is set to be expanded this year to include students who have passed class X, in an extension of the existing programme involving class XII pass-outs.
“We are planning to teach some 10-20 students in a new programme of two years’ duration besides the currently existing programme for those who have passed Class XII. We are launching the programme from this year and it will get bigger from next year,” Kumar told PTI as he opened up about short and long-term plans for Super 30.
When asked how many students will be included in the new programme, he said details were still being finalised but “may include 10, 15 or 20 students”. This would be over and above the 30 students who are chosen for the globally acclaimed programme.
This year, 28 out of the 30 students cracked the Joint Entrance Exam (JEE) for the prestigious Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), the latest in the string of achievements since its launch 15 years ago.
Kumar said his biggest wish was to set up a school for the poor on a self-sustainable model. “There are a lot of things in pipeline. Our ultimate goal is to establish a school from Class 6-12 for students from the economically weaker sections. We always wanted a self- sustainable model so that the work continues without any kind of pressure, and later, replicate it all over India. But we do not have enough funds to buy the land.
“After the land is taken care of, we need to raise funds for running the school, and for this, we are planning to come out with printed books for the classes 6-12. The school need not necessarily target the IITs,” he said.
There are also plans to launch downloadable lectures available on Super 30’s website, all for Re 1, said Kumar. “Though classroom teaching is the best, online presence will help us have a far greater reach and will benefit a lot of students. Given the cheap internet access rates these days, downloading the lectures should not be a problem,” he added.
Responding to a question on funding for Super 30, Kumar said he, along with some other teachers, hold classes for 3-4 hours for outsiders every evening and the money collected by way of the fees goes into the operation of Super 30.
The 43-year-old mathematician has turned down all donations, both from the government and private individuals, in the past.
Kumar, who recently got an invite from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to join their open online initiative for teaching mathematics, said he is taking it up as “it is going to be a huge platform”. He is, however, yet to formally accept the invite.
When asked if reports that food for the Super 30 students is cooked by his mother were true, Kumar said: “Yes, my mother used to prepare the food all on her own earlier but due to health issues we have now arranged a woman who helps her.” This year, for the second time in a row, Super 30 conducted tests across Uttar Pradesh to pick up talented students for coaching.
“Over 600 students from UP and over 600 from Bihar have applied this year. We have conducted the tests and will shortly come out with the list of selected candidates,” he added.
Kumar expressed happiness over several courses being run across the country which have been inspired by the Super 30 model, including the Srinagar-based RISE institute. He, however, cautioned against using the ‘Super 30’ tag for profit making.