Bokaro steel city, which has sent a record number of youngsters to IIT this time, has clearly morphed into a premiere coaching hub for the most sought after technical institute of the country, quite like Kota of Rajasthan.
Officially, the city can now boast of 381 students who have cracked IIT-JEE this year — the number takes into consideration the extended merit list brought out by the IIT management — and the reasons are not hard to find.
Known for a large number of good schools with quality faculty, this town of four lakh people, given its industrial background, seems to strive for excellence; and the bias is clearly towards technical education.
Sanjay Tewary, chief of communications of Bokaro Steel Plant, explained this healthy trend. "Since most Bokaro Steel employees are educated, they see to it that their children excel in studies. And since they work in an industrial environment, they prefer IITs or other engineering institutes," he said.
The director of FIIT-JEE coaching centre here, R. Vardhan, believed Bokaro was superior to Kota and was at par with Delhi, Indore, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai and Mumbai.
According to Hemlata S. Mohan, the principal of DPS, Bokaro — as many as 136 of its students have got into IIT this year — students of the city were a dedicated lot, sparing no effort to crack the IIT-JEE.
Hemlata Biswas, the principal of Chinmaya School that has also excelled in the IIT sweepstakes this year, believed Bokaro's lack of distractions was a boon. "The city lacks shopping malls, multiplexes and recreational parks and night life. Students are left with only one form of 'entertainment' and that is to study and excel in examinations," she said.
Ashok Singh, a city mathematician of repute and author of several textbooks, vouches for the Bokaro, saying it had the best quality teachers, especially in science subjects which many big cities lacked.
"Unless you have quality teachers how can you produce quality students? Bokaro has the unique privilege of having the best teachers working at several schools and coaching centres," said Singh, who was also the regional convener of science and mathematics olympiads.
Vardhan said he believed the IQ of Bokaro students was higher than those in other cities. "No wonder they do far better in science and maths. I have taught in Kota, New Delhi, Mumbai and several other cities, but I can proudly say that the IQ of students of this centre is much higher."
May 29 , 2009 / Telegraph