New Delhi: Mathematician Anand Kumar, who has been providing coaching to marginalised students for IIT entrance through his Super 30 coaching programme, on Tuesday met Human Resources Development (HRD) Minister Prakash Javadekar and urged him to create a "level playing field" for underprivileged students seeking admission to IITs.
Kumar urged the Minister to do away with the weightage of plus-two marks in the Joint Entrance Exam (JEE) to the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs).
"There is need to provide a level playing field to students coming from economically weaker sections as they are usually late starters due to indifferent schooling. There is need to reduce the urban-rural divide," Anand Kumar said after meeting the Minister.
"Considering the reality of schools, especially in rural areas, it is to the credit of students from poor families that they still strive for IITs and make it, but one more chance will open more opportunities for them," he added.
According to new admission process to IITs and National Institutes of Technology (NITs) since 2013, a certain weightage is given to candidates' Class 12 exams.
As there are several boards of education in the country, the board marks are "normalized" on percentile basis through a formula.
"The students from poor families study in the government schools and their standards, vis-Ã -vis public schools is well known," Kumar said.
Kumar, a columnist for various national and international mathematical journals, founded Super 30 in Patna in 2002.
Kumar also drew the Minister'€™s attention towards "falling standard of school education".
"There is a need to have some special training programmes for school teachers to prepare them for effective classroom engagement. The recruitment process for secondary and higher secondary also needs to be standardised," he added.
Kumar said the Minister was "quite sensitive" about the problems faced by students from poor families and assured to address the issues.