Friday, February 25, 2011

Bihar's Super 30 catches Obama's attention

Saturday, 07 August 2010, 00:40 Hrs

Patna: Rashad Hussain, U.S. President Barack Obama's special envoy to the Organization of Islamic Conference, Rashad Hussain, will visit Super 30, Bihar's free coaching centre that helps economically backward students crack the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology-Joint Entrance Examination (IIT-JEE).

Anand Kumar, the institute's director and founder, said the special envoy is coming to see the way Super 30 functions and produce IITians on such a regular basis.
t is a matter of great pleasure for us that President Barack Obama's special envoy is showing keen interest to visit Super 30. He will also be interacting with the successful students," Kumar told IANS Friday.

Rashad Hussain will be accompanied by officials of the US Consulate in Kolkata.

Earlier, several dignitaries have visited Super 30, which was recently featured by Time magazine as the "best school in Asia".

In the last eight years, the novel initiative has helped 212 students clear the IIT-JEE. For the last three years, all the 30 students in the annual intake of the institute have made it to the IITs, drawing worldwide attention.

The Discovery Channel made an hour-long documentary on the institute while a film made on it by Christopher Michel went on to win the Viewers' Choice Award in the US. Two Japanese channels also made films on Super 30.

Anand Kumar, who himself missed a chance to study at Cambridge because he didn't have enough money, gives full scholarships, including travel and stay, to every student of the batch of 30. The students have to clear a competitive test just to get into Super 30 and then they commit themselves to a year of 16-hour study each day.

Since 2003, of a total 210 students, 182 have made it to the IITs.

"The project has even won the notice of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who met Kumar in February to hear about his plans to launch a national programme for talented rural children. In a country that has struggled to offer those students even basic education, Super 30 is an example of what's possible when human potential is tapped," Time magazine said.

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