249 - Coaching institutes eye business opportunity in revamped engineering entrance plan Devina Sengupta, ET Bureau
Jun 8, 2012, 05.10AM IST - Economic Times
BANGALORE: Private coaching institutes are eyeing a business opportunity in the government's decision to have a common engineering test. They have begun to alter their training modules in an attempt to attract younger students.
"Earlier, students would look at class XII exams as a mere qualification for the joint entrance examination (JEE) and All India Engineering Entrance Examination (AIEEE) but now, they have to become more serious," says Pramod Maheshwari, director, Career Point.
The 20-year-old training centre based in Kota, Rajasthan, is betting on school students to increase enrolment rate by 20% next year. Career Point coached 30,000 students last year and admissions for this year are on.
The institute moved in for the kill in January itself, when there when there was a buzz around the government creating a single entrance examination that paid heed to board examination marks. It began enrolling students with the new objective of helping them secure the maximum marks possible in board examinations.
"We will now coach them on scoring above 90% and not just 70%. Our fees will increase from 2013 by 15% as well from Rs 50,000 per annum," says Maheshwari.
The Union HRD ministry recently replaced multiple examinations like the IIT-JEE and AIEEE with a single entrance examination to the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIITs) and National Institutes of Technology (NITs).
In 2012, nearly 5 lakh students appeared for the IIT-JEE examination to test their luck in 15 IITs while 11 lakh took the AIEEE for a foothold into NITs and other engineering colleges.
Coaching institutes see their pot of gold in increased student numbers. CL Educate, for instance, expects it to go up to 5,000 by FY14 from the current 2,000. "A back-of-the-envelope calculation shows that the market for engineering tutorial examination is around Rs 500 crore and in all possibility, will double in the next year," says Gautam Puri, MD. At least half of the 11 lakh students who appear for the AIEEE and the 5 lakh who take the IIT-JEE go in for private coaching, he says.
Since it is not clear if the new pattern will accept scores in physics, chemistry and mathematics or include other subjects as well, coaching centres like Career Point plan to give tuitions in the languages as well.
However, some institutes are walking the thin edge, wondering whether the new decision on entrance tests will eat into their niche offerings. Patna-based Super 30, for instance, only takes 30 students from underprivileged backgrounds who are sure-shot IIT successes. If the government considers such students' Class XII scores, it may be in a bit of a spot.
Most of the students come from rural backgrounds where the emphasis on languages, for instance, is nil. "We hope they give us sample papers because it has now become a matter of survival," says founder Anand Kumar.