“It’s a false notion that every IIT aspirant should attend coaching classes,” Kumar said. “Attending IIT tutorials does not guarantee you a place in premier institutes.” He was speaking at ‘Gateway to IITs’, a training workshop for students organised by Deccan Herald and Prajavani at the Shikshakara Bhavana here on Sunday.
According to Kumar, most of these students also go on to do well in semester examinations during the four-year course. He disagreed with the popular belief that students who are not taught the National Curriculum Framework (NCF) syllabus at II PUC/+2 level would be at a disadvantage while writing the Indian Science Engineering Eligibility Test (ISEET) next year.
There were numerous instances of students excelling in the national-level examination despite not having studied the NCF at the pre-university level, Kumar asserted. The mathematician is of the opinion that children should be groomed at an early age for the IITs.
Later in the afternoon session, Kumar gave tips to students on solving mathematical problems. “It’s like solving a murder mystery,” he said. “One should first prepare a strategy. Getting the first step right is very important.”
The following steps should be employed: Understand the problem: identify its logic and the target (what needs to be achieved). Understanding the unknown, finding the data, and the conditions are crucial. Kumar listed four prerequisites for success — tremendous thrust, positive thinking, continuous hard work and great patience.
Dr Ali Khwaja, Chairman of Banjara Academy, impressed upon them the importance of acquiring emotional intelligence. Dr Khwaja had a word of caution for parents. In his words, parents cannot pass the buck about their family members’ behaviour. He
urged parents to involve their children, especially the teenaged, in decision-making.
“They might not be interested. But make them feel that they are important,” he said.
The workshop was well received. Narendra, a teacher at Government Pre-University College, Kolar, said he didn’t know that emotional intelligence was such a diverse subject. Although he struggled to follow Kumar who spoke in Hindi, Narendra says the powerpoint presentation made up for that “shortcoming”.
Harindra Babu S attended the workshop along with his son Skanda Swaroop, a Class 9 student. He said that students lacked continuous hard work and patience. Vishwas U, a II PU student, found the workshop informative. “I wish a workshop is devoted entirely to mathematics,” he said.
Bank of Baroda presented the Sun Lifetime Achievement Award to Kumar.