Prakash Mani Gautam, son of an impoverished farmer, often helped his father in the field as the family’s skimpy finances plummeted to rock-bottom. There were times when he felt like quitting, but clung on to his dream of becoming a graduate by taking loan from a relative. Now he is justifiably hoping to enter the portals of a top-notch business management institute like IIM-A.
Prakash, an OBC student, has got interview calls from as many as 12 top B-schools, including IIMs at Ahmedabad, Lucknow and Kozhikode, following the CAT results announced earlier this month.
Prakash is one of the six underprivileged students of the Students Guidance Centre (SGC), an innovative initiative of Chandragupt Institute of Management Patna (CIMP), who have got interview calls from the IIMs.
Rohani Kumari, Saurabh Karunamay, Sandeep Choudhary, Kishan Kumar and Arth Raj are the other five students whose percentiles in the CAT examination have matched with the cut-offs set by IIMs at Lucknow, Bangalore, Kolkata, Indore, Kozhikode, Rohtak, Kashipur, Raipur, Trichy, Ranchi and Udaipur.
Another four students of SGC have been shortlisted for the interview by Institute for Rural Management Anand (IRMA). They are Visakha, Kishanj Kumar, Prakash Mani Gautam (all OBCs) and Amarjeet (SC). Also, 20 students have come out successful in bank recruitment tests, SSC and other competitive examinations.
“We are proud of the fourth batch of SGC, which has recreated history in the educational scenario of Bihar. Out of the thirteen IIMs, only four at Ahemdabad, Bangalore, Lucknow and Shillong have shortlisted students for interview till now. Rest of the IIMs will declare the same shortly,” said Dr V. Mukund Das, Director, CIMP.
“All the meritorious students hail from a humble background. In the past, Tarique-ur-Rahman, who was coached at SGC, is now studying in IIM Lucknow, while Barun Kumar was selected for IIM Raipur. The performance of the SGC students is thus showing an upward trend every year,” he added.
Impressed by the noble objective of CIMP’s SGC, IIM Lucknow has now started a similar training centre to train deprived students from Uttar Pradesh for admission in top management institutes.
“We set a trend. We are happy IIM Lucknow has created a SGC-like training centre for needy students in Uttar Pradesh,” the CIMP director said.
Launched under the patronage of Bihar Chief Minister Shri Nitish Kumar, SGC is the only centre in Bihar which provides free coaching to bright students from the SC/ST/OBC categories for CAT and other management tests as well as for bank probationary officer, SSC and other competitive examinations.
SGC, a personal initiative of Dr Das, seeks to bring about a radical change in the educational profile of Bihar by developing the competencies among the socially and economically backward students, thereby enabling them to get admission in top management institutes.
“Though SGC is an initiative of CIMP, it is supported by the state welfare department in its mission. Bihar is the only state where such support is given to socially backward category of students,” Dr Das said, adding: “This project has been formulated to showcase Bihar as an outstanding state in educational reforms in the country.”
Each year SGC selects 75 students – 50 from the SC/ST category and 25 from OBCs. The students are selected on the basis of a written test and interview. Selected students are given free coaching for six months for tests like CAT, GMAT, XAT and IRMA. They also get scholarship of Rs 1000 per month, besides all the learning aids, such as online and offline tests, personality improvement and English communication. Hostel facility is available to students of rural areas who have no residence in Patna.
“CIMP’s relentless effort and monitoring of the preparation for CAT through special guidance and attention has helped these students to come up trumps in face of most adverse conditions,” said SGC coordinator Bishnu Shankar Prasad.
“SGC is one of its kind coaching centre in Bihar which imparts free training for CAT and GMAT examinations exclusively to deprived students. Every year they have been doing well, but this year SGC students have done exceptionally well. We are greatly enthused by their performance. Next year, we will try to make it even better by introducing some new ideas.”
SGC has plans to cover students from other states also and thus become a national centre for students from the socially and economically backward classes. “We have already started providing free career counselling to students from anywhere in the country. There is a need for setting up a branch of SGC in each and every district of Bihar to assist those students who are unable to come to Patna. We can recruit good teachers to provide short-term training to students at the district level,” Mr. Prasad said.
SGC plans to cover students from other states also and thus become a national centre for students from the socially and economically backward classes. It has started providing free career counseling to students from anywhere in the country.
Prof. Das said talent would go waste if not groomed properly. “These students have the potential to emerge as quality business managers. Free training for CAT and GMAT entrance examinations instills a sense of confidence in them. This makes CIMP distinct as an institution that is fast gaining an impeccable reputation for academic excellence and value-based social commitment.”