Patna, June 25: After making actress Vidya Balan the subject of their research, social science students at the Mumbai-based Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) are now attempting to understand the rare success of Anand Kumar, founder-director of Super 30, who offers free coaching to poor students seeking admission to IITs.
"Now, it is the turn of Super 30 founder Anand Kumar from Bihar. His pioneering initiative that has ushered in a silent revolution by helping students from underprivileged sections study in the prestigious Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) has drawn the attention of researchers," a TISS official said.
Vidya Balan and her outstanding performance in the film "Dirty Picture" as a "sex siren" had earlier been the subject of research at TISS.
Mini Narayanan, 41, from TISS, is undertaking the research on Anand Kumar and his Super 30, so named because each year 30 students from poor families are chosen to undertake the free coaching. This year, 28 of the 30 gained admission to IITs.
Narayanan was in Patna recently to meet the students who had availed the coaching and gather material for her research. "I wanted to see what inspires the poorest of students to study with such sincerity and devotion," she said.
Super 30 has featured in the national and international news media. Japan's famous actress Norika Fujiwara and its NHK channel have featured the initiative, as has French 24, Discovery Channel and CC TV from China.
Time magazine declared Super 30 the 'best of Asia', while Newsweek included it in the list of four most innovative schools of the world.
Students from poor families have to pass a competitive test to get into Super 30. Once they are admitted, they spend about 16 hours a day at their study routine.
Coaching, food and accommodation are provided free of cost.