Nine Kashmir students coached by army's Super-40 initiative clear JEE Advanced

Nine Kashmir students coached by armys Super-40 initiative clear JEE Advanced

This course is run along the lines of Bihar's Super-30

By CP Surendran

Published: Fri 16 Jun 2017, 12:30 PM

Last updated: Fri 16 Jun 2017, 2:41 PM

Most of the world tends to believe the Indian army is on a war footing in troubled Kashmir. The fact is, the army also teaches those Kashmiris who want to go places.
Besides regular schools run for the children of Kashmir, the army has a special course called Super-40. This course is run along the lines of Bihar's Super-30. Which in essence means 30 students are selected and coached for IIT and related entrance examinations. Almost all the selected win in Bihar.

In this year's Kashmir's Super-40, the army, now a regular feature of discussion on TV channels for all the wrong reasons, has helped 9 students to crack the Joint Engineering Exam (JEE), one of the most competitive of entrance exams in the country.

In the midst of stone throwing and stray bullets and noisy politics, a section of army professionals which includes engineers and mathematicians have been quietly teaching a bunch of Kashmiri children to clear the exam.

Meenakshi Shai, chief manager of the Army's Super-40 batch project (CSRL), said, "This Super-40 batch course has been in existence for the last three years, and in the first year it was a debacle because no one could crack the exam."  

Last year, 30 students from the batch took the JEE Mains. Out of them, 25 students cleared the JEE Mains and seven cleared the JEE Advanced. This year, the number of students who cleared the JEE Advanced has increased to nine. "We hope the number will keep going up  each year," said Shai.

This was the first time that five girls from the Valley had joined the Army's Super-40 batch. Two of them cleared the JEE Mains and are now eligible for admission to engineering courses in Jamia Millia University and Jamia Hamdard University in Delhi.

The Army is holding coaching classes for the Super-40 batch in Srinagar with its training partner, the Centre for Social Responsibility and Learning (CSRL), and Petronet LNG. The project aims to support and help talented and underprivileged students of Kashmir achieve academic success, and its objective is integration of Kashmiri youngsters through career and academic success with the rest of the country.

This is not an easy task given Kashmir's volatile politics. Through the year schools and other academic institutions remain closed in Kashmir on account of unrest. Militant politics attracts a large number of youngsters  who have time on their hands. According to the government, the leaders of militant groups in the Valley take advantage of the situation and brain wash the youngsters so they believe they have no other recourse than violence.

The army is hopeful of running various other academic programs that would help the youngsters of Kashmir see a way to a bright future. The success of the Super-40 program shows that it just may be the kind of front that India needs to open to win over Kashmir.

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