UNTIL ONLY a few weeks ago, Aman Bansal, Kunal Goyal and Gaurav Didwania were classmates at a coaching centre in Jaipur, helping out each other and also competing among themselves, as also with 15 other students.
On Sunday, Bansal, Goyal and Didwania were together once again. But this time it was not in a classroom — they were on the stage at a Jaipur hotel, basking in the glory of having ranked first, third and ninth, respectively. To say that they were taken aback at the whole brouhaha would be an understatement, as Goyal said, he never expected to “even make it to the top 100, let alone rank 3”.
Besides the trio, the city had four students in the top-100 All India Rank (AIR): Sushil Khalia (AIR 48), Ashish Mittal (58), Aman Jain (59), and Yash Gupta (55). This is the first time since 2000 that a student from Jaipur has scored a single-digit rank.
Stressing that students preparing for entrance exams such as JEE should “take pressure positively”, top-ranker Bansal, a student of Jayshree Periwal High School, said that rather than allowing it to overpower you, “we should seek help from our teachers and our parents. This would help us get rid of stress”. Bansal said that although the SRG (Special Rankers Group) played an important role in his success, it was the support from everyone around him that helped him.
About his ‘strategy, Goyal, a student of Cambridge Court School in Jaipur, said, “I never compared my marks with anyone. I realised my potential and worked on it. I always looked at areas which needed more work. There was no pressure from parents either; they left it up to me. So I studied when I felt like, and when a topic interested me.”
Goyal said he wants to study in IIT, and after that he wants to ensure that education reaches the corners of the country through Information Technology – by “staying in India and working for India”.
All seven top 100-rankers from Jaipur were enrolled at the Allen Jaipur Centre. Ashish Arora, the academics head at the centre, said, “We chose the best-performing 18 students from among 1,050 students at the centre, and created a dangal for them. These (top) students were made to compete with each other, support each other, and share their knowledge.”
According to Arora, regular tests kept the students on their feet, as poor result could mean someone else from the remaining 1,000-odd students could take their place — sometimes, they did indeed, he added.
Bhavesh Dhingra from Yamuna Nagar district in Haryana, who was ranked second, was a student at Allen’s in Chandigarh.