by Kamal Pratap Singh
The article is a report of India’s renowned biotech coachings like Pathfinder and Grassroot academy. In this report, I have compiled some important information which student can use to make important decision while choosing best coachings to get desired results.
Today India has around 20 coachings for Biotechnology and life science entrance exams, which prepares students for national level entrance exams like CSIR–UGC-JRF, DBT-JRF, etc. These coachings are now widely spread in every part of India, from which most are newcomers in the market. Among all, two – three are oldest like Gyan Bindu and Pathfinder and are well known, which together admits 400-500 students in a single semester/batch. Close look at their promotion strategy brought into our notice, some tactics, which are being used to attract students in their centre by giving false projections. Here, I compiled some of the issues which student should keep in their mind while taking admission into any Biotech entrance coaching, and how they can avoid unnecessary expenditure of time and money by avoiding these honey-money traps by self study using available resources.
Some of the issues are listed below:
1. Same students passing in different years/semester
This is apparent that some results are appearing again and again in different years of same exam, let say CSIR. So Shalini (hypothetical name) cleared CSIR/UGC JRF in 2012, 2014 and 2017 and the name appearing in all 3 years which is just increasing number of results per page on Pathfinder website. So from this observation, question may arises, like when she joined Pathfinder and how much time she took to completely grasp the education given by teachers. Also, it raises the question of total output of a coaching i.e. number of students admitted vs. number of students cleared, which will become clear in subsequent heading.
These are only few examples among many names available on Pathfinder Academy website.
2.Same students passing in different exams
It is also apparent by seeing results on the website of Biotech coachings that same students’ results are appearing in different exams. For example, a single student’s name is appearing in CSIR-JRF result, in UGC- JRF result, in Gate- JRF result and so on. And students who look for best coaching consider worth of any coaching in terms of total number of results from an institute, which attract them a lot toward any coaching for admission. This mentioned phenomenon is mostly persisting in Pathfinder and Grassroot academy’s websites. So, if an academy show 10 result in each exam category, it makes you the largest result holder with 40 results in all exams (let say for 4 exams), but in real the total unique results are 10. Unlikely, if the coachings shows all achievement with a single name with all results, this will decrease the total number of results per page.
To understand this, take example of following few students. These names are recurrent on Pathfinder academy’s website. Again these are only few examples among many.
The following names are recurrent on Grassroot academy’s website. Again these are only few names among many.
3.Different Coachings claiming same Results/Candidates
If one dig a little further, you will notice that different institutes are claiming same results, after which it is difficult to presume that who educated the student with right guidance or whose formula worked. This can be clearly seen with the following students.
These names are visible on both Pathfinder and Grassroot’s website.
4.Same results in different years – mistake or deliberated attempt
Evident by a mere glimpse, these results are duplication of same person in same exam having same Role number and same rank, on two separate webpages – Just another attempt to increase number of results by Pathfinder academy.
NOTE THE ROLE NUMBER IS ALSO SAME IN THIS CASE.
In Year 2012 and in Year 2013
5.Repetition of same results to show more number of results per page
Showing same student in different result was not enough to these coachings to show their worth but they went little further and are placing same result again and again to increase just number of results per page.
Eg: EKTA SINGHAL, in Grassroot academy was appearing at two locations on same webpage.
DEPT. OF BOTANY, RAJASTHAN UNIVERSITY
CSIR – NET JRF (LIFE SCIENCE)
ROLL No – 320687
After we brought this matter to Grassroot academy attention (because we send article for review before final publication in magazine), the name of Ekta Singhal has been removed from one location, which shows how ignorant they are unless someone catches their mischievous act. The editing on website after our notice shows how Biotech Express act as watchdog for these organization and helping students to save their time and money.
6.Success/failure rate of a batch
If we see the result page of coachings, we will get an idea of how many students qualified an exam but its nowhere tells us that how many total number of students appeared from their coaching, out of which successful got selected or what proportions of student failed in exam despite their so called best coaching. There is also no clear demarcation about the attachment of student’s admission to a current batch or whether he/she belongs to some old batch qualified after 1-2-3 years of preparation. This has serious implication because the success or failure rate is important to know the worth of paying your hard earned money, because you are not only paying for tuition but for travelling, accommodation and food at the same time.
7.Complete Preparation or Polishing and taking full credit
During declaration of results why we don’t consider that the students have already studied something in their curriculum studies, where some had their best teachers but some don’t. For example, if we see Grassroot academy’s website, it makes sense, because most of the students are from Delhi University, which has some of the best teachers globally. So, is it ethical to take all the credit by these private institutes for qualification of exams by students, when the students were already taught by some of the best teachers during their regular studies.
8.Half baked/Only Exam oriented books
According to some eminent professors who have seen study material of these coaching institutes clearly do not recommend this material for long term goals in Science research. According to them, the material can be useful to understand exam pattern but in long run this is nowhere useful to give deep knowledge of studies required by a graduate student to pursue research. And if you don’t understand the research you won’t generate any significant contribution in the society in terms of invention/discovery, according to a professor who do not want to disclose his name . For example, according to Pathfinder material, you will be able to understand how DNA replication takes place but it won’t give you complete idea about how the process was discovered unless you read Molecular Biology by Robert Weaver which is best book if you want to study molecular biology with a curiosity to understand experiments which led to great discoveries in this ever expanding field of molecular biology.
9.Expensive fees, accommodation and food
You not only pay Tuition fees, which at maximum is 42,000 Rs. for some coaching institutes but outstation students have to bear other expenses too. These include accommodation which ranges from Rs. 5,000-20,000/month (travelling expenses for home candidates) and then additional is meal because a healthy mind needs a healthy diet. Adding all these expenses budget goes beyond 1-1.5 Lakh Rs. for just 6 months which becomes non- bearable by some middle class people and thus they don’t get chance of getting private coaching.
So we would see that despite of large number of results there is ambiguity about total results, output and guarantee of clearance of exams despite of huge fees and other expenses. Also, showing large number of result is just an advertisement strategy to make students fool that they are giving largest number of results among competitors when actually they are producing duplications. In this scenario you (students) have to be very cautious while deciding to go for a coaching or not, or if you desperately need coaching then what it will be, because even the very famous ones have major loopholes in their business promotion strategy.
Note: Please note that the article is sole responsibility of author and none of the advisory and editorial board members will be held responsible in case of any dispute comes out as a result of this news article.
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