Aiming for a bright future with sheer determination and hard work, 94 out of 100 students attending the IITGN-Dakshana Leadership Programme have cleared JEE Advanced 2022, including four students scoring in the range of 1000 to 2000 rank and one student achieving AIR Rank 1 in the SC-PwD category.
What makes these students and their achievements stand apart is also their humble backgrounds.
These students come here from the Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas and other government schools across India after getting selected for intensive coaching based on their outstanding academic abilities despite the weak financial condition of their families.
These 100 Dakshana scholars, predominantly from rural India, are being trained in essential skills of leadership, critical thinking, and communication by some of the best mentors from India and abroad at the Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar (IITGN) since the past fortnight.
The IITGN-Dakshana Leadership Programme aims to equip students with these skills and knowledge in an IIT environment to help them reach their full potential. The communication skills module, being taught by a journalistic team from the Fair Observer, an international magazine, helps them hone their English language and communication skills to build their confidence while speaking.
The Leadership module, being imparted by the Competitiveness Mindset Institute, with their “Finding a Leader in You” programme, aims to make students aware of their strengths and work on their weaknesses to become confident leaders. The course introduces students to concepts of ethics, perseverance, teamwork, and time management.
The critical thinking module, being delivered by Prof Jaison A Manjaly from IITGN, encourages students to ask critical questions about existing theories, principles, and possibilities and engage with thought experiments. Apart from the core modules, the month-long residential programme is also immersing students in various extracurricular activities like clay workshop, learning Science and Mathematics concepts through DIY toys with the Centre for Creative Learning at IITGN, sports, swimming, martial arts, yoga, heritage walk in old Ahmedabad, and visit to the Sabarmati Ashram.
Students will also be visiting Ahmedabad Science City to explore the demonstrations and exhibitions there. Hailing from Bulandshahar in Uttar Pradesh and affiliated with Dakshana centre in Hyderabad, Manjaree has achieved AIR rank 1170 and 126th rank in the general-EWS (Economically Weaker Section) category.
Her father is a shopkeeper, and her mother is a housewife. Sharing her aspirations and skills learnt at the IITGN-Dakshana Leadership Programme, Manjaree said, “I wish to make my career in Applied Physics. I am sure I will be able to fulfil my dream by getting into an IIT. The current programme at IITGN has helped me improve my problem-solving skills and confidence to take initiatives.”
Son of a farmer from Karnataka and affiliated with Dakshana centre in Bangaluru, Prakash Rathod has achieved AIR rank 1 in the SC-PwD category.
Talking about the improvements he has noticed in himself in the last fortnight at IITGN, Prakash said, “My stage fear has gone after attending this programme. I could also improve my English and listening skills and learn how to interact with others confidently. Apart from all these, I also enjoyed the martial arts sessions, which was something new to me. The facilities here are awesome.”
He wants to pursue Computer Science at an IIT. Coming from Kargil in Ladakh and affiliated with Dakshana centre in Bangaluru, Irfan Hussain is the only one or perhaps the second person from his entire village to clear the IIT JEE Advanced. He has received AIR rank 46 in the ST category. His father is a farmer.
Sharing his aspiration and experience at IITGN, Irfan said, “I aspire to become a computer scientist. Through this programme, I could practically learn communication and leadership skills, active participation, and out-of-the-box thinking, and gained confidence for initiation. The session with CCL was really fun.”
About Dakshana and IITGN-Dakshana Leadership Programme: Dakshana, a not-for-profit organisation, presently helps bright and economically disadvantaged students, predominantly from rural India, to prepare for IIT and medical entrance exams through intensive coaching for 1-2 years. However, there was also a need to build their soft skills, such as leadership, critical thinking, and communication, to add more value to their talent.
To fill this gap, IITGN has joined hands with Dakshana and Mr Ruyintan Mehta, a serial entrepreneur and philanthropist, to start a month-long “IITGN-Dakshana Leadership Programme” from September 1-30, 2022, to train 100 academically outstanding but economically underprivileged students. The first IITGN Dakshana Leadership Programme is hosting 100 Dakshana scholars selected from their Pune, Bangalore, and Hyderabad branches. The IITGN-Dakshana Leadership Programme aims to equip students with these skills and knowledge in an IIT environment to help them reach their full potential.