Scholarship treats for the meritorious (Photo Credit: News Nation)
India is a country that churns out the largest number of engineers, doctors and also hosts the biggest number of engineering and medical colleges. Remarkably, it is a massive industry. It is shocking but true; the coaching industry that precedes the education industry is as massive. While the overall coaching industry (including online players like Byju’s) is predicted to hit 227 Billion USD by April 2022, the coaching economy of Kota (the famed city for engineering and medical exams preparation) alone is estimated to be INR 3200 crores per year.
One of the oldest institutes covering medical and engineering exams, ALLEN Career Institute, recently announced its Talent Encouragement Exam (Tallentex). This exam that’s organized at two stages (probably taking inspiration from the JEE exam pattern itself) is a part of the large system of inducting students and is above and beyond the independent screening exam. The website of this specific exam claims to be providing scholarships worth INR 200 crore and reports to have had 900,000+ students till 2020 (accumulated number over the years for this exam). Besides this, there is a 1.25 crore worth of direct cash prizes.
The registration fee happens to be merely INR 200. The whole process to conduct this test seems to be a massive expense. Apart from the cash prizes, enormous administrative costs would be incurred to conduct the exam. The first stage is online this year, but the second stage is conducted offline in multiple cities at various centers. Traditionally, even the first stage also happened offline, which changed only because of the pandemic. So why would ALLEN do this? The apparent answer is that the exam gives another opportunity to students who are looking for such competitive mock tests to gauge their performance at a country level. Programs like Tallentex of ALLEN, no doubt, help the students and fulfil this benevolent promise.
But, at the same time, ALLEN, an institute that has battled and survived the older businesses like Bansal and Resonance and newer ones like Vibrant and Motion; Through Tallentex, ALLEN issues a Competitive Success Index (CSI), a probable measure of a student’s success in the exams. Hence, it gets some idea of what students are going to get through the gates of the premium Indian Educational Institutes for higher education. With this, ALLEN then gives an offer and opportunity to be further trained and groomed by allegedly the most experienced and qualified teachers for a sure-shot success – creating a win-win situation for ALLEN and the students looking to get the top ranks in the exams. Multiple coaching institutes compete to be at the top of the game by getting their students in the top All India Ranks (AIRs) of various exams. The scholarship programs similar to ALLEN’s Tallentex help for both.