Bad blood as IIT centre splits

Updated on: Thursday, December 30, 2010

Over 20 years ago, V K Bansal, an engineer who suffered from muscular dystrophy, began the first IIT-JEE coaching institution in Kota, pioneering the coaching class boom in this sleepy town in Rajasthan. Virtually all coaching classes in Kota, including the popular Resonance, were started by former faculty at Bansal Classes. And now, seven teachers from Resonance, including three heads of department (HoDs), have formed a brand new coaching class called Rise. A number of students enrolled in Resonance have shifted to Rise. There has been a great deal of bad blood with each institution accusing the other of treachery.

Two months ago, the three HoDs, who are now with Rise, informed the management at Resonance of their intention to start their own coaching institution after the current academic session got over in February as they didn’t want students to suffer from the split. Suddenly, at a meeting, faculty at Resonance was informed that these three HODs were no longer with the institution. “We were all really shocked by the move. All seven of us (three HODs and four teachers) quit and formed Rise the very next day,” said Amay Pandey, a former chemistry teacher at Resonance, who is now with Rise. According to Pandey, the moment students got to know of this, there was an uproar at Resonance, with 1,000 students making the switch from Resonance to Rise within a few hours. “We closed admission to Rise on Monday night,” added Pandey.

Manoj Sharma, vice-president, operations and business development at Resonance, has a completely different version of the events that unfolded over the Christmas weekend. For starters, he disputes the figures. Only 100-150 students have left us for the new class. We have seen a mere 2-3 per cent drop in attendance, said Sharma.

As for sacking the faculty mid-session, Sharma said that this was because they were openly recruiting both students and staff from Resonance for the new coaching class while on the rolls of Resonance, a claim the Rise team has vehemently denied. “They are at liberty to start their own class but they should not do this at our expense. There was no need to discuss their plans with students and teachers,” said Sharma.

Two students at Rise, Arpit Sharma and Rishabh Agarwal, said they were happy with the faculty and hence followed their teachers to the new class. Rise is charging students Rs 2,000 for the next few months till the academic session is over. Arpit and Rishabh said they were willing to forgo the Rs 76,000 they had paid to Resonance as money wasn’t the main concern while preparing for IIT-JEE.

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