“Ninety-Four-point-Six!!” screamed twelve year old Manu when the web page finally opened up on the screen. “Whaaat?” cried an ecstatic Priya Menon who came running into the room to see her brother peering into the screen at her class 12 CBSE exam results. She pushed him aside to get a better look at the screen. “Physics 91, Maths 98, Chemistry 96 . That’s 95 percent PCM right there. In your face Manu. The I Phone est à moi.” The amma comes out with the sacred thali, and does the whole “you the man” routine, Indian Ishtyle. “Priya , I’m so proud of you my girl. Manu, watch and learn. Priya didn’t open Facebook for a whole month now. Login now dear. Do that “wall” thing now. All your sacrifices and my prayers have been answered. Now we can surely get you into SIT Mirchy.”
Whaa..? what about AIEEE you ask!? Such exams don’t stand in way of Menon aunty’s plans of sending her daughter to one of the best engineering institutes in the country. Priya has been studying in Dubai since the past 12 years. Yes she is a NRI (Lets do away with the Not Required Indian jokes, for once atleast). Her father has booked a seat for Computer Science engineering in the institute. No, no, his brother-in-law isn’t the educational minister nor a member of the board of trustees. He has made use of the reservation his daughter is entitled to. NRI quota.
Bleddy what the eff!! you say? Your fists clench at the idea of reservation. Your tongue twirl with detest, ready to lash out a volley of the worst expletives you have used and been subjected to at various coaching centers you joined to crack that god forsaken entrance exam? Just because she’s rich, you can’t just give her the seat can you? No, we cannot and we shouldn’t. Which is why Priya will appear for SAT in about two months from now, the score of which will be coupled with her class 12 results, (and thousands of other parameters) into a formula, that would put the normalization procedure followed by IIMs to shame, to obtain a final score. Sure the SAT is not exactly the toughest of exams. Yet Priya has to compete against “the NRI public” (which let me tell you is huge. The middle east is practically swarming with them.) and do well, in order to have a chance at a college of her choice. Irrespective of her final rank or score, Priya will still pay a cool 7000 USD as academic fee per year. That’s 28000USD for a four year course. That’s more than what I will earn in four years, working at a job I got from a college like SIT Mirchy. Her dad probably has to break his FD, RD, and PO accounts and the home-manager will have to revise the household annual budget to accommodate this decision.
But why come to India? Why not study back in “Saudi or doobaai”? No, not because India is the best place, where one can get a “holistic” engineering education. The institutes here are cheaper than the ones in the USA and are heck lot better than the ones in the middle east. As it is, many of the students who fill these seats are ones who apart from, reciting lines by heart from Halliday Resinick (over two years of intense mugging and brainstorming sessions in the aforementioned coaching centers), do not have a profile as impressive as some of the kids who come from these Saudi or Doobai schools. Moreover the Indian govt. only increases a few (say about 20 seats on an average per college) to accommodate foreign candidates. The seats of the general category students remain the same. Foreign Students can be from anywhere in the world as long as they have completed their class 10th and 12th exams or equivalent exams outside India.
In all fairness to the turning every stone idea, Priya will give the AIEEE and IIT-JEE. Last year Anish Venugopal, a school topper with an overall score of 97.9%, got a rank of 62361 in AIEEE thanks to the two month crash course he attended at Thomas Coaching Center, Kozhikode , sacrificing his summer vacations of class eleven and twelve. He did well in BOMED-K, an exam for private colleges in Karnataka. But at the counseling stage, the authorities suggested that he was better off as a NRI student in one of their kick-ass hostels for international students, which come with rooms that have attached bathroomsAC , balcony, LCD TV, room heater, swimming pools, bar, playstations and room heaters and AC…Anyways that the kick-ass-giri of these hostels. And oh, Anish ended up joining SIT Murakhkal thanks to his SAT and class 12 marks.
As you read this, 12th and 10th fail dudes dressed in safari suits are busy deciding how to increase fee and entice more NRI students to take up admission in little known colleges also. “Simple saar, show them photos of Lal Bagh and say that the glass building is the College green house, like in that magic movie. They will love it, I say.” Things however are not so easy for Menon uncle whose son Manu wants to study peripheral nerve neurosurgery. Menon uncle may not know what it means, but is sure that it will cost him a fortune especially after Priya’s education. Manu is smart but he doesn’t know that, a M.B.B.S comes at a huge price (about 162300 USD). With that much money menon uncle could almost make a Malayalam movie with erstwhile cricketer, Sreesanth as hero.
Medicine or Engineering, it’s tough, especially for the OCB (Open Category, Boys) folks out there. There’s nothing much you dudes can do except what Chacko, of CCC (Chacko Coaching Center) fame told Robin (an OCB) pointing at Anish, last year. “Paddikkada komaali, allengillu nennukku anish inde achhanne pole arabiyude kakkoosu karugindi varum!” which roughly translates to “Nautanki saale, padho warna anish ke baap ki tarah tumhe bhi arab ke commode saaf karna hoga!”
Trivia: Did you know that some fundoo med schools don’t admit NRI students for a NRI seat if they attempt the common entrance exam and fail to crack it. Fcuk cares if they tried. All this and I’m just talking about MBBS here. There are almost 5 years of study and practice after MBBS for Manu to be a peri-something-surgeon just like Dr. Rustam, unless he is circuit who then of course would be into hospital management thanks to Dr. Munnabhai M.B.B.S.