Hanan Tahir Qureshi is among a few Kashmiris who cracked the prestigious IIT-JEE exam in 2010. He says hard work and clear concepts are necessary to suceed. Ikhlaq Qadri reports
Among the four lakh students who appeared for the IIT-JEE entrance test, Hanan found himself among the few thousand selected ones. It was his second attempt at the prestigious exam. In his first attempt he couldn’t get a seat in the Indian Institute of Technology. He is now in the second semester of his engineering course in Architecture and Planning at IIT Roorkee, one of the oldest engineering institutes in India.
“Though it was sad that I couldn’t get through IIT-JEE in my first attempt, I didn’t loose hope. I kept on working with a single-minded approach,” says Hanan.
Self study during his school days and then a year spent at a coaching centre in Kota, Rajasthan helped him to crack the exam.
“I was a student of Tiny Harts, Srinagar till class 7 and then shifted to Delhi Public School, Srinagar. During my class 11 and 12, I chose to study at home rather than going for private tuitions,” says Hanan
After passing his class 12th examination in March 2009, he decided to go for IIT-JEE in the same year. In his first attempt, he was selected in the Extended Merit List (EML), where students are selected for colleges other than the IITs.
After his first attempt, he went to Kota where he spent almost a year at a coaching centre.
“I knew qualifying IIT wasn’t easy. So I decided to go to Kota, Rajasthan where my skills got polished. They make you to work rigorously and in a focused manner. There, life of a student revolves around studies only,” he says.
Most Kashmiri students, according to Hanan, make the mistake of not appearing in the exam immediately after passing their class 12 exams.
“They think that they are not prepared and will take the exam next year. But they miss a very good opportunity of understanding the pattern of the exam, which otherwise gives them a better idea as how to prepare for it,” he says.
Terming his coaching at Kota as one of the most important factors in his success, Hanan says that the year proved extremely fruitful for him.
“When you join a centre where there are students from other places, you get an idea about your position as compared to other students. The fierce competition makes you work hard,” he says.
His stay at IIT Rorkee is also proving to have an overall positive impact on his personality.
“When I joined IIT, my personality changed completely. I came across a different environment. Moreover, interaction with other people has inculcated a positive attitude in me,” says Hanan.
Comparing the institutes of Valley with the college in other states, particularly IIT’s , Hanan says that he is disappointed to see his fellow students of the valley not being groomed well.
“The freedom and an appropriate environment provided in the IIT is important in the proper grooming of the students. There you are given every facility so that you can utilize your potential and skills to the fullest. It enhances the decision-making power too.” Hanan says.
For future aspirants, Hanan has a word of advice, “Coaching has become a necessary evil. If you can do without it, that is better. However, if your basics are not clear, then coaching becomes very important.”
He believes that to crack this exam, motivation is very important
“You must know exactly why you want to do a particular thing. You must be convinced about your goal,” he advises.
Hanan also has a penchant for journalism and is passionate about writing. Hanan is thinking of becoming a writer after completing his degree. He likes to read Robert Fisk and Arundhati Roy. These days he is reading Waheed Mirza’s Collaborator.
“I would love to be a writer. I want to write non-fiction.” He says.