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How Kota became India's capital for educational coaching

Kota, Rajasthan, is both a beacon for the educationally deprived and a cynical place in which 16-year-olds live in Dickensian boarding houses, while teachers drive Audis

About 150,000 students pour out of small buildings, swarming around the city on bicycles
About 150,000 students pour out of small buildings, swarming around the city on bicycles

In the mid-1980s, Kota girl Purnima Padmanabhan sat at V K Bansal's dining table in the JK Synthetics employees' colony, along with other aspiring engineers and was taught mathematics with a rigour she had not experienced before. By 1994, Bansal would become so well-known for helping students crack the Indian Institute of Technology entrance exam that parents from other cities would arrive at his doorstep, beseeching him to take on their children, and he would, famously, subject them to a stiff entrance test. But, as thousands poured in, Bansal lowered the bar and became Kota's ...