‘Bhishma Pitamah’ of Kota, he worked till end on maths for students


A maths wizard, an IIT engineer who didn’t let a genetic illness defeat him, a disciplinarian, a jovial trainer who hosted Tambola for students on New Year’s Eve — Vinod Kumar Bansal was many issues. But the one title he can be remembered for is being the “Bhishma Pitamah” of India’s teaching trade — the person who, ranging from a tuition class in his lounge, put the small industrial Rajasthan city of Kota on the coronary heart of the nation’s training map, and the centre of a Rs 3,000 crore teaching trade.

On Monday, the 71-year-old chairman of Bansal Classes handed away after a protracted battle with muscular dystrophy. While he had examined optimistic for Covid-19 lately and was admitted to hospital, his stories had returned unfavorable two days in the past. He is survived by his spouse and three kids.

Sameer Bansal, his son and managing director of Bansal Classes, mentioned in an announcement, “He was the architect of Kota’s coaching industry… For 35 years, he did not think about anything other than his students… He is also an inspiration for those suffering from a disease… As we battle a pandemic, we can all learn from his positive attitude.”

Stories about ‘Bansal sir’ will be heard throughout Kota. Born in Jhansi, Bansal studied mechanical engineering at IIT-Banaras Hindu University and joined J Okay Synthetics in Kota within the early ’70s. Just a couple of years later, he was recognized with muscular dystrophy which impaired his bodily motion.

“He wrote to doctors all over. Finally, a doctor from the United Kingdom suggested that instead of trying to find a cure, which was difficult, he should focus on finding a way to utilise his time. He suggested teaching maths… That idea stuck,” remembers A Okay Tiwari, who retired as senior vice-president from Bansal Classes in 2019. Bansal began with the son of the safety supervisor of the corporate, who was fighting maths. “The son passed his exams and the word spread.”

In 1985, when one of his students cleared the IIT entrance exams, the numbers in his lessons grew.

“I met him around 1985-86, when I was taking computer classes for employees at J K Synthetics… He wanted to learn ‘WordStar’ so that he could put down all his notes in one place. I have seen him work consistently for over 14 hours every day. In the last three years, when he stopped taking classes because of his deteriorating health, he would sit for hours and formulate maths questions,” provides Tiwari. “He always said that he wanted to feel tired at the end of the day so that he could have a peaceful sleep.”

Many of the measures practised by Kota’s teaching centres have their origins in Bansal’s school rooms, together with separate batches for students primarily based on efficiency.

“Between 1993 and 1996, we had a lot of common batches. I would teach physics and he would teach maths and there was a 15-minute distance between our buildings. He said we must devise a timetable so that our students get enough time to travel. Later, he suggested ‘bench shuffling’ — separate batches for students based on merit — so that we could give more time to weaker students,” says Pramod Maheshwari, director of Career Point.

Up till the early 2000s, the charge construction of institutes additionally adopted the Bansal mannequin. “When he was taking tuitions, he did it for free. In the late ’80s, the father of one of his students who had cleared the IIT exams gave him an envelope with some cash. He refused at first, but later realised that teaching could be a career option if he lost his job. But he felt conscious asking for money, so the same parent devised a fee structure for his classes. All centres in Kota followed that fee structure for years,” says Tiwari.

Bansal began out charging round Rs 2,500 yearly for maths lessons within the ’90s, however by the end of the last decade, together with his institute overlaying all topics, the quantity rose to Rs 30,000. Now, the charge varies between Rs 1-1.5 lakh, together with at Bansal Classes.

The entrance examination to get entry to teaching centres additionally began from Bansal Classes. At its peak, in 2007-08, the institute had practically half the students enrolled for teaching in Kota. Bansal Classes additionally has branches in Ajmer and Jaipur.

“He once denied admission to a politician’s daughter who did not clear the entrance exam. He even made the politician wait because he was in the middle of a class. He never wasted a student’s time,” says Manthan Dalmia, a first-year-student at IIT Delhi.

Says Govind Maheshwari, director of Allen Career Institute, “It was his fresh vision that made a subject like maths interesting… Lakhs of students will remember his contribution.”

Lok Sabha Speaker and Kota-Bundi MP Om Birla was amongst those that mourned Bansal’s demise, calling it “an irreparable loss to the entire academic world”.

The demise in a method alerts the end of an period for Kota’s teaching trade, that’s caught in a tussle between its on-line and offline identification as a result of pandemic. The second Covid-19 wave has once more pressured institutes shut.

On May 2, Rajasthan recorded 18,298 optimistic circumstances, and Kota’s caseload stood at 601.

In the final decade, Maheshwari says, Bansal had grown involved in regards to the “commercialisation” of the teaching trade. “He said ‘Ab sab business ho gaya hai (It has all become a business now)’.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here