By Jaideep Sarin
Kotkapura (Punjab) : A 17-year-old boy Wednesday brought fame to this Punjab town like no one else ever. Achin Bansal topped the merit list of the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) joint entrance examination (JEE) among all students in the country.
There were celebrations at his residence in this bustling but small town, about 250 km from state capital Chandigarh, with Achin and his parents – eminent medical practitioner Rajinder Kumar and mother Geeta – sharing their joy with family and friends.
The result, which was declared in Mumbai Wednesday, saw Achin topping the list of 7,209 successful candidates. A total of 243,000 candidates had appeared in the test.
There are 5,537 seats in IITs at Mumbai, Delhi, Guwahati, Kanpur, Kharagpur, Chennai and Roorkee and two institutions in Varanasi and Dhanbad.
Several people lined up in front of the residence of Bansals even as some friends danced to mark Achin's unprecedented success.
He is perhaps the first student from Punjab to top in the IIT entrance examination – touted to be the toughest to gain entry to the best engineering courses in the country.
"I want to pursue the computer engineering stream at IIT-Mumbai," a visibly happy Achin told reporters at his residence as he enjoyed every moment of his fame.
The young boy did his schooling till Class 12 from the Sada Ram Bansal memorial school – an educational institution started by his grandfather and father in the memory of his great-grandfather.
"I knew that I would do well in the entrance exam and had even thought of being among the top 10 candidates. But I never expected to top the examination. I am on cloud nine," Achin said.
But getting the top slot in the IIT-JEE is not the end of the road for him. "I want to complete my engineering degree and try my luck at civil services. I would like to become an IAS (Indian Administrative Service) officer," he said even as his parents listened attentively.
Achin said that he mostly prepared for the entrance test himself even though he went to Kota town in neighbouring Rajasthan – famous for its engineering entrance coaching institutes – to get coaching during holidays.
His elder sister is pursuing an engineering course in information technology at Chandigarh.
"He has done proud not only to us and our family but the entire town and the state. We are so happy with the result. We cannot express our joy in words," his father said.