Prince Chaudhary is from a small village in Barmer. The 17-year-old became famous overnight after securing the fifth rank in the country. Son of a medical store owner, Prince wants to pursue a medical course at the All India Institute of Medical Science in Delhi and become a neuro physician.
"I am very happy," the shy teenager told NDTV. And though he studied in a Hindi medium school till class 10, two years of intense coaching at a career institute in Kota, gave him the confidence to take the exam in English, scoring 686 out of 720.
Not only Prince, one in every five students, have polished their exam skills from coaching centres in Kota claims one of the teachers at an institute. "Coaching institutes create awareness, we are able to help students with focused preparation," said Naveen Maheshwari, who heads one of the most sought after coaching institutes in Kota.
The city once famous for cotton sarees has now seen the mushrooming of coaching centres thriving on the NEET boom. There are around 1.5 lakh students in 150 centres in the city.
"We are seeing that a child from Barmer has not only cleared the exam but also got an all India rank 5, which was unheard of till a few years ago. Last year you saw Rupa Yadav, a child bride who was married off when she was 8, clear the exam. So, certainly there is an awareness about how coaching can help children from any back ground," Mr Maheshwari said.
In the coaching capital, the 150 institutes have an annual turnover of over Rs 1500 crore say reports. And it's not only the tuition fees, lakhs of aspirants who come from Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Bihar and other parts of northern India, rent rooms for the duration of the courses. There is a booming PG accommodation business and private houses with dormitories and other facilities.