Anand Kumar is an Indian teacher and mathematics, best known for his Super 30 programme. He is also a columnist for different international and national magazines and journals.
The Super 30 programme offers coaching classes for the IIT-JEE entrance examination to economically backward students. 366 out of the total 420 students in his class had gained admission into the IITs by 2016. A documentary about this programme and his work was aired on the Discovery Channel.
Kumar has recounted his experiences at different prestigious institutions like IIM-Ahmadabad, Tokyo University, University of British Columbia, Stanford University, and various IITs. He has also been invited to speak at Harvard University and MIT.
A biopic starring Hrithik Roshan as Anand Kumar is currently underway. The movie will be directed by Vikas Bahl.
Early Life and Education
Anand was born on January 1 1973 in Patna, Bihar. His father worked in the Indian Postal Department as a clerk. He went to a government school as he could not afford to go to a private school. Kumar developed interest in Mathematics at school. He wrote papers and submissions on Number theory during graduation. These were published in The Mathematical Gazette and Mathematical Spectrum.
Even though Kumar secured a seat to study at Cambridge University, the untimely death of his father and his bad financial status prevented him from doing so. He even searched for sponsors, in Delhi as well as Patna, but could not find any. His mother, Jayanti Devi, began a small business of selling papads for income. Anand would help her in the business in evenings and work on different mathematical problems during the day. He also gave math tuitions for additional income. Kumar used to travel to Varanasi every weekend to study up on foreign journals as Patna University did not have them.
Anand Kumar – wife (Ritu)
He married Ritu, a graduate from IIT Varanasi in the year 2008. She was working as a software engineer but after marrying Anand, she devoted herself to Super 30 and its expansion. In 2010, the couple had a son called Jagat Kumar.
Career and Super 30
Anand started the Ramanujan School of Mathematics in 1992. The institute initially had 36 students. The next year the enrollment of students nearly touched 500.
In 2000, a poor student approached Kumar and sought coaching for Indian Institutes of Technology’s entrance examination, i.e., IIT-JEE. The student could not afford to pay the yearly admission fees. This is what motivated Anand to launch the Super 30 programme. It was opened in 2002.
A competitive test is held by the Ramanujan School of Mathematics every year to choose thirty students for the Super 30 programme. Many students from economically poor backgrounds appear for the test and Anand chooses the top 30 most intelligent students from them. He then offers them tuitions, accommodation for 1 year, study materials, and prepares them for IIT-JEE examinations. The scheme is managed by Pranav Kumar, Anand’s brother, while his mother makes meals for the students.
The expense of Super 30 is taken from earnings from Kumar’s teaching institute. Anand does not take any financial support from private sector or the government. When Super 30 became a success and internationally famous, financial and other help poured in from private companies as well as the government. But Kumar did not accept it as he wanted to continue the programme via his own means and efforts.
Anand Kumar – Pictures
Book on Anand Kumar
There is a book that documents the story of Anand Kumar called ‘Super 30’ by Biju Mathew, which makes for an engrossing read.