Roman Saini on How to Crack World’s Toughest Examinations at TEDxJUIT Conference – Transcript
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Roman Saini – Indian educator
Good evening and I hope you have enjoyed the talks till now. So let me start with something – the first slide which you can see, it talks about How to Crack World’s Toughest Examinations. See, what defines the toughness of an examination is the acceptance ratio, that is, the number of candidates who are accepted divided by the number of candidates who have applied. So for those of you who do not know today is the Civil Services Examination day, many of your friends might be giving it and more than a million people are giving it as of now. Right now the examination is going on. If you have to become an IAS, the acceptance ratio is less than 1/10000, that is less than 0.01%. So you have better odds of jumping from 50th floor and surviving rather than getting into IAS.
So this is me before the examinations, a very down to earth geek, nerd, whatever you want to call it. So then this is my life, pretty much an average student, just like you guys sitting here. No difference whatsoever.
Then we move on to — never been out of Jaipur, that is my hometown, till 16 years of age. Literally I did not visit any other state in my life except Rajasthan. Studied from 4 different schools because of various issues despite living in the same place for 16 years.
Then something happened in 10th standard. When I was 14 years old I realized that “I was very risk averse”. I was not taking risks at all. Then I realized if I am not living on the edge, I’m already taking too much space. Despite my frail and fragile personality of 40 kgs, still I was taking too much space not in the physical sense but in metaphorical sense.
So then, something happened. So this happened. So I got into All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi at the age of 16. So this photograph here, it actually shows we and my friends reading. So that’s the only time I read.
Then, before I turned 18 I had a research published in a reputed medical journal called the Journal of Clinical Anesthesiology. So it was related to the pain management for terminally ill patients like cancer patients and all. It was done entirely for fun purposes, you will know it. That’s what’s the reason. So I used to – got used to play with these rats. They are called as [Sprague-Dawley] rats, highly docile, you can take them in your hands, they do not know.
Then what happened is after completing my M.B.B.S, I just completed six months ago in January of 2014, I got into National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre (NDDTC) and there I worked as a junior resident in psychiatry. So after that it was an amazing experience for four, five months but I had to resign from there. Why? Because of this.
So two months ago, I was sleeping – I was completely asleep on 12th June 2014. When I woke up it was 8 o’clock in the evening and then I checked my phone, there were 308 missed calls and 1014 notifications. So anyways, after that I went to my home town from Delhi and this happened — I got felicitated by Jammu & Kashmir Governor, both ex-Chief Minister of Rajasthan, and the current Chief Minister of Rajasthan, agriculture minister of Rajasthan, and a Member of Parliament.
Then I thought that my experience should not be limited to me. So I thought of sharing it, so they actually invited me on July 2 on Your Story platform. It is India’s one of the largest entrepreneurial website. On Unacademy, we started to give free webinars. Then obviously Unacademy is there. Right now I came to know that we have recently crossed 13,000 views per day. That is the status. It is India’s largest growing educational channel and you can read the stats, there are 17,639 subscribers and they’ve already crossed 18,000. This was taken in the morning.
So I also started an entertainment journal for fun purposes. So this is our team. You can see me sitting here, somewhere, always in the background.
Then what happened is this. So we did a video, a short film with Babuji. Sanskaari Babuji Alok Nath, it was after I became an IAS.
See, the point which you should be taking home with you right now is that nobody is a born genius, even and including this guy — Albert Einstein. For those of you who do not know, please jump from the top floor. So nobody is a born genius. But what are the differences? You are no different. Please make sure each and everyone of us sitting here have the knowledge, have the talent, have the calibre, and have the intelligence to crack each and everything in our lives that we set on but the problem is – these are the problems.
You are afraid, to come out of your comfort zone. You are really, really afraid to give that extra push which is required and you are afraid to go against what your parents, what your family members want you to do. If you are always afraid, you will never take that effort which is required to succeed in such examinations.