Integrated coaching: Was it actually banned?

Students preparing for IIT-JEE and NEET entrances, prefer Integrated coaching despite serious concerns about stress and legality.

It is that time of the year again when students of grade 10 are scrambling to secure admissions in junior colleges. The application process is in full swing, and they’re eager to move onto the 11th grade. There is a large number of students, who are not at all bothered to apply to junior colleges. Instead, they are trying to secure a place in the top coaching institutes for JEE and NEET training. This is what is widely known as the ‘integrated coaching’ structure.

In a practice that has been going on for years, students who want to appear for the JEE (Joint Entrance Exam) or NEET (National Eligibility cum Entrance Test) choose to focus entirely on coaching institutes instead of schools or junior colleges for 11th and 12th standards (or +2). Classes for the coaching take up most of their time and they go to school or college only about twice a week. This arrangement is made by the coaching institutes themselves, where they have tie-ups with the colleges to “manage” the attendance there.

The coaching institutes have to register their students into these schools or colleges as students need to ensure they are enrolled into the board system to secure certificates, a mandatory requirement for further admissions.

The ban and public response

Back in 2017, students and parents were alarmed as the government announced a ban on integrated coaching. Attending lectures in colleges was made mandatory and attendance was to be marked with biometric systems.

The education minister of Maharashtra at the time, Vinod Tawde also encouraged students against opting for these coaching institutes. He had warned that such students would be barred from appearing for the board exams. According to Tawde, this decision was taken to avoid the ‘commercialisation of education.’

Students and parents went into panic mode. Students who were already enrolled into coaching institutes feared action against them. However, to everyone’s surprise, this ban was never implemented.

Amidst backlash from coaching institutes, students and parents alike for the decision, integrated coaching continued as before. Around 500 coaching institutes for NEET and JEE offer preparation for both entrance exams in the city.

JEE and NEET exams are conducted for admissions into IITs and top medical colleges

Read more: Students detained in spare classroom: Who pays when school fees become unaffordable?

Why didn’t it work?

According to a BMC official, who did not want to be identified, many parents encourage only engineering and medicine as career choices and pressurise the children to pursue these courses. They prefer coaching institutes to prepare for extremely competitive entrance exams, over regular colleges which provide opportunities for social development and extra curricular activities. The official said the government is working towards improving the quality of education in junior colleges to dissuade this practice.

Majority of students opt for state board government colleges in 11th and 12th because of the scarcity of CBSE junior colleges and the seats.

Another factor that plays part is similarity between the NCERT syllabus in CBSE junior colleges and curriculum for JEE and NEET. However, the state board syllabus was different, making students veer towards coaching centres over colleges. The science syllabus has since been revised to match the NCERT syllabus. However, a vast number of CBSE also opt for integrated coaching, to cope with the competition.

What parents and students have to say

Students and their parents were divided on the need for integrated coaching due to competition and its possible adverse impact on mental health. Manohar Deshpande’s son just gave the 10th board exams and has joined integrated coaching for JEE. He says, “Coaching is a must. Only here will my son be properly trained for the JEE. It needs a dedicated approach and a full time efforts for a chance at succeeding. With full time college, it will be difficult to do justice to the preparation. Schools or colleges don’t give guidance for these exams.”

Smruti Bapat is a teacher herself, and even her daughter is currently preparing for the JEE. She believes that coaching institutes have a very stressful environment with extreme pressure. She says, “I believe it is a rotten system. My daughter however, wanted to pursue this. I have never pressurised her to do anything. It is her wish to do integrated.”

Often students also drop out of integrated coaching because of the pressure and monotony. Saakshi Samant is a college student who was previously preparing for the NEET exam at a prominent coaching institute. Sakshi chose integrated college because it saved travel time to go to college and maintaining 75% attendance. She hoped to focus on her entrance test. However, she discontinued.

“It didn’t work out for me because I missed out on some important college experiences like socialising/ working with peers, extracurricular activities. But I have a lot of friends who would disagree with me because they were willing to miss out on these experiences for 2 years if they have a better chance at getting into their desired course.” Saakshi later opted out of giving the NEET and is now pursuing a BA in Mass Communication from St. Xavier’s college.


  • Comprehensive curriculum
  • Structured study plan
  • Experienced faculty
  • Practice and mock tests
  • Peer learning


  • High Competition and pressure
  • Limited focus on subjects other than PCMB
  • High Costs, Low accessibility
  • Heavy reliance on coaching centers

How does the system work?

Life as a student in a JEE or NEET coaching institute is often very hectic. Daily classes range from 5 to 8 hours, where students need to constantly keep practise sums and solve problems. A lot of importance is given to self study as well, and between attending classes and studying at home, children hardly get any time for other activities.

Lakhs of students give the NEET and JEE exams each year, and the competition is ruthless. With immense competition and a small number of seats, securing a good rank is necessary for admissions into top IITS, NITs, and medical colleges. Cutoffs are also very high, with thousands of students on every percentile/every mark.

According to Harshala, a 10th std. school teacher from Thane, this system is here to stay. She says, “For students and parents these days, getting into their desired college is of utmost importance. They will go to many lengths to ensure this. It is possible with dedicated studying, but many believe that the students need an extra push. An institute might give a sense of security as well. But actually, with the right guidance and practice, everything is possible.”

Integrated coaching institutes have been the norm for a long time now, and the trend does not seem to change. The government has made unsuccessful attempts to discourage this system. For aspiring students and parents, independent study or schools and colleges just do not seem to be enough to prepare for the competition. Despite the stressful environments of these institutes, they are the preferred route to crack these exams.

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