Breaking Barriers: The Remarkable Story of a JEE Topper with Farming Roots


Pic credit: X/@AsianetNewsEN

-Surya Pillai

28th April 2024: One’s academic excellence can easily measure India’s social structure. The shortest and the most accepted way to find fortune in our country is to climb the school ladder until you reach the top. At the ceiling of our education system lies some of the most well-paying jobs, such as engineers and doctors, two of the most desired jobs in the country right now. The pathway to each of these roles is very different but a common factor they share is the entrance exam required to achieve entrance into these roles. The medical entrance exam is most commonly known as the National Entrance Eligibility Test (NEET) and the engineering courses exam is the Joint Entrance Exam (JEE).

Both of these exams are known to be extremely hard, and considered to be some of the hardest in the world. It takes nothing short of dedication and devotion to one’s books to crack these examinations. Usually, this entails needing many books, and a large funding, sometimes in the form of entrance examination coaching. However, the nation finds itself witnessing the birth of a great talent, the son of an ordinary farmer has achieved the number 1 rank in the JEE Mains, something rarely heard of. This is the story of Nilkrishna Gajare, the son of an ordinary farmer in Vidharba, Maharashtra, who has achieved the ultimate rank in what is considered to be one of the world’s hardest examinations. Nilkrishna has been at detailed work over the last 2 years to crack the JEE. His accomplishment is all the more impressive when one considers that he comes from the remote village of Belkhed, Washim, Vidharba.

The source of Nilkrishna’s success can be attributed to his rigorous and machine-like schedule. He states that he would wake up at 4:00 A.M., study for 2 hours, then perform pranayama (breathing exercises) until 8:30 and start studying again until 10:00 P.M. This is 16 hours of studying per day, leaving only 8 hours where Nilkrishna rested per day. Success comes with great effort, as clearly shown by our nation’s new pride. His father had always wanted for his son to find greater purposes in life that he had never been able to achieve and it is a dream come true for him. He had been overjoyed to the point of speechlessness when he was informed of Nilkrishna’s rank in the examination. Nilkrishna aspires to study at IIT Bombay.

Nilkrishna’s triumph has only been more inspiration for him as he faces the JEE Advanced examination next month. His story is proof that material needs are secondary to the power of pure determination and hard work and should be told to every aspiring student, so they too know how sweet the fruits of their labor can be.

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