Scoring 315 marks out of 396, the 17-year-old devoted 12 hours daily towards her preparation, focussing on Math and Physics, and consulting her teachers at the Allen Career Institute in Kota where she was a student.
“We were 8-10 girls in a class of 110 students and the atmosphere was highly competitive. There were very few distractions and the only way I destressed was through chats with my two friends who were from my hometown,” says Kanishka. She also liked to catch up on her sleep of 7-8 hours while maintaining a rigorous study schedule. Kota, according to her, is “a safe city for girls” with an enabling environment that makes it easier for students to crack JEE Advanced. “Students’ potential may vary, but they are all driven by hard work with no compromises.”
Kanishka’s father Anuj Kumar Mittal who owns a photostat shop and mother Suchita, a homemaker, gave her support when she decided to follow her dreams to the IITs and moved to Kota for her studies. Her brother, a fourth year BTech student of Electronics at the Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh, was a key inspiration and had full faith in her potential.
Following the lockdown, when she left the coaching capital in May to return home by bus, Kanishka’s enthusiasm did not flag. “I found the same conducive atmosphere at home to give my 100% to the exam.”
Studious since school, the former student of St Mary’s Senior Secondary School in Moradabad, scored 98.4% in her XIIth and 99% marks in Xth class. “I tried to be dedicated,” is all that Kanishka says. It led her to read up NCERT books for Inorganic Chemistry many times over, and coaching modules for Physics, Math and Organic Chemistry as many as four to six times.
Presently, Kanishka, a voracious reader of fiction novels, is planning to join IIT-Bombay and pursue Computer Science Engineering for the wealth of opportunities. “My teachers say that exposure and growth opportunities there is so much more, which is why I cannot wait to explore what lies in store,” she says.