Empowering Minds, Engineering Futures

rdt published date September 15, 2023    rdt published author rdt


In an ever-evolving world where technology paints the canvas of our future, education is more than just facts and figures—it’s the spark that ignites innovation and change. It’s the push to acquire not only knowledge but also the skills to dream, create, and pioneer transformation. STEM (science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education is a cornerstone of progress that enables young minds to chart paths of innovation.

The RDT Common Entrance Test (RDT-CET) started in 2004 to create access to higher education opportunities for meritorious students.  Started with a selection of meritorious students from the Anantapur area and then went on to be a yearly examination in 2009, enabling selected students to pursue two-year intermediate education in prestigious state colleges and continue their journey towards higher professional and technical courses. From 2004 to 2023, a total of 5,286 students were selected for special education scholarships. The selected students choose between BiPC (Biology, Physics, Chemistry) and MPC (Maths, Physics, Chemistry) course structures, allowing them to select which stream they want to study in. 

As a result of this, from the programme’s inception, till now, 223 students secured MBBS (Medical Education) admissions all across the country and are on their path of becoming doctors. The programme also proudly celebrates the admissions of 32 students into B Tech courses at various IITs across the nation as well. This number is also at an all-time high this year since the program’s commencement.


Hailing from Tadipatri, K Harshavardhan is one of the students among the 12 who got admitted into IIT and is currently in Jammu pursuing his Engineering in Electronics and Communications. “I knew about the RDT CET exam through my parents, who always motivated me to learn”, says Harshavardhan. He had applied for the exam and didn’t believe that he would get in. “It was something challenging. I couldn’t believe that I  got selected out of students who are equally smart”, he adds. 

Excerpts from the Interview with K. Harshavardhan. 

1. How did you get to know about the Special Education Scholarship Programme, and what motivated you to apply?

My parents had motivated me to apply as they had known about the programme for quite a while, and I also thought it was something challenging that I could try out. I got the special education scholarship in 2021, joined a local high school and later took admission for my intermediate in Sri Chaitanya College, Vijayawada. I would just say that I had a lot of luck. I am an ordinary person, I learnt from a government college and have reached here at one of the most prestigious institutions in the country. That way, I think luck, along with confidence, gets you forward in life. 

       2. What kind of resources and opportunities did the scholarship provide? Did they aid in your overall growth and development as a student?

I am proud to say that RDT recognised my efforts and helped me learn further in my life. For me, the scholarship has always been the way forward and has given me directions to what I can become and what I am capable of. 


      3. What stream have you taken in IIT currently? How are you adjusting to the new academic environment?

I have taken ECE (Electronics and Communication Engineering) because I thought it was the best choice, given the fast-moving world and the ever-changing technology. The new academic environment at IIT is very disciplined and research-oriented, and I think that is why it differs from other institutions. I have befriended people who come from different cultures, and I have learnt a lot from them as well. 

     4. You are a budding engineer who has just gotten into the prestigious institution known for engineering in the country. Can you tell us why you chose engineering? 

Engineering is to create machines and technologies in an efficient way that would reduce human efforts. That is why I choose the stream, as it helps me keep on inventing and learning and reworking my ideas and learn from the mistakes which come from it. I believe that everyone is destined for greater purposes. Getting a degree and learning don’t comprise all my life. But, I can say for myself that if I am choosing something that can lead me forward in life, it would be engineering. IIT is the institution that gives me the opportunity to do that. They are now the platform which provides a skilled workforce around the world. They not only have professors who put in the best efforts but also have the capability to launch the students into the corporate world through placements and research opportunities. 

          5 . Education opens doors for future opportunities, as you said yourself. Why do you think having access to education matters the most? 

I believe the process of learning starts when you learn and doesn’t stop at any time. You keep learning mentally, physically, through experiences, and spiritually. Eventually, you will learn to think beyond your emotions. That is how education inspires me to move forward in life. I think the major difference between us, our parents and our grandparents is that we have different levels of education and very different ideas about what to do with the knowledge we have acquired. 

        6. Is there anything that you would like to convey to the students who might want to get into institutions like IITs/ NITs?

I am a very ordinary person who has studied in a very ordinary college. Like everyone says, it is all just a matter of how you view yourself. The only thing you have to keep in mind, moving forward, is to believe in the effort you have put into something. If you do that, it will show in the result. It has always worked for me. I believe it is also important to keep learning whatever you are interested in so that you can find various ways to update yourself. 

As we commemorate National Engineers Day, we celebrate not only the past but also the future—a future where STEM education paves the way for the next generation of innovators, leaders, and change-makers. It equips them to tackle the evolving challenges of our dynamic world and embark on a journey of endless possibilities.  

To learn More about RDT- CET and our Education Sector Initiatives CLICK HERE

Text: Mathusree Menon

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