A group of students from the Indian Institutes of Technology, the Indian Institutes of Management and the National Institutes of Technology have expanded the scope of their “career-shaping” examination and scholarship to urban centres in the Northeast.The group from these three institutes had started the “one nation, one exam” National Level Common Entrance Examination (NLCEE) for classes 9-12 this year. The first exam on March 31, conducted across 62 centres across India, had 22,000 students.“This time, we have included all tier 2 and tier 3 cities in the northeast as our examination centres for better penetration and opportunity to underprivileged students in geographically-challenged areas. We are also offering an additional scholarship of up to ₹ 60,000 to deserving students besides an opportunity to visit research and development centres such as the Indian Space Research Organisation and the IITs for 3-15 days,” NLCEE’s overall coordinator Ullas M.S., an NIT Karnataka product, told The Hindu.NLCEE was founded by Ravi Nishant who studied in IIT-Guwahati.Mr. Ullas said the group hired interns from different IITs and NITs to work together on the NLCEE project.“For the exam, there is no need for prerequisite preparation as it is not designed to test one’s technical skills in maths or science. It is meant to test one’s aptitude, creativity in problem-solving, and thinking outside the box,” he said.He said that the NLCEE team would conduct the exam in two phases. For the first, examination centres will operate in more than 100 cities in the country. Based on the results, the top 1,000 students would be selected for the second phase and rewarded according to the rank achieved.“In the second phase, we will shortlist 100 children, then provide significant educational exposure to the deserved by offering visits to the ISRO, the IITs, etc. It can make them motivated, get an overall idea about all kinds of educational streams or courses available, and then take the right decision for their further studies. The NLCEE shall pay all the expenses of the children’s living and transportation,” Mr. Ullas said.