The Karnataka State Government, in association with St. Joseph’s College and IIPA, has initiated a free civil services coaching institute
When someone aspires to be a civil servant, apart from questions involving the difficulty level of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) exam and the other processes, the expenses and time involved in preparing for it inevitably crop up. Ironically, private players have catered to this domain for long even though the result of it involves providing the future officers in the various government departments.
There are a plethora of such private civil services coaching centres offering training for the mains and prelims. The duration ranges from seven months to 10 months and the fee structure, some say, is ‘confidential and official’. One coaching centre based in Bangalore revealed that training for seven months costs about Rs. 48,000.
However, now, following a remark made by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah about starting a State-sponsored coaching facility while felicitating successful candidates of last year’s UPSC exams from Karnataka, a plan to cater to this sector by the government has taken shape. The State Government, in association with St. Joseph’s College (Autonomous) and the Indian Institute of Public Administration (IIPA), has initiated a free civil services coaching institute to ‘identify and nurture future bureaucrats’. While St. Joseph’s College will spare its premises and knowledge resources for the institute, IIPA, which is run by retired civil servants, will groom the aspirants.
A release from the Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms (DPAR) said the institute aims to provide training and guidance for meritorious candidates with particular focus on those from socially and economically underprivileged sections. The training and guidance provided by academicians and experienced former civil servants will also include mock tests and interviews. The selection of the candidates for the various categories will be done through a competitive selection process based on merit. While anyone interested can apply, the release stated that priority will be given to candidates belonging to SC/ST/OBC and minorities. General category candidates, if selected, will have to pay the fees prescribed.
The last date to apply ended on February 8 and an entrance exam was held on February 9. The candidates selected from the entrance exam will be called for an interview on February 16 at 10 a.m. The final list of selected candidates will be announced by February 17. The coaching classes will begin from February 24.Informal mentoring
It is not just the government that has stepped into this domain. Around 50 serving civil services officers from IAS/IPS/IFS/IRS/IFoS have come together to provide ‘informal mentoring’ to civil service aspirants. Hoping to ‘motivate and give confidence to the aspirants’, the free programme will be delivered virtually through ‘Whatsapp’.
Mentoring will be done both collectively and individually. Collective mentoring will be done by 12 mentors in a group, for about 90 minutes every day, generally from 9 p.m. to 10.30 p.m. Individual mentoring will be done till the exams, at those timings convenient to the mentor and mentees. One mentor will have two or three aspirants as mentee.
There are five groups: the pre-prelims group is for those aspirants who are planning to appear for prelims in 2015 or beyond.
Here the aspirants get exposure to civil services and are counselled by senior officers on the suitability of aspirants for civil services. Prelims A is for those who are appearing for prelims the first time and in 2014. Prelims B is for those who are repeating prelims, whether they have been successful or not earlier. Mains is for those who want mentoring for the mains exams.
Interview is for those who want mentoring for interview.
One aspirant can be in only one group. Each group has a chief mentor who will keep a close watch on the aspirants and ensure that the common goal is achieved.
Apart from the chief mentor, there are around 10 to 12 mentors in each group from different services who help in collective mentoring, apart from each of them mentoring a few aspirants individually.How to join
Send a detailed message about yourself, including your scores in Class 12 and graduation (60 per cent and above), number of attempts made in the civil service exam, and whether you have cleared prelims at least once or not. Send a message through Whatsapp to 96633 69333 and mention which group you are interested in.