It is not merely long hours of study and in-depth preparation that make a topper in the Civil Services. Top rankers in the 2010 examination say it is a combination of hard work and right guidance, besides other factors, that enabled them to reac” the summit.

Most of the students, including third rank-holder R V Varun Kumar, come from different parts of the State to Chennai and stay for at least two years to prepare for their civil services examinations. They often seek out coaching centres, suitable study material and depend on family and friends to help them crack the test.

S. Divyadharshini, the topper, says that after she failed to clear the exam in her first attempt, she had to depend more on group study with friends under her mentor S. Prabhakaran. She is a product of the Prabha IAS IPS Coaching Academy run by Mr. Prabhakaran.

“Hard work, the right study material and support of family and friends also play a role in our success,” says Mr. Varun Kumar.

Fourth-placed Abhiram Shankar, too, attributes his success to his parents' support and the coaching he got at Shankar IAS Academy. K Vijayakarthikeyan, another Chennai candidate who was ranked 22{+n}{+d}, says model tests conducted by coaching centres help in evaluation of the candidates' level of preparation. Despite the UPSC's efforts to reduce the impact of coaching centres on the results, these institutes keep churning out successful candidates. Some of them conduct free coaching.

The All India Civil Services Coaching Centre run by the State government in Chennai has played a key role in creating awareness among the students from the weaker sections of the society. Poor candidates from rural areas are selected through an entrance test by the institute. The government provides them books, food and boarding. Coaching by senior bureaucrats and academicians is being organised for the students by the government at the institute free of cost, said the principal of the All India Civil Services Coaching Centre. “A total of 48 students have emerged successful from the institute,” she said.

Manidhanaeyam Free IAS IPS Coaching Centre, which extends free coaching, says 36 of its candidates have been selected for the civil services this year. “The institute shaped me to become a winner,” says Varun Kumar.

According to a release from Ganesh's IAS Study Centre, 23 of its students have cleared the exam.


Aloysius Xavier LopezJune 28, 2012

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