A great disease haunting Indian education is the obsession for becoming a doctor or engineer. Nobody talks about becoming an officer of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) or anything else, Abdul Rahman, Chairman of the Tamil Nadu Wakf Board, lamented here on Friday.

Inaugurating an IAS academy sponsored by the Wakf Board and the Socio Economic Educational Development (SEED) Trust at the New College, he urged the students to “study for your life and not for mere examinations”.

A former Tamil professor, Mr. Rahman stressed the necessity for motivation. “It is not only necessary that you should work hard but also should identify the correct sphere of activity according to your attitude,” he said.

He pointed out that the medical college that the State Wakf Board was trying to establish was getting excellent response from philanthropists. Already, 50 acres had been identified for the purpose, he added.

S.M.Hidayathulla, a trustee of the SEED Trust, pointed out that that the trust had been extending a lot of help to the minorities and this year it had extended scholarship to as many as 2,000 students. Though India had a Muslim population of 15 per cent, the total number of Muslim IAS officers and also Group I and II officers was just three per cent, he regretted. The purpose of the academy was to help the minority candidates become top-level bureaucrats. Saidai Duraisamy, founder, Manithaneya Arakkattali, said by providing free coaching his trust had helped as many as 85 candidates become IAS officers.

H.M.Shamsudeen, secretary of the college, said the Muslim Education Association of Southern India had earlier set up an academy to coach candidates for Banking Service Recruitment Board and other examinations. N.Raja Hussein from Madras University said the University Grants Commission had allocated Rs.28 lakh for extending coaching for Schedlued Caste, Scheduled Tribe and minority candidates for National Entrance Test and an equal amount for coaching these candidates for entry-level services. K.Altaff, Principal, welcomed the gathering. Abubacker, vice-president, All India Haj Service, Hameed Abdul Kadir of Sathak Trust , Ahamed Meeran of Professional Courier and S.M.Syed Abdul Kadir, trustee of the SEED Trust, spoke.