Vijayawada

NTR Vidyonnathi: denied choice, many candidates mull dropping out

The joy of Addala Nagaraju, a differently abled Civils aspirant, knew no bounds when his name figured in the list of candidates selected for free coaching in one of the top IAS coaching academies under the State-sponsored NTR Vidyonnathi scheme.

The fact that of the 65,155 applicants, he was among the 3,850 selected seemed like a positive beginning to an ambitious journey.

Telugu literature being an optional subject, he specified a local coaching centre as first preference, but was allotted Alternative Learning System (ALS) IAS Academy, Delhi. “I am asthmatic and the climate of Delhi will worsen my health condition. Moreover, somebody needs to carry me. Despite mentioning my PH status, I don’t know why I am asked to take coaching in Delhi,” rues Mr. Nagaraju.

He approached the Social Welfare officials, who tried to convince him that a good coaching centre would brighten his chances of cracking the exam. “They asked me to wait for a week. If they do not heed my plea, I’ll drop out,” he bemoans.

Srinivas Guntupalli, also a Telugu medium candidate, faces similar situation. He chose an institute in Hyderabad, but is asked to go to a Chennai academy. “How can I learn in Telugu medium in an institute in Chennai? This is like asking us to drop out of the coaching,” he says.

Yenimireddy Dhanalakshmi of Kanigiri in Prakasam district, another differently abled candidate, has been given an institute in Delhi. “We mentioned in the application about her physically handicapped status and Telugu medium and yet this,” says her husband Guruva Reddy, adding that if not given her choice, she would sit for Group-II exams.

The State scheme envisages free coaching to meritorious students for UPSC Civil Services exams through the Department of Social Welfare. The inordinate delay in the selection process and allotment of coaching centres has triggered worry among candidates, who barely have six months for preparation for the prelims in June.

For some reason, the entire process for the batch of 2018-19 has been fraught with confusion giving rise to allegations of “foul play”. Upset by denial of their preferred coaching centres, a group of candidates even staged a protest at the department office.

The Government had launched the scheme with much hype saying that it would spend nearly ₹2 lakh on each candidate, of which, ₹1 lakh would be paid to the institute and a stipend of ₹90,000 would be given to the student for a nine-month coaching.

Director, Social Welfare Department, M. Rama Rao, said the problems of differently abled and women candidates who are married with children would be addressed after a scheduled meeting on November 15. He said 31 institutes had applied for the scheme and 20 of them had been empanelled in the State.


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Printable version | May 26, 2022 8:45:42 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Vijayawada/ntr-vidyonnathi-denied-choice-many-candidates-mull-dropping-out/article25465428.ece