With the success rate of civil services aspirants from the All India Civil Services Coaching Centre in Chennai showing a decline since 2014, the Tamil Nadu government has initiated steps to restructure and strengthen the functioning of the institution. It has appointed Prof. M. Ravichandran as principal of the centre with a fixed tenure of one year, extendable by a year, based on feedback received from the alumni about his performance as head of the centre during an earlier term.
The centre provides free coaching for civil services aspirants belonging to SC/ST and BC communities, for the preliminary and main examinations and personality test.
Recently, the Director General of Training (DGT) had reviewed the results of the civil services examination and held open house sessions with former students to ascertain the reasons for the decline in success rate.
The alumni had pointed out that the frequent transfer of principal of the coaching centre had affected the administration. “Short tenure given to the principal hampers the functioning of the centre. To make the centre attractive and more relevant, the principal has to constantly update the latest trends in the civil services examination and implement the changes then and there,” the DGT conveyed to the Personnel and Administrative Reforms (Training) Department. He called for strengthening and restructuring the centre academically and administratively.
A Government Order issued by the Secretary, Personnel and Administrative Reforms (Training) Department, last month said the DGT proposed to fill up the post of principal of the centre on two-year contract basis. He suggested Mr. Ravichandran’s name for the post for a year till such time a proposed committee chose his successor.
Mr. Ravichandran, the G.O. said, had in his last tenure done well “by taking efforts to improve the quality of teaching, invited acclaimed external experts, provided nutritive food to the aspirants under the guidance of nutrition experts, and ensured transparency in running the coaching centre.” He also conducted several rounds of mock interviews by engaging senior and young officers and intellectuals. Mr. Ravichandran took charge on Friday.
The government has also decided to discontinue posting professors belonging to the Collegiate Education Service as principals, to fill the post on contract basis for fixed tenure and form a committee to select the principal.
Besides, the DGT had initiated measures such as digitalisation of library, identifying faculty who have orientation towards civil services examination syllabus and mark sheet evaluation followed by discussion. He is also mulling the possibility of developing an integrated course covering both preliminary and main exams.