Tuesday, October 16, 2012

IAS Coaching Centers : New players in the field

Every month new coaching centers spring up in Delhi. It is common for those who fail to make it to come to Rajendra Nagar or Mukherjee Nagar and start a coaching center. It is also common for many coaching centers to wind up when they fail to make money to pay the rent for the office and classroom. This too happens every month.

But what is not common is predatory coaching centres which are already established in other areas like IIT JEE etc, with deep pockets (very deep indeed), which are run like corporate companies making foray into the IAS coaching business. This is a dangerous development.

I am talking about Sri Chaitanya and Narayana institutions which have made the life of students and parents hell in AP, which have made education a very costly proposition to the common man of AP. Now their evil eyes have fallen on Civil Services Exam, and mark my words, they are going wipe out everyone in the field within 10-12 years and establish monopoly if the things continue as they are. As of now these two started a joint venture in Rajendra Nagar to make joint efforts towards wiping out others and fleecing the students. This came as a surprise to me as they are fierce competitors in other areas.

If you have noticed, now a days children in AP start studying from the point of view of IIT JEE from class 6 or 7 itself. You may have noticed numerous schools going by the name of 'IIT Concept Schools'. 10-12 years back it was not like this. This trend has put tremendous pressure on the children and harmed their alround growth and thinking process. If you are from AP, you may know this. All this is because of the unscrupulous organisations like Sri Chaitanya and Narayana.

Now they are trying to replicate this scheme of things in IAS coaching too. These people have started coaching for IAS for intermediate students (+1, +2). They are trying to lure gullible parents into enrolling their children in these courses saying that taking coaching from intermediate onwards helps them get through in to the services early. Program details are given here and here. TN Seshan who is upright and whom I and many like me look upto is the chief mentor of these programs. I dont know what lured him but definitely not money. There are some issues here.

It is important to remember that only 900 people get selected every year and the competition is fierce, fiercer, fiercest. What happens when the student doesnt perform well during intermediate or graduation because of the burden and focus on Civils? These coaching centers had this point in mind and to allay the fears of the students they said that they will take care of the issue of burden. It is easier said than done. It is extremely burdensome at that stage to manage even maths and sciences which are part of the syllabus, so leave aside general studies part. If you have your feet on two boats at that stage, you may not get admission into a good graduation college like IIT. At the age of 15-16 mind is not mature enough to understand the social or political issues. Trust me on this. And ideas and attitudes attained at that formative stage wont go easily.

During the graduation, focus should be completely on course subjects and not on the subjects of civil services. I did a grave mistake by neglecting my graduation subjects and studying random and general subjects only in pursuit of knowledge. Most of the time I used to read random pages in wikipedia on different subjects like history, polity, philosophy, religion, economics etc. This has increased my knowledge and understanding of social sciences tremendously but my graduation subjects(computer science) suffered a lot irreversibly. It is another matter that I had no interest in them but fact remains that I neglected them which I am repenting now. Now I cant go back to my core area incase I dont make it to the civil services.

One more issue is that preparing GS and some subjects like PubAd, Soc, etc from the exam point of view at imtermediate stage or graduation stage is useless. Reason is the 'dynamic' nature of the subjects. They change so much in a time of one year that people who excel in year may get very low marks in the next year itself. If you have observed question papers in the last 5 years, you can easily understand what I am saying. Only thing 'constant' with civil services exam is 'change'. So why waste time? Moreover UPSC is planning to eliminate the otptionals by 2014, so why study the optionals from now on?

Now what should the intermediate(11,12) students enrolled in the IAS coaching  in these institutes take up in graduation? Should they go for IITs or other engineering colleges or medical colleges? Or should they join any degree college in a BA course? These institutes havenot spoken with clarity on this one but the accent is on joining a BA course. Think and think. This will be a big blunder in case of undesired eventualities.

So, intermediate students (and their parents) who are thinking of enrolling in these institutes, please dont do that. Dont fall in the trap.


  1. very informative post indeed.. being enrolled in,I was looking for such articles online to assist me.. and your post helped me a lot :)

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  2. what are some good IAS coaching institutes in Delhi ?