Every year, hundreds of thousands of men and women across India attempt the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) examination in the hope of joining the Indian Administrative Services (IAS). However, even clearing the prelims can be daunting process, particularly for students who don’t have access to preparatory resources.
To help rural students and those from underprivileged backgrounds perform better, a farmer from a village in Maharashtra has donated property worth ₹32 crore towards the Sri Saibaba Sansthan Trust (SSST), which is building an academy for the purpose. Kashinath Patil, who is from Vasai’s Kopri village, has donated two buildings that will be put to use to train students who often have little to no access to resources that can help them crack the UPSC examination.
The buildings are situated in the state’s Rahata town.
Image for representation. Photo source: Wikimedia
Dr Suresh Haware, president of the trust that has undertaken this ambitious project, spoke to Times of India about how it will operate. He noted that retired IAS and IPS officers themselves will be at the academy training students. He said, “The academy will provide free training and guidance to poor youths from rural and tribal areas. We hope to see more youths from the tribal belt of north Maharashtra joining the administrative services in the near future.”
The UPSC examination is amongst the most competitive tests in India. According to Byju’s, a popular ed-tech companies in India, only 5 per cent of those who take the UPSC prelims end up cracking it and qualify the Mains exams. Of this, only 15-20 per cent end up doing well enough to be eligible for the interview stage. Among those who are interviewed, about 40 per cent of finally emerge successful.
Considering how difficult the exams tend to be, most students take up external coaching in order to perform well. Hence, students who come from low-income and underprivileged backgrounds often find themselves at a disadvantage. Good Samaritans like Kashinath Patil can help correct that imbalance.