Earlier this year, about eight lakh candidates appeared for the Civil Services Examination (CSE) of which about 12,000 qualified for the Civil Services (Main). At The Better India (TBI), we have spoken to many toppers to understand their preparation strategy and study patterns.
In this article, we speak to 52-year-old G V Rao, a retired civil servant who founded Learning Space Educational Services Private Limited (LSES), based in Vijayawada, to coach CSE aspirants.
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While most coaching institute charge anywhere between Rs 50,000 to Rs 2 lakhs, but students can access all the content that they create at affordable prices.
At any point of time, we won’t charge more than Rs 9,999. We intend to keep our fee within four digits, says Rao, from the 1990 UPSC batch.
In 2012 he took voluntary retirement from the service and decided to build a platform that could help train aspirants appearing for the CSE. It took him four years to get things going and, in 2017, he launched the online portal and app offering content for aspirants.
“Having started this online model in 2017, as of today, we have more than 47,000 students who have signed up on our website and 12,000 paid subscribers. We also have 23 employees with us, many of whom are IAS and IPS officers themselves. We have had one batch appear for the 2018 UPSC examination and in that 9 of our students managed to clear it.”
One of the reasons he decided to take voluntary retirement and work in the educational space was to be able to help students who could not reap the benefits of coaching institutes as they had become money-minting places. “During the time I was preparing for the examination, the entire commercialisation of it had not reached such heights. This commercialisation has prevented good talent from coming into the system, and I wished to address this loophole.”
LSES covers 80 per cent of the UPSC syllabus excluding optional papers simply because of their varied nature.
I take great pride in the quality of content that we put out. It goes through multiple layers of checks to ensure that it is relevant, easy to consume, and extremely useful for the aspirants.
Aspirants can either choose to view the videos online or download them and view them offline, while using the app. Respective faculty members or the administrative staff answers all queries that the aspirants leave on the website. When asked about the investment that this venture needed to get started, he says,
The initial amount of Rs 1 crore came from me, friends and family. I am also hopeful of finding good investors. The only reason I am not rushing into it is because I want to find someone who understands the vision we have and do not curtail that growth.
To ensure that the teachers and facilitators can pay complete attention to teaching, LSES has a team that works on creating content – whether in text form or video material.
With over 6000+ video content and multiple mock tests available online, this portal is sure a goldmine for all aspirants. If you wish to access this content, you can visit their website, or download the app here (IoS) and here (Android).
(Edited by Saiqua Sultan)