CHENNAI: Shankar IAS Academy, a popular civil services coaching institute in the city inaugurated the Shankar Memorial Educational and Charitable trust in memory of the academy’s late founder and CEO, Shankar Devarajan. The trust was established to also commemorate the academy’s 15th foundation day. In October this year, the academy’s 45-year-old founder was found dead at his residence in Mylapore. The professor who began the institute in 2004 had allegedly taken his own life due to personal reasons.
“We are all here with mixed feelings. We are delighted that the academy is in its 15th year, but we also deeply miss the presence of our guru. He was a great man who has left a great legacy. He started a never- ending relay race, and has passed the baton to us, for us to take his legacy forward,” said Rajitha Shivashankar, a faculty member.
Professor Ashok Jhunjhunwala, department of Electrical Engineering, IIT Madras presided as the chief guest of the event.
He inaugurated the trust and said, “In a span of 15 years, Shankar has built his academy from scratch and brought it to what it is now. This academy is producing leaders for the country, and it is an honour to be standing here. This trust is a very noble initiative by Shankar’s family, especially his wife Vaishnavi.” The Shankar Memorial Educational and Charitable trust will provide an opportunity to students and civil services aspirants from weaker sections of society, and differently abled students who want to prepare for these competitive exams.
“The core objectives of the trust is to render support and to ensure upliftment of downtrodden students, to institute grants and scholarships for educational research, to write and publish research papers, arrange lectures and classes to students from marginalised sections of the society in both urban and rural areas and to upgrade the skills of women and youth,” said RM Bhaskar Kumar, administrative head of Shankar IAS academy. Gunasekaran, senior editor, News 18 was the guest of honour.
“Hailing from a village, Shankar faced several difficulties and challenges before achieving what we see in front of us today. This trust is a fitting tribute to him. Earlier, Delhi was the only place that offered IAS coaching but thanks to Shankar and his vision, things changed here down south. He was a caring leader and a passionate teacher,” he said while addressing the audience. Bhaskar Kumar, in his special address said, “Shankar is an icon for all IAS, IPS aspirants in the country, especially down south.
What began as an institute with just 30 students has grown to a strength of about 3000 students.” UPSC Civil Services exam is the gateway to becoming a bureaucrat and a part of the administrative set up in India including elite services such as IAS, IPS, IFS etc., “We have about 900 candidates who studied in Shankar’s academy, in different services across the country,” he beamed. In the current academic year, the institution will also be coaching 20 differently abled students. For details, visit www.shankariasacademy.com