KOCHI: Putting up a competition to Thiruvananthapuram, which has long been known as “the hub” for civil services coaching in Kerala, there is a rapid rise in the number of IAS coaching institutes in Kochi. The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) had recently announced the results of 2017 civil service exams and 33 Keralites have found a place on the list, with 10 of them cracking into the top-200. With over eight lakh applicants and less than 1,000 seats to fill each year, the intense competition that the aspirants are subjected to has made coaching inevitable to the majority.
Sensing the demand, multiple civil service coaching centres have mushroomed over the last five years and many engineering/ medical coaching centres are adding ‘IAS coaching’ to the list, taking the number up to 35 in Kochi. “One can get quality coaching in Kochi itself as all classes are done through video-conferencing and same study materials are used to provide coaching to aspirants at our centre”, says Ashwati P, centre head, ALS IAS Kochi.
She added that coaching helps students identify the exact syllabus to be covered each year and to help them intelligently prepare for the various stages of the exam. Speaking to Express, Father Renson Thekkinezath, director, Naipunya IAS Academy, said there is a steady rise in the number of applicants at institute over the years. He added that Naipunnya IAS academy, started in 2006, was one of the first institutes to offer this facility in Kochi and over the years have produced more than 33 civil servants. “We have students mainly hailing from Kochi, Muvatupuzha. Kothamangalam and Alappuzha. We see an increasing number of socially-aware students aspiring to join civil services as a mean to serve the society”, said Father Renson.
“A general perception of civil services being an achievable dream has been instilled in the minds of the common man. What helped in this regard are the multiple Keralites achieving top ranks in the UPSC exams each year”, says Shrija M, general manager, ACE civil service academy. She added that a huge number of professional degree graduates are turning towards a career in civil services.
The Kerala Govt sensing the dropping number of Keralites in bureaucratic ranks had started the Kerala State Civil Service Academy (KSCSA) in 2005 under the Centre of Continuing Education Kerala, which offers subsidised coaching for aspirants from the state. In their Muvatupuzha centre, they offer a civil service ‘foundation’ course for 11th and 12th students. Starting this year, degree students can also enrol themselves in a three-year coaching program.
The coaching fees vary depending on the program selected, with most of the private institutes charging close to Rs 70,000 for a prelims-mains year-long package in Kochi. The sudden spike in demand for civil service coaching in the state can be attributed to a combination of factors like bureaucratic jobs becoming highly desirable, preparation materials and coaching becoming more accessible and the inspiration derived from hundreds of fellow Keralites who have secured top bureaucratic positions in recent years.The recession in the IT industry has also forced graduates to secure government and banking jobs after graduation, and for the majority, civil services become a natural choice.
lThere are over 30 IAS coaching centres in Kochi, putting up a stiff competition to Thiruvananthapuram, which is known as the hub for civil service coaching in KeralalMany students from Alappuzha, Kothamangalam, Muvattupuzha opt Kochi for coaching