BHUBANESWAR: As Odisha’s share in the All India Civil Services is experiencing a consistent decline with fewer candidates passing the exams every year, the state government has decided to take the matter into its own hands. The government has decided to open its own coaching centre to mentor and prepare the aspirants from the state in cracking the elite test.
At a meeting chaired by Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mahapatra recently, it was decided to open a centralised professional coaching centre with a state-of-the-art library and digital learning hub at Bhubaneswar for UPSC aspirants.
The tutorial centre with free hostel accommodation for 400 candidates will be run by a coaching agency selected through a bid process. The aspirants will be selected through an entrance examination and there will be no income criteria for coaching.
As decided, the candidates will be allowed to stay in the hostel for a maximum period of two years. A panel of young as well as senior IAS officers will visit the centre every week to motivate and mentor the civil services aspirants to pursue their goals.
While coaching and accommodation for aspirants will be free, the aspirants will bear expenses for food. One senior officer will be appointed for administrative activities to monitor the day-to-day activities and overall implementation of the initiative.
An official, who attended the meeting, said every year 200 candidates would be selected. The aspirants will be provided with a good study environment so that they can prepare for the exams in a more focused manner. The performance of the coaching centre would be reviewed rigorously every three years, he said.
The request for proposal will be invited soon from professional coaching institutes and for the engagement of a facility manager. The Revenue and Disaster Management department will provide two-acre land for the construction of a permanent building for the coaching institute, the official added.
The decision to set up the centralised coaching centre was taken after the coaching facilities developed at the university level failed to attract aspirants and yielded little results. Odisha lags behind with less than one per cent (pc) share whereas states like Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana and Bihar top with the success rate capturing more than five pc of the posts each.
Meanwhile, the government plans to take on a lease or rent a suitable building for opening the institute with suitable accommodation till the permanent campus is developed.