CHENNAI: The coaching class preparation model assumes a one-size-fits-all solution towards cracking the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) examinations, when an ideal candidate is expected to be well-rounded, said Prasanth Nair, an IAS officer who now serves as Deputy Secretary, New and Renewable Energy Ministry, speaking at the ThinkEdu Conclave 2019, organised by The New Indian Express on Wednesday.
He was speaking at a panel discussion on ‘Can you crack UPSC with just your school curriculum and without your friendly neighbourhood coaching centre?’
“Civil service exams, like most competitive exams in the country, do not work on selection, but on de-selection. But coaching centres provide an instant tablet that they can pop in,” he said.
Also speaking at the panel discussion, Anita Karwal, chairperson of CBSE, said the craze for signing up for coaching had pushed many students to give less importance to school education.
“We have hundreds of CBSE students on paper, when, in reality, they are taking up coaching classes at Kota or Nagpur,” she said, adding that the suicide rate among such students was rising as they spent a great part of their school life aspiring to crack highly competitive exams.
Reflecting on her own experience of having been a CBSE kid who also went on to crack the UPSC exam and becoming an IAS officer, she spoke about how the changing times had not changed old mindsets.
Even as coaching centres provide simplified content for aspirants, the material needed to prepare for the UPSC is available in public, said Israel Jebasingh, former IAS officer and Director of Officer’s IAS Academy, who chaired the discussion. “It takes a lot more reading than going through coaching, but it is definitely possible,” he said.