Rashmi Ranjan

The results of the Civil Services Examination conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) were declared on Tuesday. Over 25 candidates from Odisha cracked the exam, considered to be one of the toughest national-level examinations. However, surprisingly most of the successful candidates did their preparations for the examination by taking coaching classes outside the State. 

This startling pattern has raised questions over the effectiveness of free coaching provided by the Odisha Higher Education Department to the Civil Services aspirants for which the State government is spending crores of rupees.  

According to the available information, the Odisha government had spent Rs 1.82 crore to set up coaching centres in 50 Degree colleges and eight universities across the State to impart free Civil Services coaching to aspirants between 2016-18 academic session.

Later in 2019, the Odisha government inked an agreement with Dhyeya Institute to set up a coaching hub in Bhubaneswar. The government spent Rs 2.42 crore to provide free coaching to 99 aspirants that year.

Recently, the Naveen Patnaik-led government signed an agreement with ACQ IAS Academy, and 200 candidates enrolled to avail free coaching. 

However, despite spending crores of rupees, the dismal performance of the candidates has put the scheme in a tight spot.
Meanwhile, aspirants have attributed the unavailability of proper educational environment and lack of quality coaching as the reasons behind their poor performance. 

“Most of the aspirants are taking coaching in Delhi. Unlike their education system, Odisha lacks practical application. In Odisha, we are just trained on theory,” said Netaji Tapas Kumar Sahoo, a Civil Services aspirant.

Another aspirant, Kishan Kumar Sahoo said, “Teaching quality matters the most. If the competition is taken into consideration, Odisha is failing to match up to the coaching standards.”  

On the other hand, educationists are of the opinion that Odisha has a lot of talent and proper coaching facilities can help them to excel.

“The students should be provided necessary guidance from the school level and proper training should be imparted at the graduation level,” said RN Panda, an educationist.

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