UTTAR PRADESH: It was Basant Panchami, the day of Saraswati Puja in February 2021, when Uttar Pradesh government initiated a new mission to guide aspirants of civil services and other competitive exams towards success, introducing free coaching classes under Mukhyamantri Abhyudaya Yojna.
The intent was to facilitate aspirants coming from socio-economically weaker sections or rural backgrounds to prepare for civil services examinations, Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), state service commission UPPSC/Subordinate Service Selection Commission, Forest services, and other such exams.
The scheme, initially conceptualised for civil service aspirants now also caters to those looking to crack competitive exams like CAT, NEET, JEE, NDA and others.
“When private coaching institutes closed during the pandemic and switched over to online mode, it became unaffordable for students from economically backward sections who had limited resources. At that time, the UP government decided to introduce Abhyudaya coaching centres to help these deprived aspirants continue their preparations with quality content and expert guidance,” says Asim Arun, a former top cop who now holds the portfolio of Social Welfare, SC/ST Welfare as Minister of State with Independent Charge.
Thanks to the scheme, students now, do not need to leave for other states to attend competitive coachings, providing an opportunity to the meritorious to progress.
Officers in IAS, IPS, forest services, private teachers, retired civil servants, along with several experts in various disciplines were roped in by the state government to coach the aspirants, while also creating curated study material and relevant content in accordance with the syllabus of UPSC, UPPSC, IFS and other competitive exams. Serving officers of the rank of SDM and CDO were roped in to teach the students. Some officers voluntarily joined the scheme to enlighten aspirants.
“I also conducted a few sessions to give tips to candidates on cracking interviews. Officers like former DGP Vikram Singh conducted mock interviews and it yielded results,” says minister Asim Arun.
Centres have been set up in every district to clear doubts of the exam aspirants, During the pandemic, with classes being held in both online and offline modes in overthan 10 courses. “We have collaborated with a private e-learning company for one year to enhance learning among aspirants. We have hired faculty and provided resources to our centres in districts,” says Arun.On the e-learning platform, students are provided with videos, quizzes, and PDF files related to their syllabus in the module format, all free of cost.
To take advantage of this scheme, one must be a resident of UP. Only economically weak or students living below the poverty line can benefit of this scheme, under the initiative, total 1050 seats, spread across 8 different centres located throughout the state, are there.
Last year, 98 candidates registered with eight Abhyudaya centres across UP, qualified for UP PCS examination. Of those 98 successful candidates, as many as 55 qualified the Lekhpal Recruitment Examination and rest 43 cleared UP PCS examination. Moreover, 13 candidates trained under Abhyudaya Yojna cleared UPSC civil services examinations in 2023.