After the failure of its ‘Civil Services Coaching’ scheme, the State government is now mulling extending financial assistance to aspirants with a poor economic background who clear the prelims of UPSC All India Civil Service Examination to take up coaching at top-rated institutes for clearing the mains.
Considering the poor success rate of the IAS aspirants from Odisha over the years, the Higher Education department has decided to recast the coaching scheme.
It is working on a new State-level scheme for the 2022-23 academic year under which it will transfer funds directly to the accounts of aspirants who clear the prelims to take up the coaching for the main examination at places of their choice.
The prelim candidates whose parents’ annual income is less than Rs 10 lakh will be entitled to financial assistance. A budgetary allocation of Rs 1.5 crore has been made which can be enhanced to Rs 2 crore.
Sources in the department said that an amount of Rs 1.25 lakh will be provided to an aspirant immediately after he/she clears the prelims and then another Rs 25,000 will be provided to pursue coaching for mains. The money will be transferred in direct benefit transfer (DBT) mode to the candidates.
Earlier in 2019, the Higher Education department had signed an MoU with a Delhi-based coaching agency Dhyeya Educational Services to provide qualitative coaching to at least 100 aspirants from Odisha at subsidized annual fees of Rs 20,650. Candidates whose parents’ annual income was less than Rs 2 lakh were enrolled in the coaching programme.
In 2020, due to the Covid-19 outbreak, the agency provided online coaching to another batch of students but none from the two batches cleared the civil service examination. Prior to 2019, universities were provided funds to extend coaching to the aspirants in their institutions but even that had failed to bring dividends.
“The department has, thus, decided to opt for a decentralized DBT mode to help the candidates clearing prelims to prepare for the main UPSC exam,” said an official of the department. DHE Secretary Saswat Mishra said the scheme is in the draft stage and a final call will be taken soon.
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