| Belhar block development officer Mithlesh Mishra takes a class of civil service aspirants at RKM Residential School in Banka. Picture by Sanjay Choudhary |
After Rohtas, it’s Banka.
Officials of the Banka district administration have started offering free coaching to a select group of aspirants of the civil services examinations. The aspirants, hailing from Maoist-hit villages, have also been provided with food and lodging facilities at the district headquarters, about 275km east of Patna.
Banka is the second district where such a novel initiative has been started to give a befitting reply to the Maoists’ drive to recruit rural youths as their cadres, impart them training to handle weapons and equip them with sophisticated firearms to carry out attacks on security personnel. Earlier, Rohtas police had engaged a group of IITians to offer free tuition to aspiring engineers.
A brainchild of Banka district magistrate Deepak Anand, a 2007-batch IAS officer, the coaching centre has been set up on the premises of RKM Residential School in Banka.
Initially, 12 students were selected on the basis of a written test conducted in December last year. Anand’s initiative got a boost after a 2011-batch probationary IAS officer Mithlesh Mishra showed interest in providing coaching to the aspirants, who belonged to one of the most backward villages of the district. Subsequently, Anand formed a team with Mishra and senior deputy collector Lalit Kumar to start the classes.
Mishra, posted as block development officer of Maoist-hit Belhar block of the district, said Anand spares time for the aspirants from his busy schedule and supervises preparations of the candidates. Study materials such as books, notes and magazines have also been given to them, he added. He said that since the syllabus had changed, those preparing for the exam are in a state of fix. “Our guidance will help them deal with the problems,” he added.
Anand said: “We are trying to create an educational environment in the region, through a live demonstration. Even if four or five students get selected in the civil services exams, this will have a positive impact on the people who will develop faith in the administration.”
“Guidance from the people who have already cracked the exams, is quite beneficial to us,” said Amit Kumar, a resident of Barhauna village under Barahat police station. Kamdeo Das, a student from Chhapariadih village under Fullidumar police station, echoed Amit. “If I put in my best efforts, then I will surely become a civil servant,” he added.