The state government in February will open a coaching centre for candidates preparing for the Union Public Service Commission exam, through which IAS, IPS and IFS officers are selected.
Sources said the decision to open the centre was taken following a prod from the chief minister, who has complained several times about a dearth of IAS and IPS officers from the state.
“The chief minister thinks students from Bengal are not interested in the UPSC civil service exam as there is a lack of a proper coaching centre here. Only one or two candidates from the state crack the test every two or three years,” said an official. “Bengal has a quota of 349 IAS officers. But around 150 posts are vacant.”
The coaching centre will function from Administrative Training Institute in Salt Lake, said a source.
An official said civil service aspirants who want to join the institute will have to qualify an admission test, likely to be held by the third week of January.
Those who have cracked the West Bengal Civil Service Exam or the UPSC preliminary exam will be eligible for direct admission. “The course fee will be affordable,” said the official.
According to the plan, some retired IAS officers will take classes. They will be assisted by a few serving IAS officers.
“We have some brilliant IAS officers, who had ranked very high in the UPSC exam. They will be requested to take classes here. Serving bureaucrats will share their experience with the aspirants,” said the official.