Monday, 30th October 2017

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Coaching aid for minorities

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By CHARU SUDAN KASTURI in Delhi
  • Published 8.08.09
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New Delhi, Aug. 7: India plans to launch free residential coaching schools to help students from minority communities, Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and women crack examinations to enter civil services and other government jobs.

The human resource development ministry has finalised plans to start a chain of the coaching schools and is preparing to unveil the programme as one of its 100-day achievements, top government officials have said.

The schools will feed and provide a home to the students picked for the coaching courses — the first time the Centre will provide these facilities — after they clear a screening test.

Three such schools to train minorities, SCs and STs would come up at Aligarh Muslim University, Maulana Azad National Urdu University and Jamia Hamdard, a centrally funded deemed university, sources said. These schools will have to reserve 40 per cent seats for women candidates.

Another 10 schools are being planned at women-specific state universities, like Shreemati Natibai Damodar Thackersay (SNDT) Women’s University in Mumbai, to cater to female students who want to join government services.

Initially, the schools would provide coaching for examinations to the Union Public Services Commission, Railway Recruitment Board and other central government jobs, the sources said.

“There is a clear mandate from the Prime Minister that we must increase the participation of women, Muslims, SCs and STs in key government services, especially in the bureaucracy,” an official said.

Job quotas for SCs and STs since the 1950s have proved inadequate in raising participation of backward communities in governance, the official said.

The new plan represents an acknowledgement on the government’s part that its traditional way to coach students from educationally deprived communities have failed, the sources said.

The government concluded that the absence of full-time residential schools could be a significant reason behind students failing to gain adequately from the training provided. “These students need much more than traditional coaching that private coaching classes give. They need full-time attention to bring them on a par with others ,” a senior official said.