In the market where students are consistently pushing their investments – both of time and money — the craze for government jobs is further expanding. The students who are preparing for IAS are not far behind – they stretch their study time to 18-20 hours a day, miss their food, usually stay alone, spend their parent’s hard-earned money, and at the end, most of them, fail to clear. The failure is usually, in most cases, is not due to the lack of hard work but due to a cutthroat competition and a limited number of seats and lack of right guidance.
It’s true, for any industry to flourish people should be blackened, lured with dreams, and put in a tunnel where they could only smell the good side of life, and UPSC preparation industry has done the same.
Thousands of young students, who relocate themselves into so-called educational hubs, spend fortunes to get the basics and some course material and still unable to find their place in the list of successful candidates.
Where is this leading us?
The current system of education in this country is not just bad for the students who have been in the university but also bad for the school leavers who are now overlooked for jobs that didn’t require a degree. It’s almost shocking today to mention there were positions in the market that didn’t require degrees – Banking, teaching, writing, security forces, defense – all these today are flooded with degree holders. Therefore, it’s not a surprise to see the overflow in the number of applications of UPSC.
I agree, that hard work does pay off, leading to a higher success rate with a ratio 2:1 when compared to the students who don’t join a coaching institute. But, according to the records, we have found no fewer than handful of coaching centers with an acceptable average success rate; for say – Chanakya IAS Academy or Vajiram, and there are few more in the south.
Who are these self-proclaimed coaching institutes? So as not to embarrass them, we haven’t been given the answer. And this problem of self-proclaimed institutes perfectly encapsulates with our new education system. It’s not a secret that it’s not a proper market. Students who join these institutes certainly pay the fees, but at the consumer end, they have no way of knowing what they’re getting. The reason they are so believable is because most of these institutes are egged by famous personalities and government ministers; who always say these institutes are always worth it, but recently, not anymore. It’s true that theses coaching institutes have produced number heroes, as well as villains. And it’s scandalously hard to define who is who.
Half of the students who get out of these institutes get stuck with the non-graduate jobs after leaving these coaching institutes. You shouldn’t get confused with the success rate of these institutes – nor to the halo that surrounds it, rather, you should see if you can practically afford them or not. Evidently, only a few years old, yet a crashing market, we should ask ourselves, if 2 lacs-a-year fee is worth the kind of coaching you’ll get.
A third of students regret joining a coaching institute, and more than half say that they would have chosen a different course, perhaps a different exam — had they known what situation they are putting themselves in. There is the same proportion of students that describe their annual fees a very poor value for money. Behind these observations there are uncountable students who have been lured with fancy dreams, pushed into debts and inescapable circumstances.
But what is the solution?
We can’t neglect the fact that most students are vulnerable and need proper guidance to IAS preparation. Avoiding these institutes is not the solution, rather choosing the right one. The solution is to have a better disclosure with students, tell them more about what they’re getting into, what they are buying. Another is to conduct certain studies on every course, so the students can get to see what and how certain courses will help them.
With new courses coming every week, their this batch and that batch, it still looks horribly uncertain, but, the real mark of success is to find out how many of these students will find their investment worthwhile, being the first o pay such prices for tuition. The right thumb rule, if you have to join an institute, is to go for the most prominent one. And still, even after reading all the statistics, do your research, talk to other students, find out what’s best for you. Because, at the end of the day – you do not want to be the part of this mass production machine of Not an IAS, yet.