New Delhi: Kshitiz Pandey, a sociology graduate from Banaras Hindu University, had cleared the preliminary examination of Uttar Pradesh Public Service Commission and had promised to his mother that he will only return home after getting a grade A government job. The 24-year-old from Uttar Pradesh’s Gazipur district, is one among more than 70,000-odd aspirants who are preparing for the prestigious Union Public Service Commission and other State Civil Services in New Delhi’s Old Rajendra Nagar, a mecca for the preparation for these examinations. Kshitiz is living in a small 7×10 room in a hostel not far away from the top coaching institutes.
He said, “Rooms are very costly here, I am paying Rs 12,000 for this, my only aim is to anyhow get the prestigious job under UPSC or State Services which will change the life of my entire family. My father is a farmer who earns only Rs five lakh a year of which half has been spent on me since the last three years. We have to struggle everyday not only in study but also emotionally because I am far away from the family.” On the issue of jobs, he added, “In this year’s UPSC, more than 1000 vacancies have come, highest in the last four years, I hope state governments also increase their vacancies in the coming recruitment examinations.” He is not bothered about the debate on the number of vacancies and argues that those who work hard will definitely succeed in the examinations.
Most of the top coaching institutes like Vajiram and Ravi, Khan Study Group, Vision IAS and GS Score are located in the area. The fees of these institutes are high, ranging between Rs 1,30,000 to 2,00,000.The optional paper fee is roughly Rs.40,000. A normal student had to at least invest Rs 4 lakh in the first year of preparation.
One senior faculty of a top coaching institute said, “In Delhi, coaching of Civil Services is among the biggest industries, it is much like Kota located in Rajasthan which is famous for pre-medical and engineering entrance preparation,”. Talking about the salary of faculty members, he said, “a well-known faculty gets anywhere between Rs 5-10 lakh a month, while new entrants and lesser known teachers get between Rs 15-25 lakh per annum.” On the issue of jobs in the civil services, he said, “UPSC or State services never recruited aspirants in high numbers, the seats in UPSC were always in the range of 700-1300; this year, 1011 vacancies had been notified by the commission, it is a good number. Apart from that, various state Civil Services like Uttar Pradesh Public Service Commission (UPPSC), Bihar Public Service Commission (BPSC), West Bengal Public Service Commission (WBPSC), Haryana Public Service Commission (HPSC) and other state service commissions recruits candidates, hence there are good job opportunities.”
In the Old Rajendra Nagar area, there are more than 800 hostels and paying guest rooms all of which are occupied by Civil Services aspirants.
The hostel in which Kshitiz lives has 38 rooms of which eight are double occupancy, while the rest are single rooms. In all, the hostel houses 46 students from various parts of the country. A narrow staircase leads to the students’ rooms. Talking to The Sunday Guardian, the owner said, “Old-Rajendra Nagar is like the republic of India having students from every state and district of the country. Their only aim is to get a good job which will give them recognition in the society and help them to serve the country in administrative capacity.”
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