THIS year about 38,000 candidates have applied for the upcoming Central Superior Services (CSS) examinations in February.
CSS candidates often turn to private academies which conduct seminars in which in-service civil servants deliver lectures and amuse the students with their success stories.
These private academies charge each student a fee ranging from Rs24,000 to Rs95,000. There are individual teachers too who teach English and for this subject students pay about Rs10,000 to Rs30,000. In addition to it, these academies publish a plethora of books on each subject and the best sellers are that of compulsory subjects.
Each book costs about Rs900 but lacks quality. The content in it is to a greater extent plagiarised. What requires special attention is the books on English. These books are grammatically erroneous, are faulty methodologically and devoid of substance.
Each renowned academy has 800 to 2,500 students every year but the number of successful candidates does not exceed than 40 or 50.
CSS examinations have thus become a tool of business for such academies.
Half of the candidates who apply for the competitive examinations even do not appear and 98 per cent of those who appear fail. The truth is that hundreds of CSS academies run their business on the success of just two per cent qualifiers.
This business needs to be regulated. The government has to formulate a regulating body that should oversee the functions of these private academies. A board must be established to scrutinise the material that is published by the former and the fee should be standardised.
Published in Dawn, November 21st, 2019