Waquar Hasan | NEW DELHI
Even as Hindutva activists have been targeting Muslim institutions for giving coaching for the Union Public Service Commission exams, it has come to light that even the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) runs a coaching centre which has more than 60 percent success.
Out of 759 candidates recruited for posting as civil servants this year, as many as 466 candidates had taken coaching from the RSS’s Samkalp Foundation which runs the Samkalp IAS Coaching Centre where these 466 successful candidates had participated in the Interview Guidance Programme (IGP) at its different branches in Delhi and elsewhere in India.
In 2018, 649 out of 990 qualified candidates had taken guidance from this coaching centre. In 2017, 2016 and 2015, the numbers were 689, 648 and 670 against the total recruitment of 1,099, 1,078 and 1,236, respectively.
The coaching centre is set to hold an online meeting on 20 September for the 466 candidates who qualified in UPSC this year. The meeting will be addressed by Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Nagaland Governor R N Ravi.
In its mission and vision statements, the Samkalp coaching centre says it wants to inculcate Indian ethos and values in the students.
“To identify and guide students who can contribute towards nation building through civil services and help them inculcate Indian values and ethos,” the coaching centre describes its mission on its website.
An office-bearer of the centre said that the institution had been offering coaching since long but had kept away from media glare for the past 30 years.
“Our approach is very different from other coaching centres. We like to work quietly, and not interact with the media at all. We don’t want publicity,” R S Gupta, former Delhi Police Commissioner, who is a senior office-bearer of the coaching centre, was quoted by The Print as saying. Gupta refused to disclose further information about the centre saying that the information related to Samkalp is only for the students and their families.
However, last year in September, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and RSS functionary Krishna Gopal had addressed a gathering held by Samkalp Former Civil Servants Forum. Shah was slated to speak on national security to former and current civil services aspirants.
The selected candidates and toppers from the Samkalp coaching centre have interacted several times with the Bharatiya Janata Party leaders like Prakash Javadker, Mahesh Sharma, Smriti Irani and Vice President Venkaiah Naidu.
In an article titled “How Sangh Parivar is Influencing India’s Budding Bureaucrats” published in DailyO.in, journalist and writer Nilanjan Mukhopadhyaya wrote “The story of Samkalp’s metamorphosis from a small Sangh-inspired outfit into an institute with its own building and several centres in Delhi and “outside chapters” in places ranging from Coimbatore, Guwahati, Bhopal, Ranchi, Ludhiana and Haridwar has its genesis in a routine discussion among members of the BJP think tank in the early 1990s when P V Narasimha Rao was Prime Minister”.