It would not be wrong to say that the Jamia Millia Islamia‘s Residential Coaching Academy (RCA) in Delhi is a premier nursery for civil servants that has produced 270 IAS and IPS officers during the last 11 years. Apart from these 270 officers, there are also 403 others who qualified for state-level Public Service Commission exams. The academy has never charged any fees from any of its students. In 2022, a total of 23 RCA students managed to clear the UPSC exam.
Harish Dayama, a senior IPS officer working in the Counter Intelligence Department of Punjab Police, says that the academy was started in the year 2010 with the financial aid from the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment in Delhi’s Jamia.
“In the early days there was not even a permanent arrangement for the students to stay here. They had to live in rented rooms and this rent was paid by the academy,” adds Dayama, who is also one of those early students.
It is worth mentioning that the students from minority, backward, SC, ST communities and women candidates of all classes are admitted to the academy after an entrance test.
Dayama says that he joined the academy in 2011 and was selected for IPS in 2013. Further, he asserts that all kinds of facilities are provided to the students free of cost at RCA. Be it mock interviews, library or quality books, the academy itself provides all the necessary support to students. At RCA, they also get advice, suggestions from working IAS, IPS officers and above all, an atmosphere is created in the academy which keeps students motivated always.
He explains that the academy never forgets its students. The names of those students who have been successful in various UPSC examinations are written on the roll in the academy. It acts as an inspiration for the students studying there. At the same time, the students too always remember the academy. According to the IPS officer, whenever he is in Delhi, he definitely visits the RCA.
IAS officer Arif Ahsan, who has also taken coaching from Jamia’s RCA and is currently the Municipal Commissioner of Purnea, says that he joined the RCA in 2015 and in 2017, he got selected in UPSC with All India Rank 74.
Ahsan says that Jamia Millia Islamia is his “mother institution”, from where he got his engineering degree. “I want to share my experience of Jamia’s RCA. When a candidate gets enrolled in IAS coaching, he or she finds many candidates fighting for the same goal and it is then you get an idea of the level of competition. As it turns out, this spirit of competition resonates in the coaching’s environment that always pushes you to do better.”
He told IANS, “… when I took admission at Jamia’s RCA I met a lot of meritorious students. I was very fortunate to have so many good friends who helped and supported me during my preparation for the UPSC exam. There is a need for systematic planning to start your preparation, how to cover the syllabus, what should be the strategy. There is a lot of study material available in the market and it is very difficult to find the best resources out of it. RCA helped me in figuring out these issues and acted as my mentor.”
Farman Ahmed Khan, an IAS of 2020 batch who is undergoing Phase-II training at Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA) in Mussoorie after completing his district training at SPS Nellore in Andhra Pradesh, explains, “I was part of the RCA from 2014 till the time of selection, ie, through UPSC 2019 exam. RCA played a vital role in my success as I came in there as an innocent student and came out as an IAS officer. The library facilities there gave me the opportunity to study at any time as per my study schedule and also learning from superiors and colleagues gave me immense confidence that I can pass the exam even after failures.”
He says, “I got selected in 2020 and it has been 2 years, but whenever I go to Delhi, I always meet my Jamia friends and juniors. Even after years it feels like a part of me is still living in Jamia. The institute has given me a lot which cannot be reimbursed in my entire life.”
Similarly, Priyanka Shukla, an IPS officer of Madhya Pradesh cadre, could not succeed even after joining expensive coachings until she turned to the RCA. After joining the RCA, she got selected in UPSC in 2018 and secured 109th rank.
This year’s UPSC topper Shruti Sharma is also a student of Jamia’s RCA. She says that her house is in South Delhi, just a few minutes away from the RCA. Despite this, she left home and studied at the academy for two years with full concentration. Like others, Sharma also considers the role of RCA was very important in her success. RCA made her realize her shortcomings due to which she could not clear UPSC in her previous attempt.