GUWAHATI, July 19 - At a time when financial constraints force many meritorious students from remote areas and poor economic backgrounds to forsake their dream of appearing for the competitive civil service exams, State-based Ajmal Foundation has seen a fall in the number of students who applied for its screening test for selection to a free one-year IAS coaching programme in New Delhi.
Khasrul Islam, general manager of Ajmal Foundation said that as against 127 students who had applied for the screening tests last year, only 108 applied this year.
The screening tests were held at eight centres across Assam to help meritorious but economically deprived students belonging to SC, ST, OBC and minority communities. Based on the screening tests and interviews conducted by a panel of retired IAS officers, eight students were selected for the one-year free coaching in New Delhi, which will be provided by GS Mentors, with which Ajmal Foundation has an understanding.
�Despite all our efforts at publicity and other initiatives, the number of candidates who appeared for the screening tests fell this year. This shows that a lot of effort still needs to be taken to popularise the idea of our students trying for the civil services like IAS,� said Islam.
The eight students selected this year hail from districts like Lakhimpur, Goalpara, Nagaon, Majuli and Morigaon.
Managing trustee of Ajmal Foundation Badruddin Ajmal said that the effort is to tap talent and help them prepare for competitive civil service exams without having to bother about monetary constraints.