In a Paharganj lane, Sangh coaches IAS aspirants, a third of this year’s batch trained there

published on May 21, 2008



Pallavi Singh

New Delhi :
 It’s easy to miss Samkalp
Bhavan in Paharganj’s Aram Bagh, on a narrow street dotted with small
buildings. The white plaque announcing its existence is inconspicuous.

But residents say the Bhavan, run by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh
(RSS), is always buzzing with activity, especially during that time of
the year when young Civil Services aspirants, having cleared the two
stages of the examinations conducted by the Union Public Service
Commission, throng here for mock interviews and later for orientation

“We serve free food to students while they train here for
the interviews. Even the fees are nominal. It’s a social service
initiative to help students from disadvantaged sections,” Anand Kumar,
coordinator, Samkalp, says.

For the exams in 2007, as many as 825 out of 1,875 examinees
called for the final interviews enrolled at Samkalp for mock viva voce
classes. On Friday, when the final results came out, 295 of them
students had made it to the Civil Services.

Besides mock interview sessions, Samkalp, set up in 1986,
also offers coaching for the Civil Services Mains examination for a
paltry sum of Rs 5,000 in its RK Puram branch and hostel facilities for
the aspirants in its three hostels spread across Delhi. For the
interviews, it charges a nominal fee of Rs 500.

“It is indeed the hub for IAS aspirants who are preparing
for final interviews. The fees are minimal and the guidance is imparted
through seasoned bureaucrats and academicians,” explains Ranjan Kumar
Singh, an ABVP activist and Samkalp student who ranked 257 on this
year’s UPSC list.

The enrolment figures at Samkalp, set up in 1986, have over
the years translated into an impressive success rate for the
non-governmental organization, which has Santosh Taneja, working
committee member of the RSS as one of its founding members. According
to the Samkalp website (, about 895 students,
associated with Samkalp, succeeded in Civil Services examinations up to

Says AR Kohli, former Mizoram governor and BJP leader, who
is actively associated with Samkalp as one of its mentors since the
beginning: “Back in 1997 when we began coaching for the Civil Services,
84 of our students appeared for the final interviews and 59 made it.”

The other mentors include columnist Narender Kohli, Dr
Jagdish Shettygar, member of the BJP’s economic cell and senior RSS
leaders like Madan Das Devi and M G Vaidya.

Besides Delhi, Samkalp is also active in Mathura, Meerut,
Kanpur, Kurukshetra, Bhiwani, Nainital, Gohana and Pathankot. Kohli
insists Samkalp classes that include “nation building” as one of its
most important goals are aimed at identifying and guiding students who
can contribute towards social welfare through civil services and
helping them inculcate true Indian values and ethos.

And, a decade later, with the efforts of Samkalp, the
bureaucracy would change for the better, Kohli hopes. “Our students are
going t take care of people. We teach them to be loyal to the nation
and also work towards development of the society at large. We are open
to everyone who needs help and guidance. And, we do not want any
publicity for the work we are doing,” he says.

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