Interview with V.P. Gupta, director, Rau's IAS Study Circle, New Delhi and Jaipur.
V.P. GUPTA, the director of Rau's IAS Study Circle, the oldest coaching institute in the country, has seen many bureaucrats in the making. Rau's, with its alternative thinking about training, is popular among aspirants and holds its own in the field.
As the oldest civil services coaching institute, how have you tackled so much competition in the business?
We did not come across any serious challenge from our competitors because of the sincerity and devotion with which we always tackled our work. This enabled us to earn the trust of students across the country who always felt that Rau's quality of education is what they had been looking for all the time.
Apart from academic training, what do you think the students gain from Rau's IAS Study Circle?
We do not believe in the simple transfer of knowledge but in education as an intellectual experience. This approach has enabled us to give to the students a holistic educational experience and not merely information, which is easily available from many sources. The experience of real learning takes much more than information.
Since the long-standing demand of a CSAT is becoming a reality, how is your institute geared up for the change?
We anticipated the coming change as it was being talked for quite a few years in various fora. Hence, it gave us a chance to start early preparations to meet the requirements of the CSAT format. We, at Study Circle, in fact have enjoyed the whole experience that the change gave us. We are so well prepared to meet the CSAT challenge that we find this work very inviting.
What do you think is the USP of your institute in terms of courses offered and the environment?
We have always believed in the motto that real learning is learning about learning. Hence, we have incorporated in our teaching approach an element of provoking curiosity among students to ask questions beyond the general information on any theme. We have encouraged students to go to the root of any theme and create an initial understanding of the causes underlying any issue. Hence, students are encouraged to never lose sight of the fundamentals, and in fact, we try to build on their understanding on the foundation of basics in any given situation.
How has coaching for the civil services changed over the years? How has the examination itself changed over the years?
The civil services examinations have no doubt evolved over the years into what it is today and we ourselves have evolved along the changing dynamics. As I have said earlier, we at Study Circle enjoy challenges and meet them head on. Sensing the changes in the questions asked, we insist that students first acquire conceptual clarity and then go for the information that follows a concept.A Special Correspondent