Interview with Upendra Shetty, director of UCC.
Upendra Shetty, the director of Universal Coaching Centre (UCC) in Bangalore, started the institute in 1999 along with some friends when he failed to clear the civil services examination conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). Although he cleared the Combined Defence Services (CDS) examination, he was keen to join the Indian Administrative Service or the Indian Police Service. He turned his failure to become an IAS officer into a success story by giving IAS aspirants good quality coaching. Excerpts from an interview:
What makes UCC one of the leading civil services coaching centres in Bangalore?
We were the first coaching institute in Bangalore to bring subject experts from Hyderabad, Lucknow and Delhi to teach the students. UCC managed to get accomplished civil services coaching experts such as Muniratnam Reddy from Hyderabad, Nadeem Hasnanin from Lucknow, and Jojo Mathews and Shashank Atom from Delhi.
We have always got experts from the best institutes. Earlier, many students from Bangalore who were preparing for the civil services examination used to go to Delhi or Hyderabad for preparation, but once UCC was established, they preferred to prepare in Bangalore itself since we have reputed faculty members.
In fact, candidates from Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala are now coming to Bangalore to study at UCC. This has become the favoured destination of south Indian students preparing for the civil services. Our teachers are experts in the process and methods of the civil services examination apart from being experts in their respective subjects.
I am proud to say that UCC is one of the leading coaching centres in Bangalore providing holistic and exam-oriented coaching for all competitive examinations being held at the State and national levels. The institutions assets are its professional and experienced faculty and its excellent student infrastructure. It has well-furnished classrooms and libraries.
How have UCCs students fared in the civil services examinations?
In 2006, C. Soumya, who was coached at UCC, secured the 11th rank in the UPSC exam and joined the Indian Foreign Service [IFS]. In the subsequent years, UCC students secured the 21st and 32nd ranks. More than hundred candidates coached at our institute have cleared the UPSC exam so far. We are very successful in training candidates for the Karnataka Public Service Commission [KPSC] exams, as well. For the past three years, UCC students have stood first in the KPSC examination.
In all, 400 candidates coached at UCC have been selected for Group A and Group B services both in the Central and State civil services exams. We also provide coaching for other lower-level exams. Thus, more than 1,000 UCC students are now employed in various government departments.
What are the new measures you are taking to improve your coaching?
One of the most important measures that we are taking to improve the quality of our coaching is to introduce interactive boards. We are setting up a studio in Delhi so that faculty members can conduct classes through videoconferencing. We are also planning to start a studio in Hyderabad so that faculty members from that city can communicate with our students. We are also planning to expand our operations in a big way by starting franchise institutions associated with UCC in smaller towns and cities across Karnataka. This is the first time that an initiative like this is being taken, and through our interactive boards, high-quality teaching material will be beamed to our students in all these centres. We are trying to set up franchises in engineering colleges.
Do you help outstation students to get hostel facilities in Bangalore?
We help outstation candidates with hostel facilities. They can come and stay in Bangalore without any problem and prepare in peace for the highly competitive civil service examinations.
What is the key to clearing the UPSC examination?
To clear this exam, it is important that basic education is good. The students should work hard and be determined and willing to study for eight to 10 hours every day for a year. This is enough to clear the exam apart from a regular reading of The Hindu and Frontline.