466 out of 759 candidates cleared UPSC exam this year were trained by RSS-backed institute

September 16, 2020


New Delhi: At a time when Sangh Parivar backed media targeting Muslim institution for encouraging students from the oppressed community to crack the Civil Services Examination, an RSS-backed coaching institute has claimed a 61 per cent success rate in this year’s exam.

Samkalp Foundation has claimed that out of the 759 candidates picked by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) to enter the civil services this year, 466 had undertaken its Interview Guidance Program (IGP).

According to Sankalp's website, 649 candidates had enrolled for the IGP, out of the 990 candidates chosen by the UPSC in 2018. In 2017, 2016, and 2015, the numbers were 689, 648, and 670 against the total recruitment of 1,099, 1,078, and 1,236, respectively.

Meanwhile, senior journalist Vijaita Singh shared a picture of an invitation card from the foundation, wherein Union Petroleum Minister, Dharmendra Pradhan, and Nagaland Governor RN Ravi will interact with the successful candidates as Chief Guests of the Webinar meeting.

The webinar meeting is scheduled for September 20 at 11:00 am where several other Guests of Honors will address the candidates along with Pradhan and Ravi.

Last year, Home Minister Amit Shah and senior RSS functionary Krishna Gopal had delivered a lecture on national security to retired and serving civil servants at an event organised by Samkalp. Gopal is one of the senior-most 'mentors' at the foundation.

The foundation's photo gallery on its website is filled with photographs of its students with BJP ministers such as Smriti Irani, Prakash Javadekar and Ramesh Pokhriyal.

About Sankalp Foundation

Samkalp started as an organisation engaged in running schools in several towns and cities of north India in 1986. As an organisation which gives training to school teachers to inculcate "rashtriya bhawna" in its early age, it morphed into one of the leading institutes training civil service aspirants in the 1990s.

It had reportedly trained 26 aspirants in its first batch, 14 of whom qualified for the civil services. No one made it to the IAS but one aspirant joined the IPS while others joined other Central services.

The next year, Samkalp breached the IAS barrier, and 13 of their alumni qualified for this prestigious service. The number of aspirants who approached the institute was 84, and 59 of them qualified for different services.

By 1999-2000, more than 100 interviewees had reportedly approached Samkalp as its success rate went up to 90 percent. Over the years, the foundation started centres in different cities like Agra, Ludhiana, Bhopal, and Bhilai, apart from its first centers in Delhi.

While the claim of the foundation has created little controversy and public discussion on the telecast of a program by Sudarshan TV News about the entry of Muslims into the All-India Services after clearing the UPSC exams has created much furore.

On Tuesday, Supreme Court made some strong oral remarks taking objection to the show, which had portrayed the large entry of Muslims into UPSC as "UPSC Jihad".


Athul kiran
Saturday, 19 Sep 2020


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News Network
May 27,2023


The Bharatiya Janta Party-led government of India plans to push back against the country rankings produced by global agencies on topics like governance and press freedom, a key advisor to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was quoted as saying by news agencies.

Sanjeev Sanyal, a member of Modi's Economic Advisory Council, said India has begun to raise this issue at global forums. He said the indices were being compiled by a "tiny group of think tanks in the North Atlantic," sponsored by three or four funding agencies that are "driving a real-world agenda."

"It is not just narrative building in some diffused way. This has clear direct impact on trade, investment and other activities," Sanyal said.

India ranked lower than Afghanistan and Pakistan in the new World Press Freedom Index released by Reporters Without Borders. It was below Pakistan and Bhutan in an academic freedom index by V-Dem Institute.

Over the past year, Indian government has in various meetings pointed out the flaws in methods used to compile global indices used by institutions like the World Bank, World Economic Forum (WEF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Sanyal said.

The "World Bank is involved in this discussion because it takes these opinions from these think tanks and effectively sanctifies it by putting it into something called the world governance index," Sanyal said.

The World Bank, WEF, Reporters Without Borders and V-DEM Institute did not immediately respond to requests for comment. UNDP said it would respond shortly.

Sanyal said the ratings also get hard-wired into decision-making through environmental, social and governance (ESG) norms and sovereign ratings. Multilateral development banks offer subsidised loans to ESG-compliant projects.

"The idea of having some ESG norms is not the problem in itself. The problem relates to how these norms are defined and who certifies or measures compliance to these norms," he said. "As things are currently evolving, developing countries have been completely left out of the conversation."

The matter is being taken up by the Cabinet Secretariat, which has held more than a dozen meetings on the issue this year, a government official said. The Cabinet Secretariat and finance ministry did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

India has said it plans to be an advocate for developing countries under its G20 presidency. Sanyal did not say if India has flagged the issue of country rankings with the G20.

"There are other developing countries who are also concerned about this because effectively this is a form of neo-colonialism," he said, adding that concerned ministries have been asked to establish benchmarks and engage continuously with rating agencies.

Some of the upcoming indices being watched out by India are the financial development index by International Monetary Fund, gender inequality and human development indices by UNDP, logistics performance and worldwide governance indicators by the World Bank, sources said. 


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News Network
May 23,2023


Sydney, May 23: Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said on Tuesday that his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi gets a "rock star reception" wherever he goes, as he welcomed his “dear friend” at an event here and compared him to American singer Bruce Springsteen.

Albanese pitched for greater cooperation between India and Australia as he welcomed Modi to a roaring 21,000-strong crowd at the Qudos Bank Arena here, one of the city's biggest indoor stadiums.

He gave Modi a bear hug when the Indian Prime Minister arrived at the venue to address the audience before introducing him as someone who “gets a rock star reception wherever he goes”.

"The last time I saw someone on this stage was Bruce Springsteen and he did not get the welcome that Prime Minister Modi has got. Prime Minister Modi is the boss," Albanese said at the event.

He thanked his "dear friend" Modi for “bringing the spirit of the world’s biggest democracy to Australia”, saying he had helped "make our democracy stronger and more inclusive."

He described the cheering audience, made up mainly of members of the Australian-Indian community, as friends and said he was proud they had made Australia their home.

“You make our nation and our shared communities better. You make Australia stronger,” he said.

Playing up India and Australia’s connections, Albanese said he wanted to see the relationship between the two countries continue to grow, including in the business and education sectors.

“We want to see more connections. More Australian and Indian students living and studying in each other’s countries, and bringing those experiences home,” he said.

“More business leaders and artists and families sharing your experiences and your knowledge and your ideas,” he added.

Albanese said he was reminded of his earlier visits to India as a 28-year-old when he returned to the country earlier this year as prime minister.
“It was a trip full of unforgettable moments: celebrating Holi in Gujarat, laying a wreath for the great Mahatma Gandhi in New Delhi, and doing a lap of the incredible stadium at Ahmedabad on Day 1 of the fourth test,” he said.

“Everywhere I went, I felt that deep sense of connection between the people of Australia and the people of India. It’s a warmth I felt when I backpacked around India for 5 weeks in 1991 – if you want to understand India, travel by train and video bus,” he said.

Albanese and Modi on Tuesday night announced the inaugural advisory board for the Centre for Australia-India Relations, which the federal government announced its plans to establish earlier this year.

Headquartered in Parramatta, the centre’s mission is to work across government, industry, academia and the community to further foster ties between the two countries and encourage businesses to “seize the opportunities” of their economic partnership, news.com.au reported.

Albanese said the centre’s location in western Sydney was a “testament to the vitality of the Indian-Australian experience”, giving a shout-out to the new Parramatta Lord Mayor — Sameer Pandey.

Pandey was elected to the position just a day earlier, becoming the first Lord Mayor in Australia to be born in India.

Modi’s trip to Australia comes after he met with Albanese, US President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Hiroshima on the weekend.


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News Network
May 16,2023


Bengaluru, May 16: The Congress's cautious approach to resolving the 'DK Shivakumar or Siddaramaiah' conundrum in Karnataka has triggered a side-effect -- new claims from different caste groups for the chief minister post. 

The All India Veershaiva Mahasabha, which represents the influential Lingayat community, has bid for the top post, citing that 34 of the newly elected Congress MLAs are Lingayats. The swing of the Lingayat vote, once a key support base of the BJP, has been identified as a key factor in the Congress win this time.

Another claim has come in from the Dalit community. Supporters of veteran Congress leader G Parameshwara held a demonstration, demanding that the Dalit leader be chosen for the Chief Minister post. At the gathering in Tumkur, placards reading "a Dalit should be CM" were waved.

In a letter addressed to Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, the All India Veerashaiva Mahasabha has said that the Congress had fielded 46 candidates from the community and 34 of them won.

The organisation has key Lingayat leaders among its members. Its president is 91-year-old Shamanuru Shivashankarappa, Karnataka's oldest MLA who won from Davangere South this time.  

"Further more, we wish to bring to your kind notice that our community has played a major role in electing other smaller communities in other 50 constituencies. This shows that the traditional voters of the BJP has shifted its loyalty to Congress party, thereby supporting the Congress party to win 134 constituencies in the state," the letter adds.

The community, which accounts for 17 per cent of Karnataka's population, can potentially swing outcomes in nearly 100 seats. It is the community's electoral significance that saw all parties vie for its support and promote Lingayat leaders in the run-up to the polls.

The organisation has further suggested that it is important that the Congress retains the support of the community for the general election due next year.

"Considering the above facts, we now urge the Congress party to give a chance/consider (a) Veerashaiva Lingayat community leader for the post of Chief Minister of Karnataka state," the letter states.

The organisation has also requested the Congress chief to ensure a number of cabinet berths for the community "which is proportionate to the number of MLAs of our community".

The demand for the Chief Minister post, however, seems more like a pressure building tactic as the two tallest Congress leaders in Karnataka are in running for the job and no third name has been come up in discussions so far.

Once a key support base of the BJP, the Lingayats backed the Congress this time, results in the seats dominated by the community have indicated.

Former Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, who switched from the BJP to the Congress days before polls, said that the Lingayats support the Congress this time.

A key factor behind the Lingayat swing could be the removal of BS Yediyurappa, BJP veteran and tallest Lingayat leader in Karnataka, as chief minister over corruption charges. While the BJP replaced him with Basavaraj Bommai, another Lingayat leader, the results indicate it did not help the party's poll prospects. Even the last minute move to scrap 4% reservation to Muslims and its reallocation among Lingayats and Vokkaliga did not not work in the BJP's favour. 

The seeds of Congress' current dilemma over the choice of a chief minister were, in fact, sown during their poll campaign. To take on the BJP's formidable election machinery, the party avoided projecting a single leader as the face of its campaign. Instead, it projected the trio of Mr Shivakumar, Mr Siddaramaiah and its national chief Mr Kharge as leading its Karnataka push.

While Mr Shivakumar belongs to the influential Vokkaliga community, which dominates southern Karnataka, Mr Siddaramaiah is a Kuruba, a backward caste group that has sizeable presence in central and northern Karnataka. With the Dalit roots of its national president Kharge, Congress got a panel of leaders that appealed, in total, to a huge chunk of Karnataka's population.

While this hugely benefited the Congress campaign and paved the way for its victory, the competing claims for the top job are now proving to be a hurdle in its decision-making.


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