July 06, 2022 09:02 pm | Updated July 07, 2022 09:07 am IST - Hyderabad The Minority Study Circle, an initiative of the Telangana government to provide coaching to job aspirants belonging to minority communities and appearing for competitive exams, is yet to meet with large scale success. According response to a Right to Information (RTI) request, since 2018 no candidate has qualified for the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) examinations. The initiative was announced in 2015 after the government noted that good coaching facilities were largely inaccessible to those from minority communities on account of their backwardness. The study circle formulated a plan and potential beneficiaries have to appear for a screening test after which 100 successful candidates who qualify are given coaching for competitive exams at premier coaching institutes. “To provide coaching to job aspirants free of cost is commendable and is the need of the hour. However, the RTI response shows that no candidate was successful in UPSC exams since 2018. There appears to be some gap which the government should identify and fill. An increase in number of officers from minority communities will be a step towards inclusion,” said Kareem Ansari, an RTI activist who filed the query. The RTI response also notes that only one candidate was successful for “TSPSC Forest Recruitment”. For their part, sources from the Minority Welfare Department said that while not every beneficiary makes it to the top, every year “two or three” aspirants clear the UPSC prelims. “What should also be understood is that once they receive coaching, there is a spillover, in the sense that they appear for other competitive exams and meet with some amount of success,” an official who did not wish to be identified said. “Every year we receive around 800 applications and after screening them 100 are selected. Out of this 33% are women. It was only yesterday that we were informed that one of our beneficiaries had cleared the prelims.” An official familiar with the process opined that the scheme could become more successful if certain criteria are changed. “If the present cap of ₹2 lakh annual income is increased, or perhaps removed, it is possible to see a larger talent pool coming of those who can make it,” an official said. In an attempt to help job aspirants, the Minority Study Circle began coaching classes for Group I, Group II, Group III and Group IV exams across the State. Classes are being recorded and the content will be uploaded on social media.