Allahabad University

The perpetual pride of Allahabad University (AU), known as the ‘factory producing IAS officers’ institute, has suffered a serious decline in the recent times.  The varsity hasd been producing impressive numbers of civil servants until its decline in 2011.

There are time when the AU was swarmed with aspirants to pursue political science, history, economic, and many more subjects. Since then the varsity has been producing several luminaries such as such AN Haksar, then Principal Secretary to PM Indira Gandhi,  Nripendra Misra Principal Secretary to PM Narendra Modi, NC Saxena, former Planning Commission member, and Vikas Swarup, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson.

AU Timeline:

  • AU has been producing over two dozen of IAS cadre annually during the early1990s
  • AU secured 4th position among 152 institutes by securing 26 selection in CSE
  • As many as 25 students made it to final cut in  2009 thus attributed AU to 5th position amongst 170 institutes
  • The varsity stood 8th position amongst the 171 institutes by securing 21 selections in 2010
  • Eight years ago, before the Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology (MNNIT) become independent from AU, MNNIT has contributed in producing bureaucrats for AU in large proportion and is among the top 50 institutes across the country today.

However, that once considered as the ‘Oxford of the East’ and ‘factory producing IAS officers’ is now prevented from producing IAS and other allied bureaucrats.

The decline of AU:

Experts have an opinion that the reason behind the decline of AU in producing IAS is the alteration of civil service examination (CSE) pattern in 2011 with the introduction of CSAT. The introduction of CSAT in 2011 making English a prime component of the CSE appeared as a stumbling block for the students of AU. Several ex-bureaucrats pointed out that the sidelining of English in CSE has invited difficulties for the AU’s students. “In 1966, a violent anti-English movement began on the campus. Students set fire to a petrol tanker and a power sub-station on November 5 that year,” said IAS retired Badal Chatterjee, and alumni of AU.

“In 1968, varsity authorities removed English from the list of compulsory papers. With their focus away from English, AU students started stumbling in civil services examination,” added Chatterjee.

After the coming of CSAT, the exam patterns are now based on analytical abilities rather than fact based. “Even the question papers of humanities were made analytical,” said Prof Yogeshwar Tiwari who teaches History at the university.

“Since 2011, CSAT has also been evolving in the form of changing ratios of questions from different test areas. AU students have failed to grasp this. They are concentrating on traditional subjects like general studies in which they are scoring well, but are losing out in CSAT,” added Tiwari, as reported in HT.

The much lauded varsity went downhill in 2011 when it produced a meager number of candidates, seven, and fall to 37th rank amongst the institutes in producing IAS cadres. The ranking went further down to 41 when the varsity could only manages even 6 selections in the CSE 2012.

The varsity witnessed a complete wash out in 2013 when no students was able to clear the coveted selection.

IIT Allahabad and MNNIT:

According to the latest UPSC report, technical universities in Allahabad have been outperforming AU at succession. Ever since the MNNIT became independent, the institute has been producing a considerable numbers of IAS officers. Of the 76 students, who faced the civil service examination (CSE) board in 2011, 11 students successfully cleared the CSE. While 10 MNNIT students managed to clear the final cut in 2012, it produced 16 students in 2013 which were qualified for the CSE interview. The Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) Allahabad produced 5 successful candidates in 2013.