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Tuesday, November 03, 2009 09:36:01 AM, Staff Reporter

The Hajj House in Mumbai


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Mumbai: Though they were quite busy with their annual practice of providing all relief to outbound Hajj pilgrims, the Hajj Committee officials November 1 successfully organised the entrance test to finalise the students who would be given admission for the first batch of UPSC coaching class at the plush Hajj House in Mumbai.

"We had received applications from 200 aspirants willing to appear for the civil services exams this year. All of them appeared for the entrance test simultaneously held in Mumbai, New Delhi and Bangalore on November 1, 2009 as scheduled", Hajj Committee CEO Mohd. Owais said to

"The assessment of their papers have already begun. We have to select 50 students from these 200. The top 75 students would be called for personal interviews in Mumbai between November 4 to 8. From these 75, 50 top performers would be given admission for the first batch of the Hajj Committee UPSC coaching cell", he added.

The Hajj Committee of Mumbai in August this year had proposed to provide coaching facilities to 50 Muslim students by establishing the IAS & Allied Services Coaching & Guidance cell at Mumbai Hajj House. Consequently, the officials sought applications from eligible candidates before October 16, 2009. Interestingly, 30% of the total 200 students who had applied for the admission before the deadline were girl students from different parts of the country.

"Let me admit that the overwhelming response we have received is beyond our expectations", a beaming Mohd. Owais said while speaking to

"We are now sure that the Hajj Committee's dream project to provide future civil servants proper coaching would soon become a raelity", he added.

Hajj Committee CEO says...

"Let me admit that the overwhelming response we have received is beyond our expectations."

- Mohd. Owais

In yet another interesting development, along with the mandatory entrance test on November 1 Hajj Committee officials also tested the UPSC aspirant's knowledge of Islam.

Though the Hajj Committee has received some applications from Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal, the maximum number of applications received were from Maharashtra. The areas in Maharashtra from where the future IAS/IPS/IFS of the country had applied and appeared for the entrance test included Mumbai, Bhiwandi, Aurangabad, Malegaon and Jalgaon.

When asked, owing to the overwhelming response the Hajj Committee has received do they plan increasing the quota, CEO Mohd. Owais said, "We have the provision and available infrastructure to accommodate more students and I will propose to the Hajj Committee if they can increase the number of students from existing 50 to 75. But our top priority is quality. Not the number. The students have to perform well in the entrance test if they want the Hajj Committee to consider increasing the strength."

The plush Hajj House in Mumbai located near the Chatrapati Shivaji Railway Terminus  (CST) formerly known as VT Station would be accommodating these students for the training once they clear the entrance test. The IAS & Allied Services Coaching & Guidance cell which is expected to begin academic activities November first week would be managed by the Hajj Committee of India.

Once the paper assessment and personal interviews are over, the actual academic activities would begin from December 1, 2009, informed Mohd Owais.

About the preparations and arrangements he said, "The ground floor of the Hajj House has already been converted into a library and four other floors of the Hajj House would be reserved for the classes, lodging and other centre requirements."

Though the Hajj Committee has decided to charge a meager monthly fee of 2000 rupees per month from every student, total discount and special scholarships are also being considered for the eligible students belonging to Below Poverty Line (BPL) families.

The fees that the Hajj Committee would be taking from the students would include the tuition fees, lodging and meals during the entire course, said Mohd. Owais, the CEO.

For actual academic activities, the Hajj Committee has appointed S. A. M. Hashmi - former principal Akbar Peerbhoy College, Mumbai known for his vast experience in competitive exams as Director. Hashmi is assisting the Hajj Committee in finalising the list of the faculties and resource persons to handle the training sessions.

The Hajj Committee’s decision to start the training centre for the civil services exams has its roots in the growing concern over the inappropriate percentage of the Muslim community in the coveted IAS, IPS, IFS and other cadres that became manifold after the release of the Sachar Committee report in 2006.




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