Free for all, DSP organizes online coaching courses for UPSC exams

On July 11, 2021, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Vikas Chandra Srivastava decided to start his own YouTube channel called ‘DSP Ki Paathshala’, with the aim of providing free advice and support to students appearing for various state commissions and Union Civil Service Commission (UPSC) exams.

Talk to The best India, says Vikas: “Although I have always been attracted to teaching, the pandemic has pushed me to take the courses online. What I have realized is that in this way I can achieve a lot more aspirants from across the country. My channel is intended not only to provide academic help but also to motivate aspirants and help them find their calling.”

Investing in courses can be expensive and many aspirants who have taken Vikas online courses cannot afford to pay.

“I have students from a variety of backgrounds in my classes. Although they are not economically well off, the one thing they have in common is the fire in their bellies. They are sincere about their participation in the courses and meticulously clear up their doubts.

Talking about some of the students who log on flawlessly, he says, “I have so many students whose fathers work as farmers or day laborers. For them, being able to travel daily to attend classes would have been a nightmare and being able to connect to online classes helped them. Some of the girls who are my students are also extremely bright and diligent.

These courses take place in the evening from 8 p.m. and on average, nearly 100 students connect for each course.

Make learning accessible.

Vikas’ goal is to try to take the mind exam phobia out of these seekers.

“Learning, not only to pass an exam or get a good mark, but also to become better citizens is the end goal. While I can teach them how to pass competitive examinations, I intend to teach them how to study and thus make them independent,” he says.

Although this is the first time Vikas has started teaching seekers online, he has been teaching for as long as he can remember.

“Even when I was posted as an SDPO in Deoghar, I would visit a nearby library and take classes there,” he says.

Priti Kumari (25), a resident of Deogarh who was part of Vikas’ in-person class in 2019, says, “It was such a blessing to have found sir (Vikas). He managed to make even the otherwise boring NCERT books so interesting to study. Every concept he taught me is etched in my memory – whether it was Gandhi’s Satyagraha movement or understanding geography, we couldn’t have asked for a better teacher.

She says classes often had over 600 students and even those who had never set foot in a library would flock to class.

DSP ki Paathshala
Priti with DSP Vikas.

“While the official time for each lesson was an hour and a half, even the gentleman often lost track of time and continued to teach us. The day he announced his transfer to us was such a sad day for us. We wish he didn’t have to leave.

With work ending around 6:30 p.m. each day, Vikas says he spends a lot of time each night doing research and taking notes for his class the next day.

“Some topics come easily to me given the nature of my work and for others I do my share of reading and note taking. I believe students will be able to retain and remember better if they have a visual reference of everything I teach them.

To do this, he installed a whiteboard in one of the rooms in his house where he gives Zoom lessons.

The recording of the lesson is also uploaded immediately to YouTube and students who missed the lesson can benefit from it.

In service

“Aspirants who really want to pass the exam always tune in, while a few others come to the YouTube channel as they find the time,” he adds.

Classes are held four times a week and Vikas says he notifies students in advance through the Telegram groups he is a part of. These groups also serve as a place where doubts are often dispelled.

To access content created by Vikas, click here.

(Edited by Vinayak Hegde)

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