This Commissioner mentored aspirants for 'Police Forces' exam over WhatsApp
For five years, Rachakonda Police Commissioner Mahesh Muralidhar Bhagwat has been going beyond the call of duty to coach civil services aspirants. This year, Bhagwat successfully mentored 35 such candidates in clearing interviews for the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) recruitment examination conducted by Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). He could manage to do it through a set of WhatsApp groups and sheer gumption.
Bhagwat, a 1995 IPS batch officer, through a WhatsApp group mentored 70-80 CAPF aspirants, who had reached their interview rounds, The Better India reported. Candidates from Maharashtra, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh were added to the group, where Bhagwat coached them for questions on their graduation subjects, hobbies/interests, the different divisions of CAPF, naxalism, cross-border terrorism, right and left-wing extremism, so on and so forth.
Notably, the CAPF examination, conducted in Hindi and English, is intended for the recruitment of Assistant Commandants (Group A) in the forces, including Border Security Force (BSF), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB).
Bhagwat told TBI, "For the last couple of years, I've been mentoring civil servants aspirants, particularly for the interview stage." He added, "In March 2019, we decided to start a WhatsApp group for CAPF aspirants. For the CAPF interview, you have the same UPSC panels that conduct interviews for the civil services. The quality of questions is also more or less the same."
Further, Bhagwat said that he got the idea for coaching students over WhatsApp from his colleague in Customs, Nitesh Patode. Reportedly, Bhagwat maintains six other WhatsApp groups- five for the different civil services, and one for forest services. In the groups, he shares important news articles, and other resource materials. Around 100 civil services aspirants get selected each year, thanks to his mentoring.
Explaining why he does what he does, Bhagwat said, "When I was preparing for civil services, I also received similar mentorship. This is my way of giving back to society," adding that aspirants usually don't get a chance to speak to seniors to acquire insight. He said, "Some candidates come from very humble backgrounds, and I help them dodge potential landmines during the interview."
Interestingly, one of the candidates mentored by the Police Commissioner, Akshay Pangarikar, went on to attain an AIR of 3. This was his fourth attempt, whose parents are farmers from Parbhani district, Maharashtra. Another of Bhagwat's student, Bapusaheb Gaikwad said the police official help candidates by framing interview questions and writing model answers. Gaikwad is the son of a watchman and a domestic help.
"A lot of the questions I was asked during the interview were posed to me by Sir during our preparations," Gaikwad told TBI. "Despite his busy schedule and the international prestige he has earned, he would share 15-20 articles on the group every day." Pangarikar said, "He called me within 10 minutes of the declaration of results, and was the first to wish me."
Pangarikar revealed that the senior police official had shared 2,500 pages of resource materials with him. Despite being busy with his job, he not only managed to help these students study, but also kept them positive and motivated towards attaining their goals.