‘A center unlike others’, Bihar’s Haj Bhawan takes students on journey to secure top level state jobs

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The coaching and guidance center run at the Haj Bhawan under the Minority Welfare Department of the Bihar government provides residential preparation for government jobs and academic examinations. The Haj Bhawan started offering guidance first in Bihar civil services and is helping students in police inspector’s job test. Lately, the center has been in news for the success it has achieved.

Sami Ahmad | TwoCircles.net

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BIHAR – Unlike other Haj Bhawan’s in the country, the Haj Bhawan of the northern Indian state of Bihar is not sending Muslim pilgrims to Mecca for Hajj. The Bhawan is doing a different and sometimes a more urgent and laudable one. It is in news for sending minority students on a job journey to secure top level state jobs.

The coaching and guidance center run at the Haj Bhawan under the Minority Welfare Department of the Bihar government provides residential preparation for government jobs and academic examinations. The Haj Bhawan started offering guidance first in Bihar civil services and is helping students in police inspector’s job test.

Fifty-three of Haj Bhawan’s coaching and guidance center’s candidates were declared successful in the recently announced result of Bihar Public Service Commission’s examination for the top civil state job. Out of nearly 1400 successful candidates, 101 were Muslim candidates.

Similarly, fifty-three Haj Bhawan’s candidates were selected for the post of Sub Inspector in Bihar Police. Importantly, 19 successful candidates in the BPSC exam and 11 in the police exam are female.

Of late, the Bihar government’s initiative to provide ‘coaching’ to the students for government job examinations has been quite a success. Bihar has also seen the success of privately run Rahmani 30 for Muslim students for engineering and medical entrance tests.

Maulana Mazharul Haque Arabic and Persian University is the nodal agency for the government’s state coaching scheme. While the facilities are free here, only Rs. 3500 are charged as mess fee. For those whose candidates whose families cannot even afford that and are economically weak, the mess fee is waived off.

This coaching and guidance center was established in the financial year 2006-07. Initially, it struggled but since the year 2010, it has been bringing success to the state. Till 2019, 1517 candidates have been selected for jobs from here out of 4777 selected candidates for coaching. In 2019-20 the centre gave coaching to 860 and in 2020-2021, the number of students who received coaching was 568.

The centre promises to provide free residential coaching for the jobs offered by Bihar Public Service Commission, general police jobs like sub-inspectors and constables, jobs offered by Railways and staff selection commission. The centre also provides coaching for the preparation of the University Grants Commission’s exams like the National Eligibility Test (NET) and Junior Research Fellow (JRF). It also gives coaching for Teachers Eligibility Tes (TET).

However, the success in Bihar Public Service Commission’s exam is getting all the accolades to this center at Haj Bhawan. The center conducts entrance tests for its different coaching programmes. For the BPSC jobs, each year 150 candidates are selected out of nearly 1000 candidates who sit for its entrance test. The entrance test is advertised in the local newspapers and on social media too.

Features of the Center
Mohammad Rashid Hussain is the coordinator of this coaching and guidance centre. He has studied at Jawahar Lal Nehru University (JNU) and Hamdard Study Circle. He did his masters in Persian and Central Asian Studies from JNU, and qualified for JRF and SRF. Hussain later moved to Hamdard Study Circle. In 2007, he cleared the BPSC examination and joined Bihar Administrative Service.

Talking to TwoCircles.net, Hussain said that he has adopted the model from Hamdard Study Circle. “The 24 hours open library, test series, lectures by the top experts and online-offline study materials are the salient features of this center,” he said.

He said that the environment of group study is quite helpful. “Discipline is quite strict here. No one needs to go outside to get anything related to their studies,” Hussain said, who also works as CEO of Bihar Haj Committee.

According to Hussain, the mock interview preparation at the Centre is quite successful. “So much so, that even non-minority students approach us for the interview and this service is provided to them,” he added.

Hussain said that the girl candidates get maximum safety measures at the Centre, and “this keeps them focused in their preparations.” The girl candidates are provided separate rooms, mess and prayer hall. There are two female wardens for them.

What inspires candidates at the Centre
Mohammad Adil Bilal got 22nd rank in BPSC’s examination and would be a Deputy Superintendent of Police (Dy SP) after training. Adil’s father teaches English at a college in Darbhanga.

Talking about his success, Adil said that the coordination between seniors and juniors at the Centre “worked wonders for him.” He said that seniors were very helpful in pointing out the shortcomings and suggesting ways for improvement.

Razia Sultan, an engineer by profession, was also selected for the post of Dy SP. In fact, it is claimed that she is the first Muslim lady in Bihar to get this post directly. She joined the center after clearing the mains examination.

Talking to TwoCircles.net, she said that “she got a lot of motivation here.” She appreciates the guidance for the interview.

Noorjahan, another successful candidate, told TwoCircles.net that she got the best training here in personality development. She quotes an oft-repeated saying by the center’s coordinator Mohammad Rashid Hussain that “a ship is safe at the harbour but it is not made for the harbour,” as very motivating.

“This inspired me to work hard,” she said.

Another successful candidate, Sima Khatoon has done her Computer Engineering from Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi. She has been selected for Panchayati Raj Officer.

Talking to TwoCircles.net, she said that that “any Muslim girl can achieve success.”

She is all praise for the facilities and guidance that was provided to her at the Centre. “Allah has listened to my prayers for a platform to work for social welfare,” she said.

More works needed
Afzal Hussain of Bihar Rabita Committee, which works for the minority community, told TwoCirlces.net that the success at Haj Bhawan is “commendable and its success needs to be emulated.” He said that the six centres supposed to impart coaching to minority students for job examinations at Patna, Darbhanga, Motihari, Kishanganj and Bhagalpur should also be developed along the lines of Haj Bhawan.

Social activist Nashoor Ajmal said that while the success at Haj Bhawan is welcome, “we should seriously think about the abysmal representation of Muslim community in government jobs while their population constitutes almost 17 per cent in Bihar.”

Experts and successful candidates are of the opinion that more efforts are needed and such initiatives should start at the Masjid committee level in the state.

Ajmal added the government of Bihar should work for the educational upliftment of the Muslim community by conducting special drives.


Sami Ahmad is a journalist based in Patna, Bihar.