In the UPSC results declared yesterday, 18 students trained by Zakat Foundation have cleared the exams. Zakat Foundation is an NGO founded on ‘Islamic principles’ carrying out various activities, which includes ‘coaching’ for civil services, specially aimed at helping Muslim students.
Zakat is an Arabic word meaning ‘alms giving’ and is one of the obligations a Muslim has to perform. Zakat Foundation too seeks donations and uses the funds for various activities such as learning Quran, medical services, and ‘scholarships’ for competitive exams.
Former IAS officer who took the plunge and floated his own political party, Shah Faesal, is one of the most popular alumni of Zakat Foundation. Faesal, who had topped the civil service examination in 2010 had called India ‘Rapistan’.
He later resigned from services as a “protest against unabated killings” in Kashmir and “marginalisation of Indian Muslims”. Faesal had said that he was inspired by Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for their ‘political struggle’.
Started in 1997, Zakat Foundation launched Sir Syed Coaching and Guidance Centre in 2007 to help students, especially form Muslim communities, to crack UPSC exams. This year, Junaid Ahmed, a 27-year-old Aligarh Muslim University alumnus secured the third rank in the civil services. A total of 29 students of Zakat Foundation appeared for the UPSC mains exam of which 27 were Muslims and 2 were Christians. Of these, 18 students cleared the exams as against 26 students who had cleared last year.
In the UPSC results declared last evening, Kanishak Kataria, a B.Tech from IIT Bombay, topped the exam. Akshat Jain, an engineering graduate from IIT Guwahati secured second and Srushti Jayant Deshmukh secured the top spot among women. Out of the top 25 students, 10 are women.