How a 24-year-old quit his IAS job to give free education

24-year-old Roman Saini quit his highly cushy and stable job in the Indian Administrative Services (IAS) to become a teacher. Ranked at number 18 in the national exam. He was posted in Jabalpur as an Assistant Collector when he decided to give it all up in order join Unacademy—India’s largest free education service. The driving force behind this decision was his desire to give back and serve the country. Saini, who also cleared the test for All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) at just 16 will now spend his time teaching and preparing lessons for civil service aspirants.

The Indian Administrative Services are considered the most lucrative jobs in the country and have the toughest exam that has people prepping up for it for years. Over 900,000 applicants give this exam every year with a success rate of 0.1-0.3 per cent. Four years ago, a close friend of Saini, Gaurav Munjal had an idea. To start a quality, free education portal giving catering to those prepping for the civil services. He asked Saini to join him at the time, but the timing wasn’t right Munjal started the Unacademy by posting a couple of videos on YouTube. Four years later, the Unacademy has benefitted over 5 lakh students and is one of the country’s largest YouTube channel with over 1 crore lessons in over 400 videos and with a 1 lakh active subscribers.

Last year 10 students from the Unacademy cleared the civil services. Saini who had been toying with the idea for a while decided to take the full-time plunge last year. A self professed writer and guitarist, he spoke of his decision in a Facebook post last week, adding that it was challenging, ” “I believe in the Unacademy vision of free education, and hence, will be pursuing it full time.” Jabalpur collector SN Rupla said that Saini had decided to quit the IAS in September last year as he wanted to do better at the national level. His resignation was just only accepted last week.

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