THIS is with reference to the article ‘Civil service in decline’ (Aug 27). The writer is of the opinion that decline in civil service is on account of improper structure of CSS competitive examination which promotes rote learning and state-sponsored answers in some papers; that marks are not allotted for the steps taken in working an answer but only a right answer.
Viewpoint expressed by the writer seems to be the outcome of some misconception, as professors of reputable universities who are working as paper setters and examiners; or the examination itself, judge knowledge, comprehension, and foremost the critical and analytical skills of a candidate through the examination as the annual reports can be referred to.
As English is the official language of the country, an officer's command over the language is necessary to carry out assignments efficiently and effectively.
English Essay and English "Precis and Composition" are considered as the best tools to test proficiency in English language.
It is an admitted fact that religious and cultural values create patriotism among citizens, therefore introduction of Islamiat and Pakistan Studies form part of compulsory group with a view to assess knowledge of a Pakistani in various aspects of ideology of Pakistan.
Around 40 optional subjects are included in the list of optional subjects to judge candidates' performance in their own fields and candidates are at liberty to choose subjects comprising 600 marks of their own choice that is why scientists (medical doctors and engineers) choose non scientific subjects and secure good positions.
Hence, the conclusion drawn by the writer – discrimination in some subjects is found – is neither correct nor fair. That is why persons like Muhammad Umair and Sana Khalid Tirmizi in their letters (Aug 30) and (Sept 5) respectively have appreciated the existing scheme and syllabi of the examination.
However, FPSC, as a general principle strives to review and improve the standard of testing by including latest developments in various educational fields/disciplines in its examination and testing process. The core objective is to select the best out of the best through a fiercely competitive but fair system.
M. SIDDIQUI SAJID Islamabad