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Civil service reforms


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THIS refers to the letter ‘Some suggestions’ by Dr Amer Jamil wherein the writer has presented a revolutionary idea that the qualification criteria for appearing in CSS examinations must be changed.

It is as much ironic as it is pathetic that anyone with a bachelor’s degree can join the Civil Services of Pakistan by taking CSS examinations while those who are highly qualified and are holding higher professional degrees are denied the opportunity under the pretext of age limit.

The requirement of only a bachelor’s degree for the CSS examinations is, in fact, stopping students from acquiring further education in our country where the literacy rate is already low.

The Federal Public Service Commission has admitted in its annual report that it has failed in attracting the cream, the top students from the universities most of whom opt for going abroad in search of better options.

A few years ago the FPSC’s research director, after a thorough academic research, had announced the intention of the commission to enhance the qualification criterion for CSS examinations from bachelors to at least 16 years of education with five years as general age relaxation.

He announced the good news while addressing a gathering in Faisalabad University. I don’t know who silenced him afterwards. It is time we modernised the civil service.

The federal ombudsman should inquire into the matter and increase the qualification criteria so that better and more competent candidates may join the bureaucratic setup of their country.

Comments (6) Closed

Sahrish Khizar Jun 08, 2013 05:53am
Yeah,i absolutely agree with such reforms that along with increasing qualification criteria, age relaxation must also be increased.In this way the more qualified and professional could be induced in civil service.
TAM Jun 08, 2013 07:48am
Is the Civil Service be-all and end-all career in Pakistan? In any event a good bachelors degree if done and achieved properly for its academic value coupled with good experience should be good enough for the job. It would be sad to think that students are not pursuing higher education because the incentive to enter the CS is denied otherwise.
ikram Jun 09, 2013 07:41am
dr sahabb why you are pushing all talented candidates for css. Css is the only career of student.let the talented candidates in other fields please.all the developed countries have Csps. Think about it.
Mustafa Jun 09, 2013 06:15am
I agree with your point here but I would like to add a few things that actually discourage such a dramatic change. Firstly, I believe a bachelors degree (a full-fledged 4 year degree) is enough to sit for the exam. I say this as the candidates who clear the exam and subsequently go to the Civil Service Academy, get trained in key public service subjects such as finance, public administration and sociology. The candidates then undergo STPs (Specialized Training Programs) for their respective occupational group at professional academies (e.g, National Police Academy for PSP officers), so its fair to say that when a CSS qualified candidate after going through two tiers of training takes up office, he is adequately prepared. Furthermore, all CSP officers are given brilliant opportunities throughout their career to pursue MPAs, MScs in Criminology, LLMs from the top universities like Harvard, LSE and Cambridge. Coming back to specific degrees for specific occupational groups, I agree that certain backgrounds would make better civil servants (e.g Engineers in Petroleum and Water and Power Ministries and Doctors in Health Ministries), but a certain degree doesn't necessarily translate into a better civil servant. My father had a Masters in English Literature, yet he performed outstandingly in his PSP career and got two National Police Medals (QPM and PPM) in his first 10 years of service and retired as an Inspector General. Another great example is of the US Armed Forces, several of their 4-star generals have MBAs and they did exceptionally good. The point of any university degree apart from hard skills, is to develop analytical, critical-thinking and interpersonal skills which translate into success in almost any field pursued in the future. However, the 2 year BAs that candidates acquire just for the CSS exam, I agree, is a practice that should be rejected and disqualified.
sophie Jun 09, 2013 07:59am
Strongly Agree!! when People with professional degrees completed their degree ... first thing that they do is to find a good job . when all their effort of finding a job proved futile .. A MENTOR came and advised them to appear in CSS EXAM. And then they realize they have only two chances left or sometimes even one. with this pressure they knock at the door of worst academies , spent a huge sum of money . So FPSC has now introduced Screening test .. a very good step indeed. They should pay attention towards the age relaxation criteria.
Junaid Zafar Jun 09, 2013 11:54am
Your father may be a gifted policeman. Happy to hear this. But sorry to say the Police Department of Pakistan is the most corrupt . The corruption watch dog Transparency International has labeled Pakistan as the 33rd most corrupt country, while it ranks 13th in the Failed nations category. I think bureaucracy is to blame for this along with the politicians who have ruled Pakistan like a mafia for the last 60 years. It is time to give up the privileges they have inherited from their colonial masters and become servants of the nation.