‘CSS danger alert’

December 24, 2016


APROPOS the article ‘CSS danger alert’(Dec 20). The writer’s analysis of the result and experience with the CSS aspirants seem to be correct theoretically yet the conclusion seems to be controversial.

I refer to the observation regarding evidence and investigation of the civil service and the ebbs and flows of our administrative system in particular and society at large. That is also the undoing of most CSS candidates.

The FPSC recommends the cream of our education system for the civil institutions but the push and pull of the system is so perplexed that the energetic recruits are compelled to nod their heads at the policy of the elite of the country.

Postings, transfers, red-tape and narrow interests of the ruling party are responsible for the stunted growth of the civil service. Therefore, blaming only the recruitment institution is not fair. This is one of the few institutions in the country that ensures merit.

It would not be wrong to state that whatever development has taken place in Pakistan since 1947 is because of the mix of civil-military brass, and its civilian part came through the CSS exams. Rome was not built in a day and Pakistan is no exception. Thus, it is not the CSS, but institutional reforms that are the dire need of the hour.

Engr Syed Shams Ul Islam



I DISAGREE with the writer of ‘CSS danger alert’ (Dec 20) on four counts.

First, the erroneous connection between CSS exams and the performance of civil servants. In practice, the poor pay package and political interference, inter alia, are at play. Hence the exam per se cannot be directly correlated with overall performance of the bureaucracy.

Second, is the inappropriate comparison of CSS exams with GRE-type tests. Factors such as rote learning, lack of creativity, and a poor understanding of the chosen essay topic are the major reasons for failure in the CSS exam.

Third, reproduction of answers learnt at academies and their acceptability in the exam. Most candidates who regurgitate this academic material in the exam papers fail. Instead, those who choose unorthodox topics sail through. Hence creativity and originality prevail in the CSS exam.

Last, the author has not supported his assumptions with enough credible data. Neither was the research methodology identified nor the research sample defined. Therefore, the analysis was purely subjective and thus cannot be relied upon.

Nevertheless, since there is always room for improvement, civil service reforms and institution building should evolve with time.

Shojain Vistro


Published in Dawn December 24th, 2016