ISLAMABAD: Just two per cent candidates could pass the Central Superior Services (CSS) examinations of 2016, while female candidates clinched top three positions.

According to results declared by the Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC) on Wednesday, only 2.06pc students could secure minimum passing marks.

“The poor result is a matter of concern… there is a need to bring improvement in the higher education sector of the country,” said FPSC member Ahmed Farooq.

He said during the past few years, the CSS results had been showing decline, but the FPSC was determined not to compromise on quality at all.

“The mushroom growth of higher learning institutions, particularly in the private sector, is one of the major reasons behind the declining results,” he said.

According to results, 9,643 candidates appeared in written examination of the year 2016, out of them only 202 managed to pass the examination.

The results show that after viva voce 199 candidates, including 114 male and 85 female, qualified.

A press release stated that only 193 candidates have been recommended for appointments (109 male and 84 female).

It further said that recommended candidates are directed to contact section Officer (T-V) Establishment Division, Islamabad for further correspondence.

According to the results, top three positions were clinched by female candidates — Maleeha Iesar got first position followed by Qurat-ul-Ain Zafar and Mariya Javaid. They all have domiciles of Punjab province.

The results of the Central Superior Services exams have been facing decline for several years, as 3.33pc students cleared the exam in 2014, 3.11pc in 2015 and 2.09pc in 2016.

When contacted Higher Education Commission Chairman Dr Mukhar Ahmed said the HEC in collaboration with the FPSC was trying to know the reasons behind the declining results of CSS.

“I do agree there are quality of education issues and we are conducting audit of universities; secondly, I think there is a gap between assessment of students and the subjects they are being taught in universities,” he said.

The Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC) and his organisation were working together to bring improvement in the higher education sector, he said.

Published in Dawn, May 11th, 2017