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ISLAMABAD: A parliamentary panel on Tuesday learned that around 100 seats of the Central Superior Services (CSS) allotted to minorities and women went unfilled in 2016.

A Senate Special Committee met on Tuesday at the Parliament House with Senator Syed Muzafar Hussain in chair to discuss issues pertaining to CSS and Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC).

Senator Mohsin Khan Laghari told the committee that the government allotted a five per cent quota to minorities only on paper but on ground the situation was different.

However, an FPSC official told the committee that minorities and women candidates did not qualify for the said posts.

Senator Mir Kabeer Ahmed Muhammad Shahi was of the view that merit of CSS examinations should be relaxed for candidates of Balochistan and southern Punjab, where people were not getting education opportunities on a par with those living in Lahore and other parts of the country.

Senator Nauman Wazir Khattak said that vacancies of minorities and women should be opened on merit if unfilled for two years.

Earlier, giving her input for bringing improvement in the CSS examination system, Foreign Office Secretary Tehmina Janjua said that there was a need for updating the curriculum in accordance with contemporary needs.

She said that those candidates who have a good command of the English language should opt for the foreign services group before the examination.

The Higher Education Commission Director General, Muhammad Raza Chohan, called for introducing a screening test for CSS to discourage non-serious candidates. Keeping in view the high participation but low performance rate of undergraduate candidates, the eligibility criteria for CSS could be revised to 16 years of education, he added.

The special committee will finalise its recommendations and submit before the Senate.

Published in Dawn, January 24th, 2018