THE Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Public Service Commission (KPPSC) advertised Provincial Management Service (PMS) vacancies in March 2021 against which about 36,000 aspirants applied. A screening test was conducted in July based on the formula of 25 aspirants per vacancy to ensure quality, and to announce the results timely. Since the results were actually announced promptly, it was hoped that proper exams would be conducted soon, but that never happened.

The unsuccessful candidates raised a hue and cry over the high pass-mark threshold and pressurised the KPPSC to review its policy through protests and hunger strikes. Petitions have also been filed in the Peshawar High Court. The protestors received political sympathies, and a committee held negotiations with KPPSC officials without any fruitful result.

Therefore, matters have been put on hold till the resolution of the deadlock. This situation raises serious questions on the autonomy of KPPSC that has been enshrined in the Constitution.

The policy under which the screening test was conducted had been formulated during the tenure of the previous KPPSC chairman who had been a proactive believer in merit-based evaluation of candidates, and had maintained his stance in meetings with the representatives of the protestors. Since his retirement last month, the KPPSC is running without a chairman.

Any action taken under these circumstances would result in raising fingers on the autonomy of the commission. The ultimate victims here are the successful candidates who had worked hard, and are now waiting for a solution.

Name withheld on request
Chitral

Published in Dawn, November 6th, 2021

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