Civil services structure – Shouting out loud for reforms!
Let me ask you a question. How many of you want to join civil services of Pakistan, happened to be known as the most prestigious services? I think 7 out of 10 will answer with a big No. Well if you don’t, you have a professional degree and a better future (on which I never believe) to watch out for, then you will definitely look for CSS as your top priority but almost never if you have a strong specialized degree and have dazzling chances of flourishing future ahead.
That’s not the case with me. I am a prospective chemical engineer, studying in a renowned institution of Pakistan and chances are there that I will earn adequate for a better livelihood. But I do want to join Civil services of Pakistan whether I am going to get a high salaried job or pedestrian earning. Whenever I talk about this with my friends and family they always argue with me that why on earth am I interested in Civil services of Pakistan? I never had any solid answer apart from my emotional affection and love for civil services.
How can I have any solid answer when our civil services are completely misshaped? Our civil services structure is shouting out loudly for reforms but our government and bureaucracy don’t want to break the statuesque and willing to manufacture the civil servants of this country. In the 2nd decade of 21st century through same conduit as they were being produced in 1960’s and 70’s. Have a look on the subjects offered for css exams. Most of these subjects and the paper pattern oblige the aspirants for cramming and learning by heart instead of enhancing the analytical approach among students. I don’t know exactly but for many years no alteration has been done in the syllabus of civil services exams.
The most important factor due to which civil services are incapable to clutch the attention of bright minds of this country is the pay scale. A CSS officer, who has reached this position after a lot and lots of hard work is only offered a meager salary of 40k approximately. I do agree that CSS provide you with a lot of power and lust and authority and many people do join these services merely because of their power lust but in the end you do require a handsome salary to meet your daily life requirements as a 17th grade government officer.
The power you have and the authority given to you and all that charming looking life can’t afford necessities & all these necessities of life can be met only by corruption and all that words our society use to blame our civil officers for all the troubles Pakistan. Look at the statistics of urban Sindh comprising of Karachi, Hyderabad and some other cities of Sindh. Most of the carried-away vacancies every year are from Urban Sindh. The reason is clear. Karachi along with all its terrorism and criminal activities is still the commercial and economic hub of Pakistan. The private sector in Karachi is able to secure the brilliant minds of not only Karachi but also from other parts of the country through their perks and privileges. Consequently, the educated youth of Karachi is not ready to secure the permanent jobs in public sector and are being pulled towards private sector due to which every year many seats in CSS of Urban Sindh remain vacant.
Another stupid policy is the age limit. The upper age limit is just 28 years. This limit doesn’t exist in the civil services of many developed countries and in many of the countries this limit is 30-35. The CSS exam structure is so prolonged that it takes more than a year for the final selection of CSP officers. Normally a Master student completes his education in 24-25 years & if he wants to go for CSS, he can’t avail all 3 chances. A petition is being filed in different courts and now probably in Supreme Court but courts are too busy to hear this futile case and give their judgment. The age limit restricts many highly educated candidates & thus for many years 90%+ successful candidates are merely bachelors and this figure rose to 98% last year. How the government machinery can work soundly when the responsible ones are not highly educated?
All these and many other reasons are combined to produce a poor civil structure. Many current & former bureaucrats including Roidad Khan, Dr Zafar Hilali and Oriya Maqbool jan believe that a reformed agenda is required for a healthier civil structure of this country. But sadly no one will be free enough to ponder on this failed structure (as they will declare this) and government machinery will keep moving in the habitual method.