The Central Superior Services of Pakistan, commonly known as the CSS, has often been referred to as the ‘toughest nut to crack’. The CSS 2016 Examination result has for the first time, swung a hundred eyeballs on the lack of transparency and marking criteria, raising a handful of questions on the outlook of the whole checking process.
As almost 9500+ aspirants failed the CSS 2016 Exam, one story sticks out from the rest. Sana Rasool, a well learned and brilliant Pakistani student, who had aspired for the Civil Services of Pakistan, had her dreams and ambitions shattered for the second time in 2 years, as she failed one subject out of her clique, while also achieving an unbelievable grand total.
The one subject she failed was Town Planning and Urban Management, a subject that was recently introduced with the new grouping. Only 56 students out of 1100 managed to clear the exam, over-taking the ever feared English Essay. Sana scored brilliantly in CSS 2016 with an aggregated total of 738 marks out of 1200.
Sana Rasool claims lack of transparency by the FPSC in CSS Exams
Reform the Federal Public Service Commission
“My name is Sana Rasool and I am a commonwealth scholar. This is my Detailed Marks Card (DMC) for CSS 2016 attempt. I am sharing it here to bring a few facts to your attention.
In the DMC, you may notice that I have scored 70s and 80s in most subjects except for Town Planning and Urban Management paper where I have been declared ‘fail’ with 17 marks only. Please also note that I have almost 90 marks in environmental science paper. Town planning is a mere sub-domain of that subject. Here, I’d like to mention that I have both professional and academic experience in town planning. I worked on the Gilgit City Master Planning process. I have also been using GIS during other professional and academic endeavors.
Moreover, I had full confidence in my answers because I had prepared from foreign notes and well accredited research papers. It is simply difficult to digest how they could award only 17 marks when I have scored so well in all other subjects and I met all the conditions of the town planning paper… Just to confirm, I sought guidance from experienced town planning teachers who assured me that my answers were satisfactory and were definitely not in the ‘fail’ category. There are 1000s of others who are going through the same agony.
Today, when I want honest and impartial re-evaluation, FPSC is denying me that right. The process of legal complaint is extremely expensive and arduous – designed to discourage aspirants from complaining in the first place. Is this democracy? Is this meritocracy? Since when did FPSC become God that cannot be challenged? While all the esteemed CSS officers and this year selectees really deserve to be where they are and are the cream of Pakistan, my humble request along with thousands of others is that please help us fix these bugs and reform the system.
FPSC decides on whim to reduce pass percentage from 7 to 2 percent one fine year. It decides to take the fail ratio to 98% for any given subject any year. It cannot be challenged. It cannot be questioned. Why? We entrusted them with the power to do good. They cannot use it as a weapon against us.
All I want is a fair and impartial re-evaluation, just as any of you would. I believe if they had marked me justly I would have been among the toppers, at least in the written exam. Let us do away with this almost feudal institute and bring in a more democratic one instead. Amen.”
Below is Sana Rasool’s CSS DMC of 2015, where she failed one subject as well, the English Essay Exam, by mere 13 marks.
The bureaucracy of Pakistan needs to find common ground with aspirants
[Percentage of students who have cleared CSS since 2009 – Source: CSS – unofficial]
Sana’s story of hard-work, literal blood, sweat and tears has raised some serious question marks on the lack of transparency and marking criteria opted by the Federal Public Service Commission of Pakistan. With one of the worst results in the history of CSS Examinations in Pakistan, the most competitive exam in the country has gone a little bit too unpredictable.
Here’s to hoping ours and Sana’s message reaches the concerned authorities and the diligent officers in the bureaucracy of Pakistan, who take responsibility and end this draconian menace of zero transparency and set criteria of result. Hidden examiners, secret checking and masked criteria are things of past, the sagacious aspirants of Pakistan demand an end to this unfairness.
If not, one thing is for sure, the youth of Pakistan will stop dreaming of becoming bureaucrats who set this country on the right path and instead, fall prey to the rhetoric doctor, engineer and ACCA stereotype.