In line with Prime Minister Imran Khan’s vision on institutional reforms and revising the civil service in Pakistan, Adviser to Prime Minister on Establishment Division Shahzad Arbab has announced that Central Superior Services (CSS) aspirants would first undergo a mandatory screening test before appearing in competitive examination.
In a talk with the private news channel, Shahzad Arbabr spoke largely on the development made in institutions revamping, civil service reforms, the “Torkham border” and the “Road to Makkah” project.
He said that Prime Minister Imran Khan’s vision was of transparent, honest and efficient-based governance in Pakistan. The adviser said that PM Imran, for the purpose, frequently held cabinet meetings and had formed different committees and task forces for strategy formulation.
Currently, CSS exams held every year in February without any screening test and thousands of aspirants appear, making paper checking an arduous task for the examiner and FPSC.
The federal government has resolved to render specialized training to civil service and non-cadre officers. Promotion of officers would be conditional to training and it is expected that 6,000 civil servants and 29,000 non-cadre officers will get the necessary special training. The non-cadre officers will split into subgroups for specific training related to their needs.
The federal government has also concluded the posting of 35 out of 65 heads of departments and corporations. Moreover, policies are also being formed for entry into 20/21 grade of the federal government and for circumrotation of Pakistan Administrative Services (PAS) and Police Service of Pakistan (PSP) officers.
Earlier, Dr Ishrat Hussain, chairperson of the civil service reforms committee, stated the concept of specialized bureaucracy. He proposed a cluster-based exam for various groups in the civil services. If implemented, the ambitious civil servants won’t have to perform in a general examination for all cadres and services rather there would be specific exams for special cadres.
In the past year, Dr Ishrat Hussain also proposed four stages of CSS exam.
The new exam system may include four stages:
- Stage 1: Initial Screening Test
- Stage 2: Cluster-based specialized recruitment
- Stage 3: Psychometric evaluation
- Stage 4: Final interviews of shortlisted candidates
Reportedly, the adviser said that the government had begun tenure postings. Now, a federal minister would examine the performance of officers for six months, after which decisions of their promotions would be taken.
He said that the federal government was also restructuring 441 departments. Some of these would be consolidated and some may be considered irrelevant. In addition, a committee chaired by Dr Ishrat Hussain examined these departments and proffered a report to the prime minister.
Furthermore, an adviser to Prime Minister on Establishment Shahzad Arbab, Special Assistant on Petroleum Nadeem Babar, Minister for Defence Pervaiz Khattak, and Chairman Kashmir Committee Syed Fakhar Imam and secretaries of these departments are part of this committee.
Currently, the passing ratio of CSS is around 2 to 3 %, the screening test will definitely help to soar the percentage. The civil service is the backbone of Pakistan, the restructuring is a good omen for the development of the country. It is the civil servants who execute the policies made by legislators, Hence in this era of rapid technology, Pakistan needs specialized skills for the Bureaucrats.