This is apropos to the ongoing major induction that is taking place at the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). Recruitment tests were held on June 23-24, which were conducted by the National Testing Service (NTS), a highly credible testing institute.
Now, there have been reports that candidates will also be subjected to a psychological test as part of the recruitment process. This has triggered a lot of concerns among those that have applied for jobs at NAB. The recruitment test for the Junior Investigation Officer (JIO) has 15 MCQs under the IQ testing portion and 20 questions under the analytical reasoning portion. Apart from this, JIO candidates have to answer between 25 and 30 MCQs under the English portion, which assesses their analogy and comprehension capabilities. All these MCQs, directly or indirectly, do assess the psychological abilities of the candidates.
In such a scenario, another psychological test raises serious apprehensions that it may be used as a means to practice nepotism in the hiring process, as the department itself will get unnecessarily involved in conducting the test, as opposed to the NTS. It must be made sure that if any psychological test is held by NAB, then the weightage for the test as well as the interview that is part of the hiring process should not be more than 20 per cent of the total marks, in line with the standard format for CSS examinations. The written part of the test must play the decisive role in the hiring decision to ensure transparency, which can be done by following the practice of all credible exams such as the CSS and other FPSC exams, where the written part is given maximum weightage. The written part of the test, conducted by the NTS, must be given 80 per cent weightage. If the interview and the psychological test are given higher weightage, NAB will find itself facing allegations of favoritism and nepotism.
Name withheld on request
Published in The Express Tribune, June 30th, 2012.
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