ISLAMABAD: To ease off the pressure on candidates appearing in Central Superior Services (CSS) examinations, the Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC) has decided to hold one paper a day, unlike the previous practice where the aspirants would appear in two papers a day.
The FPSC took the decision at a time when the federal cabinet is scheduled to take up the proposed restructuring of the commission after pressure mounted about the low passing rate in the examination.
“Yes, we the commission have decided to take up some steps and in the upcoming examinations one paper will be held each day,” FPSC Secretary Ameer Tariq Zaman confirmed to The Express Tribune, adding that it was one of the recommendations the commission deliberated upon.
Similarly, it has been decided that from now onwards the commission will aggregate the marks for English essay and précis/composition, according to Zaman.
Besides, the FPSC is also preparing a briefing for the federal cabinet which is scheduled to take up proposals for restructuring and reforms in the commission any time soon.
“The cabinet was scheduled to take up the agenda earlier this week, but due to unidentified reasons it was pulled out at the eleventh hour,” said an FPSC official who spoke on the condition of anonymity. The official was optimistic that the issue may be taken up in the next two meetings.
The PM secretariat has suggested that the Establishment Division secretary should brief the cabinet on the issue. It is also expected that FPSC Chairperson Naveed Akram Cheema may also accompany the secretary in the cabinet meeting.
According to details, the FPSC will shed light on the declining results of the CSS and reasons thereof, including suggestions as a way out. The percentage of candidates qualifying for the written test declined from 9.75% in 2011 to 2.09% in 2016.
The commission is likely to propose changes in the curriculum of universities. It is one of the reforms that the commission has been suggesting in its last four annual reports.
The decline in the results has not only created a furor in public but has also been talked about in parliament.
Recently, the Senate chairperson also formulated a special committee to review the CSS report of 2015 which also carried results that surprised many.
Earlier this week, the committee held its meeting under the chairmanship of Senator Muzaffar Hussain Shah. During the meeting, the FPSC chairperson was asked to come up with proposals and recommendations to improve the ‘rotted and outdated’ system of the FPSC.
Cheema replied that they recruited candidates from those available. “We are not universities where we can prepare capable candidates,” he had remarked.
The senator also asked whether the commission should take a separate exam for separate groups such as foreign services, audit and accounts and others. Cheema failed to make a reply and was asked to come up with some recommendations in the next meeting.
Meanwhile, the FPSC chairperson in a report submitted to President Mamnoon Hussain in August also lamented over the issues causing the low passing rate in the exam. In the report, he had also suggested how the result could be improved.
He said one of the major problems for the commission was finding the right officers for the right group due to the “declining education standards caused by sub-standard schooling, particularly in rural areas.”