Meritless KP Public Service Commission

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Syed Fawad Ali Shah;

The unanimously passed constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan has many unique features but the most important feature is the induction system into the government service. Its Article 242 says that ” in relation to the affairs of the Federation, and the Provincial Assembly of a Province in relation to the affairs of the Province, may, by law, provide for the establishment and constitution of a Public Service Commission”. This article has been inserted in order to ensure transparency and merit in recruitment process in the public service. A cursory look at the KP Public Service Commission reflects that over the years this institution has been politicized and corrupted at the cost of Governance in the province. The politicization on the other hand has also led to the competent lot of the society being deprived of their due rights. The KPPSC is replete with inefficiency nepotism bribery and corruption. Starting from the appointment of bureaucrats and other professionals as members to the selection criteria for different exam everything is obsolete and marred with nepotism. Owing to attractive salary and perks and privileges, many bureaucrats prematurely retire and lobby to be appointed as member or chairman of public service commission. Many of present KPPSC have been appointed in this way. The incumbent Chairman of the commission is a retired bureaucrat whose younger brother is heading the leading civilian intelligence agency in the county. The chairman has a very colourful past where he was blamed for using his official influence to appear as a hero at a very old age in a state run television drama serial. Adding to its already enormous powers, the Governor KPK, Shah Farman, has extend their tenure of service from three to 5 years. These favours are being reciprocated now in terms of compromising on meritocracy. By observing the tenure of this Chairman one can easily arrive at the conclusion that the merit has been compromised in each single test for recruitment. Consequently the results of competitive exams and general tests for administrative posts were either revised later or challenged in courts by the candidates owing to their lack of trust on KPPSC. The result of PMS competitive exam 2016, screening test for instance was challenged in court by Miss Kaneez sakina Ali for cheating and open use of Mobile phones in examination halls. The paper for Tehsil Municipal officer got leaked in Abbottabad first in 2018. Later the result of the same test was revised and challenged in court for favouritism and malpractices involved. The test of assistant director local government was also challenged in court by a candidate in 2018 where the court find that their is a disparity between the candidate’s attempt and the marks awarded to him. Additionally the results of Civil judges exam have always been challenged in court on one or the other ground. Now come to the recent development, a few petitioners challenged the Provincial Management Service exam in Peshawar high court on the grounds of malpractices, forgery and nepotism. The petitioners hailing from various parts of province have levelled serious allegations against the KPPSC in the said Exam that need to be thoroughly examined and investigated accordingly. According to them since the start of PMS exam 2018 the practice of favouritism and incompetency was visible. The screening test was held to lower the candidates to a manageable for descriptive exam. Initially the threshold for passing the test was 40% marks 160/400 and around 5000 candidates were shortlisted for descriptive exam, but Chairman in a surprising move and in blatant violation of rules lowered the passing threshold to 20% marks 120/400 thereby allowing more than 11000 candidates for descriptive exam. Also, due to the sheer negligence of KPPSC, Islamyat paper got leaked that was scheduled on a later date. The rescheduled paper too was hand written and replete with grammatical mistakes . There is a disparity between the interview and written marks of candidates. The candidates, for instance, who got high marks in interview were given low marks in written, while those who got good marks in written scored poorly in interview. As per the regulations holding dual domicile is a criminal offence and anyone who commits this offence renders himself to disciplinary action. However, dual domicile holders were not only allowed to pass through the whole process of PMS exam but seven of them also recommended to Government as PMS officers. Additionally, merit has been compromised in disability quota seats where a person on merit No. 785 has been recommended to Government as PMS officer while another on 248 has been left out. Likewise the disparity of Every day science and Current affairs papers marks between the Recommended and non recommended candidates reveals that the whole lot of recommended candidates was given edge in the said two papers to ensure their recommendation. Many of the non recommended candidates who failed to recommend in a close shave was brought down wilfully through the said papers. According to candidates, when the final result was declared KPPSC received more than 250 applications for retotalling of marks and even a single of them has not been replied yet. KPPSC rather in a blatant move to cover up the whole mess sent the recommendations to Establishment department and pressurised the same to appoint the recommendees on urgent basis. The candidates filed a writ petition in Peshawar high court and pleaded for judicial inquiry into the PMS exam. The Honourable judge on first hearing dated 15/04/2050 declared the petition as maintainable and issued notices to Establishment Department and KPPSC to submit reply in the instant case. The Establishment department however despite knowing the fact that the matter is sub judice wrote letters to secretary Health and DIG special branch for conducting the medical test and character verification of recommendees. Both the letters interestingly were backdated and sent originally on 21/04/2020 they bear a dispatch date 15/04/2019. The above explained entire saga reveals why the performance of our bureaucracy is dilapidating day by day. Nepotism, corruption and bribery has shaken the very foundation of this country, and if corrective measures are not taken there are little chances that this country will develop and achieve stability in the future. It is need of the time that there must a be selection process for those who are later entrusted with the responsibilities of the important duty of serving in the Commission at its chairman and members.