Federal Public Service Commission’s credibility in question


The credibility of the Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC), one of the country’s most esteemed institutions, came into question after some of its Central Superior Service (CSS) exams were leaked and went viral days before the exams were scheduled to take place.

A Facebook account going by the name Sadia Kousar posted the exam questions days before the exam. The leak was confirmed to be legitimate after the same questions appeared on the exam conducted several days later.

Sadia Kousar posted English essay topics on January 26 and the exam was conducted on Feb 16, with some of the topics appearing in both versions. Similarly, some questions of the current affairs paper were also same.

The provider of these guess papers demanded an amount ranging from Rs 40,000 to 80,000 and a copy of the CNIC of CSS aspirants in exchange for information on exams to come.

Talking to Pakistan Today, former bureaucrat Kazi Afaq Hossain said that the alleged leaks were really unfortunate, as the FPSC was among those very few institutions left in the country which are trusted by the people.

“In our times, one could not even think of pursuing such shortcuts. It raises legitimate questions about the functioning of the FPSC,” Hossain said.

“The chairman of the FPSC must resign and the CSS exams for the year 2017 must put to a halt,” the former federal secretary added.

Ahtisham Jan Butt, a teacher who has been coaching CSS aspirants in Pakistan affairs, current affairs and international relations for over a decade, told Pakistan Today that money makers had infiltrated the system because of structural and administrative flaws within the FPSC.

“The question papers for current affairs and Pakistan affairs were set by two former bureaucrats of the Pakistani foreign service instead of people hailing from academia,” he told this scribe.

The alleged Sadia Kousar is a close associate of former bureaucrats of the foreign service, Ahtisham added. “The government has politicised the office of the FPSC chairperson and the appointment of incumbent Chairman Naveed Akram Cheema was a political as well,” Ahtisham said.

He further added that there must be a wing of paper setters in the FPSC and these paper setters must be paid lucrative salaries to avoid such sad incidents. According to FPSC rules, the papers cannot be set by anyone who is not at least an assistant professor, but the two papers had been set by former bureaucrats.

The international relations exam is scheduled for Monday and Sadia Kousar has demanded an amount of Rs 80,000 for in exchange for another leak. Ahtisham said that the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) must arrest the culprits before Monday morning.

“The FPSC is a symbol of the federation of Pakistan and a severe crisis could emerge if the government is unable to bring about the drastic but necessary structural changes required,” he concluded.

Dr Muhammad Afzal Ali, a CSS aspirant from Lahore told this scribe that the standard of the civil service would nosedive if such things continued in the future. “The brain drain is already on the rise in the medical profession and such incidents will force the medical community to avoid appearing for CSS examinations,” he said.

The Special Investigation Unit of the FIA has launched an inquiry to probe the matter.


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