A big jolt to SPSC

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IN a landmark judgement, the Supreme Court has declared competitive examinations conducted by Sindh Public Service Commission (SPSC) from 2013 to 2016 as null and void and ordered holding of fresh tests for the combined competitive examinations. The court also directed provincial government to appoint ‘a person of integrity and competence’ as Chairman of the SPSC.
The decision might put a halt to the process of degeneration in the civil services of the country in the backdrop of increased complaints and reports of irregularities and corrupt practices that have crept in over the years. Worst is the case of Sindh where, as per allegations, large-scale irregularities were committed by provincial Public Service Commission in appointments made during competitive examinations. A competent and honest bureaucracy is essential to run the state machinery but regrettably we have been compromising recruitment process for petty considerations and vested interests. What happened in SPSC has jolted the civil services and eroded faith and confidence of people in the ability of the Commissions to hold fair and transparent examinations and induct officers purely on merit. In fact, this is not confined to Sindh Public Service Commission alone as, to some extent, all Commissions are afflicted with the malaise. In the recently concluded written tests of FPSC for competitive examination 2017, there were media reports of leakage of papers especially those of English and one can understand the edge the beneficiary candidates will have over other candidates, who attempted the toughest papers on their own. There were also reports that at many examination centres students were allowed to carry mobile phones and many of them did seek outside assistance while solving papers. This is time for Federal and Provincial Governments as well as management of these Commissions to look into these issues and points raised by the top court and take remedial measures without loss of time.