President stresses quality improvement in civil service with ‘right person for right job’

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President Dr Arif Alvi on Wednesday called for bringing qualitative improvement in the civil service by ensuring the selection of the right person for the right job, besides updating the examination process for recruitment.

The president said the Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC), being the top examining authority of the country, should be perfect and should match the world standards in terms of its members’ skill set, examination, and selection procedures for government departments.

He made these remarks during a meeting with FPSC Chairman Captain (retd) Zahid Saeed, who called on him to present the Annual Report 2021 of FPSC, here at the Aiwan-e-Sadr. FPSC Secretary Syed Hasnain Mehdi, and senior officials of the Establishment Division and President’s Secretariat attended the meeting.

The president said for the interviews, standard questions should be selected and evaluated, and the response of the interviewer should be calibrated and quantified on a statistical and scientific basis.

These methods, he said, should be continuously improved upon by benchmarking best practices around the world, using technology to rule out biases, and seeking external help to evaluate the examination and selection criteria.

He said the FPSC should hire a consultant with excellent repute and relevant experience to evaluate its examination and selection criteria, identify the improvements needed, and recommend solutions to bring it on par with the best selection and recruiting agencies of the world.

President Alvi said the recruitment process should be made more efficient and transparent by incorporating the latest Information and Communications Technology (ICT) tools. The FPSC, being the top-examining body, should make efforts to improve the availability of quality human resources for the government by bringing improvements and updating the selection process at par with world standards.

He said the processes for making high-level selection and recruitment required to be improved continuously by using sophisticated examination and interviewing techniques to ensure that the candidates match the required criteria.

He also expressed concern over the non-fulfillment of posts reserved in quota for minorities, women quota in rural Sindh, and quota for Balochistan. Such posts should be filled on priority without compromising on standards, the integrity of selection process, and the quality of candidates, he added.

The FPSC chairman presented the Annual Report 2021 of the Commission and informed the president that last year, it conducted national-level exams smoothly despite the COVID-19 pandemic and observed the relevant SOPs (standard operating procedures).

He highlighted that under General Recruitment, the FPSC received 509,955 applications during 2021, and recommended 2161 candidates for appointment against different posts.

He said in 2021, the FPSC received 39,650 applications for the CSS (Central Superior Services) Competitive Examination 2021, in which 17,240 candidates appeared in the written exam and 365 of them qualified for interviews. The Commission, he added, also conducted the first-ever Multiple-Choice Questions Based Preliminary Test (MPT) for the CSS candidates, in which 61,725 applications were received.