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Dhaka Tribune

Experts suggest quota system review

Update : 12 Jul 2013, 03:29 AM

The quota system in the Bangladesh Civil Service (BCS) examinations needs to be reviewed, suggested a former cabinet secretary, a former chairman and a former member of the Public Service Commission (PSC) Thursday.

Pointing out that under the current quota system many talented examinees will fail to qualify for the civil service, which might have an impact on the civil administration in the long run, they told the Dhaka Tribune Thursday.

They commented that although the quota system might have justification in some cases, its percentage should be decreased.

“There are some problems in the present quota system. This needs to be reviewed,” former Adviser to the caretaker government and a former Cabinet Secretary Akbar Ali Khan told the Dhaka Tribune.

He said: “Even if there can be quota for some sectors, the percentage should be less than the current one. There should be quota for disadvantaged groups, but it should not be a permanent arrangement.”

“When the quota system was introduced back in 1972, there was fewer numbers of districts whereas the number now is 64 and this is creating problems,” Khan said.

Under the present system, 55% of candidates are taken from quotas while 45% are selected according to their merit. Of the 55%, freedom fighters’ sons, daughters, grandsons and granddaughters get 30%, women 10%, small ethnic groups 5% and those under the district quota get 10% of jobs under the civil service.

Former Chairman of the PSC, SMA Faiz thought there was justification of quota for freedom fighters’, but the quota system for their children and grandsons might create divisions among future generations.

“The government should seriously rethink the quota system,” he said.

Former member of the PSC and a professor at Dhaka University’s Public Administration Department, Mohammad Mohabbat Khan said, the quota system should be reviewed.

“If we want a first grade civil service, we need first class graduates and for this it should be ensured that the talented are recruited in the civil service.”

Mohabbat suggested that, initially the government can reduce the percentage of quota and merit-based recruitment should be made in 80% cases.

Meanwhile, PSC Chairman AT Ahmedul Huq Chowdhury is yet to take any decision on reviewing the quota system.

In its 2011 annual report, PSC had proposed launching a simpler quota system, arguing it is not possible to select eligible candidates fairly under the current quota system.

In the report, PSC said the implementation of the current policy regarding the quota system is “very much complex, difficult and requires (too) much time.”

However, no review has so far been done following the proposal.  

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