By: Shehryar Lashari
Balochistan is the largest province of the country in terms area but despite having immense riches of minerals as well as strategic importance, the infrastructure and human development conditions have been worse. The most terrible aspect of this backwardness has been the state of education. Literacy index speaks of it. Potential of youth goes untapped which makes the formation of a middle class still a mirage.
Balochistan has a meager share of federal jobs that is just 6% and provincial coveted seats are also not as many they should have been.
The provincial civil services exam conducted by Balochistan Public Service Commission (PSCC) has been announced only after the tiresome wait of 4 years in October last year and applicants thought it favorable considering the number of seats. Exam was expected in March/April this year which did not take place. Many candidates of CSS missed CE-2016 for they opted for PCS which is not as frequent as CSS but PCS exam was delayed and finally the schedule was announced for August the 20th, which was again postponed due to reasons not as tangible. Now, for the second time, the schedule has been announced for 19th November to 9th December for PCS and 14th to 16th November for Tehsildari exams.
This schedule is both imprudent and unsuitable considering the problems attached to it. There are three issues and even single one of them is more genuine and strong than the reason which was responsible for postponing the exams back in August.
Firstly, the dates of exam have head to head collision with MA/Msc exam of UoB which is starting from 15 November and candidates who have applied for both exams are in hundreds, who will miss one of these exams for the sake of other. Both PCS and Masters’ Exams are very important for them because PCS exam has been announced after long 4 years which they cannot afford to miss and masters’ exam is important because the eligibility criteria for CSS 2018 will be 16 years of education. Hundreds of candidates will miss CSS 2018 and also hundreds of candidates will miss PCS exam and also Masters which will be a disaster for the province, already having a tiny share in bureaucracy.
Secondly, the potential candidates of CSS will be left with no time for CE-2017 if they take PCS exam on the dates announced by BPSC. And the results, which are already discouraging, will get even worse and the seats will go back to the system if not allocated this time. This is the more threatening aspect of this problem for a place like Balochistan which is already suffering regarding the federal covered jobs.
And last but the most significant reason is the security concerns of the aspirants of PCS. We have already had two very unfortunate and terrible incidents of mass killing in Quetta within a span of two months. The venue for the PCS exam is Ayub Stadium Quetta which, God forbid, can be another soft target for terrorists. The consequences can be catastrophic and apocalyptic. Nobody likes to even think about it, such is the terror of such an incident. More than 8000 people would be present in the stadium and hundreds may be present in the streets leading to the stadium. Quetta is a small city and people living there, would know that what will be the state of traffic and crowds in the surroundings. This is a very genuine reason, aspirants are afraid.
They cannot focus on studies now, and they will be taking exams in immense threat since they cannot perform well in the exams.
So, the aspirants seem requesting to the authorities and BPSC to postpone the exams for later dates which will resolve the first two problems of candidates and the venue of the exams must be transferred to a place more secure and suitable.
No secular event or exam is more important than lives of people and if only the dates of an exam are causing so many problems to the applicants then why stick to it stubbornly? BPSC has improved its reputation in recent years and the respected chairman does not want to ruin it again. The applicants are also the stakeholders of this institution and they want to become more credible and strong as well as facilitator to the applicants.
The honorable Mr. Chairman is requested to kindly deliberate on later dates for the exam to make it convenient for candidates as well as the authorities. The respected Cheif Minister, Chief Secretary and all authorities appealed to use their good offices to resolve the issue and postpone the exams for later dates to accommodate all potential candidates with peaceful and secure environment which is significant for the candidates.
Published in The Balochistan Point on October 31, 2016
Disclaimer: Views expressed in this article are those of the author and The Balochistan Point not necessarily agrees with them.