ISLAMABAD: Women and minorities of Pakistan are failing to fill up their reserved quota in the Central Superior Services (CSS) exams resulting in piling up of their vacancies.
In the last CSS exam, despite nearly a hundred unfilled vacant posts carry forward over the years for minorities against their prescribed quota, only one candidate managed to pass the exam. Where minorities are failing to fill up their quota from everywhere, women from Balochistan and Sindh are seen to be falling behind in the Central Superior Services exams.
The quota for women and minorities regarding appointments to the Pakistan Civil Services is 10 and 5pc from each province respectively. However, both sections of society seem to have given up.
The statistics from official sources not only portray their failure in the exam, but also mere appearance of women in the exams. Though, minorities appeared in huge numbers for CSS exams in the recent years, yet they failed to pass and fill up their posts for the top civil services of the country.
Wajid Rana, former FPSC member and secretary finance, told The News that both groups should be encouraged to appear for the federal competitive exams so that they served civil services just like the Pakistan Air Force and Army.
"A one-time decision was taken a few years ago and a special exam was announced for women across Pakistan just to fill up their piling vacant posts. Rural Sindh managed to cope up at that time but the situation has now gone back to where it was," he said, maintaining, "Despite sincere efforts by the commission to encourage minorities to appear for CSS exams, they don't show up".
Reasoning the rising number of vacant posts of women from Sindh and Balochistan, Rana explained that the lowest number of women appear for the exams from the areas resulting in piling up the overall vacant posts for their gender. Interestingly, In 2012/2013 CSS exams, total occupation by women in the civil services stood at 35pc. "One cannot say that women are being neglected but they show up less in civil services exams, Rana added.
The vacant posts which come under each of the specific quotas do not elapse and are carry forwarded to ensure their representation in the superior services as per their reserved quota. Another official told The News that the vacant posts belonging to any group (women/minorities in this case) are to be filled by the same group. "The opportunity for women in the PAS is 10pc from every province which is plentiful and despite it we hear a hue and cry from some sections in Pakistan that women lack opportunities," he added.
In the 2019 exam, despite nearly a hundred unfilled vacant posts for minorities which piled up over the years, only one managed to pass, he revealed. In 2020, vacant posts for women in the CSS rose up to 21pc of the total vacant posts across Pakistan. Out of it, Sindh remains at top failing to fill up its women quota. Only Sindh contributes up to 53pc of the total vacant posts for women in the country with 30pct of women vacancies from rural areas and 23pc from urban areas of the province.
Balochistan comes in second making up to 25pc of the total vacant posts for women countrywide. KP and GB/ex-Fata are third, failing to achieve 10pc of the specific gender posts while Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab have left no vacancy and have filled up their women quota in the CSS examinations till 2020, according to the data available with The News.
The data further shows that the total number of unfilled vacancies have increased from 2016 to 2020. The number of vacant posts in 2020 stood at 226, more than the previous year's vacant posts. As women are struggling to fill up their posts especially in Balochistan and Sindh, minorities are also experiencing the same. Out of the total vacant posts, 43pc belong to the minorities. Interestingly, in 2017, the minority vacancies out of the total stood at 20pc which has spiked enormously to 43pc in 2020. In 2020, the total carry forward unfilled posts for minorities stood at 98. The data of 2020 gathered by The News reflects that Punjab contributes almost half of the total vacant posts for minorities across Pakistan, followed by Sindh, KP, Balochistan, GB/ex-Fata and AJK.
The FPSC has raised the issues over the years with authorities concerned to invite the attention of policymakers to take appropriate measures so that both women and minorities take full benefit of the reserved quota.