By: Ansar Abbasi

ISLAMABAD: It may sound unbelievable but the facts reveal that the country with a population of 200 million could not get enough educated youth to fill a small number of civil service vacancies as the last six years data show dozens of posts remain unfilled every year.

The poor result of CSS 2016 though made the headlines on the basis of what the FPSC disclosed through its May 10th press note, the information not shared with public is far more worrisome.

Informed official sources revealed and the Establishment Division confirms that after the 2016 CSS examination almost 40 per cent of Central Superior Services (CSS) posts remained unfilled because fewer number of candidates passed the CSS exam.

Following the latest CSS debacle, the FPSC has constituted a committee to review the situation and determine the causes for such a fall in the CSS competition. Although the FPSC press note showed that out of 199 -- total number of candidates who had passed the 2016 exam -- 193 got the appointments, Establishment Division when approached confirmed that the total vacancies available were 351. It means 158 vacancies could not be filled because of non-availability of qualified candidates.

Interestingly, itís not the situation that the country has confronted for the first time in the CSS exam for 2016. The phenomenon of carried over vacancies because of shortage of eligible candidates is haunting the country for the last several years.

During the last few years the percentage of candidates who pass the exam though fall drastically, even before that the available vacancies could not be filled for want of qualified candidates from all regions and provinces. Traditionally, the candidates who pass the CSS exam mainly belong to Punjab and KPK but all of them even could not be appointed because of the quota system.

Quota system protects rights of all regions to join central superior services but not enough candidates pass the CSS from some regions, including Balochistan and Sindh rural owing to which the representation of these regions in civil services decreases.

Official figures show that for the 2016 CSS exam, the government had announced a total of 351 vacancies but only 193 vacancies could be allocated to qualified candidates. These vacancies include 251 fresh vacancies and 100 additional carried over vacancies (which could not be filled in previous years). The percentage of those who passed the CSS 2016 exam (written and viva voce) was 2.09 percent only.

In 2015, this percentage was 3.1 percent. During that year against a total of 333 vacancies only 238 eligible candidates got the appointment. The 333 CSS vacancies in 2015, included 242 fresh vacancies and 91 carried over vacancies.

In 2014, the percentage of candidates who passed the exam was 2.86 percent. That year the total CSS vacancies announced by the government were 315 but only 233 successful candidates got recruitment.

The year 2013 was the worst in terms of the pass percentage of the CSS candidates. During 2013 only 1.93 per cent passed the exam. The same year 195 officers got the recruitment against the 265 total available vacancies.

During 2011 and 2012, the pass percentage of the CSS candidates was quite good -- 8.67 and 7.83 respectively -- yet the available vacancies could not be filled because of the impact of regional quota. In 2012, against 247 total vacancies, 218 officers got the jobs whereas in 2011, out of 284 total vacancies 239 were allocated civil service positions.