Recruitment : Make it just and fair
The unpleasant occurrence that took place on 17 September at Pabna during the recruitment examination of some staff for DC Office has generated strong resentment among the members of the civil society and bureaucracy as a whole since some unruly persons wanted to foil the process of recruitment to get their entry in the services of the Republic by force. The motive behind baffling the examination was obviously blaming the administration with a bad name like indulging in question leakage while most examinees firmly opined the accusation as untrue and intentional. Even the Deputy Commissioner, Pabna openly denied the allegations as baseless.
For the last few months, abundant instances are observed in almost all departments influence of money and mussel, party and politics during recruitment of officials and supporting staff like health assistant, primary school teachers, family planning workers, so on and so forth.
In fact, the value system is at a collapsing situation particularly in case of recruitment to the key posts of services of the Republic. Sometimes it is very surprising to hear that a poor candidate is paying few lacs of taka for an ordinary job of class iv status, most of the time, at the instigation of some touts who allure innocents to become rich within short time through 'serving the public'.
The reason for such greed is surely to indulge in naked corruption to blemish the whole public administration system. None should undermine the role of a member of lower subordinate services (MLSS) to bring a disastrous situation for the administration in case of land record, procurement of goods and services and jeopardizing the total security system at the key points of installations. Thus there is every reason to get alarmed in case of recruitment of any undesirable and incompetent person in the services of the Republic.
The culture of corruption in terms of personal gains and naked partisan acts for party or politics might create an environment which shall dismantle the very fabric of conscience of the citizens and heritage of the nation.
Thus any type of manipulation in terms of question leakage, replacing answer script or marking high during oral interview etc must be stopped for the sake of justice and equity to establish trust and credibility in the governance system of the Republic.
The services of the Republic belong to the country's people, not to politicians or parties in power. The recruitment to civil services is therefore based on meritocracy guided by certain rules framed by the government from time to time. In China, which can be traced as far back as Qin Dynasty (221-207 BC) during the recruitment in the Imperial Bureaucracy, merit was the answer. In modern Brazil, civil servants are hired through competitive entrance exams conducted by the University of Brasilia through a process very transparent and acceptable to all for its value system and thus Brazil emerged as a very promising developing country at present.
Bangladesh Public Service Commission has been established as a quasi-judicial body to act as an independent entity under the Articles 137 to 141 of the Constitution.
This is not only to make a fair recruitment but also to safeguard the interest of the public servants for which no major penalty could be imposed to a cadre officer without the recommendation of the Commission.
No state of any extent can be ruled without a bureaucracy with merit and visionary ideas to understand problems and resolve those with prudence. The efficiency of the government depends on its officials who are in charge of executing programmes and projects in perspective. To build up an efficient and capable bureaucracy, recruitment must be fair and ideal to respond to the need of the hour.
The government has drafted the Civil Services Act with the provision of building an acceptable bureaucracy capable of implementing the vision 2021 and translating the charter of change into actions. Equally the Government Servants (Conduct) Rules framed in 1979 should be reviewed to make them more responsive to the democratic norms with changed attitude and demeanor to the public and politicians. The Government Servant (Discipline and Appeal) Rules, 1985 now in force is not adequate to impose major punishment for which government takes the shelter of compulsory retirement rules to get rid of an unwanted person after rendering 25 years of service. For the sake of justice and equity, this is against the fundamental right and not tenable in the eye of the law.
As regards the recruitments of sub-ordinate staff, Ministry of Establishment has issued many orders almost for each post but most of them framed during the regime of autocratic governments need review to suit the present situation, particularly the democratic climate prevailing now in the country. If these are not reviewed urgently there will be contrast and conflict of interest in recruitment of pubic servants at the district and Upazila level and most departments in near future which will surely tell upon the image of the government.