BCS exam gridlock: Free jobseekers of uncertainty

EditorialProthom Alo illustration

Cadre and non-cadre government jobs come through the Public Service Commission (PSC). PSC had said that they will complete one BCS exam every year. The preliminary exam of 45th BCS was held on 19 May. It’s only the beginning of the lengthy BCS exam procedure.

Then there’s the written test. Those who’ll clear the written test would have the chance to appear in the viva-voce.  PSC make recommendations to recruit those passing the viva-voce, as per government’s demand.

Though the preliminary exam of 45th BCS has already been held, PSC hasn’t yet processed the previous three BCS exams. The viva-voce of the 41st BCS is running. Meanwhile, written test results of the 43rd and 44th BCS are awaited.

Whereas PSC had planned to hold one BCS exam every year the gridlock of four different exams isn’t acceptable at al. The jobseeker who applied for the 41st BCS exam back in 2019, still doesn’t know when the final results will be out.

A huge chunk of the jobseekers are aged around 30. Once they have crossed this age limit, they won’t be able to apply for new jobs anymore.

The Daily Star reports, PSC currently has been processing four different BCS exams the 41st, 42nd, 43rd and the 44th respectively. Since exams aren’t held regularly, PCS is failing to fill the vacant posts through BCS every year.

Counting in cadre and non-cadre categories, at least 16,000 posts are supposed to be filled through these four BCs exams. PCS has taken around two years to complete the written test of 43rd BCS.

It’s leant from a report published in Prothom Alo on 21 May that PSC had published the result of 40th BCS towards the end of March last year. Although it’s been more than a year, the non-cadre list hasn’t been published yet.

In this case alongside manpower crisis and non-cooperation on the part of a class of examiners, PSC has blamed this onto corona pandemic as well.

It cannot be denied that the number of examinee going up has put extra pressure on PSC. They should employ the necessary number of workforce required to hold BCS exams in a fair and timely manner.

But there’s no logic behind keeping hundreds of thousand jobseekers amid uncertainties in the name of taking exams.

PSC has increased the number of members already. In that case, holding viva-voce shouldn’t be an issue. The commission should also increase monitoring on the matter of examiners evaluating the written test scripts on time.

Reasons for the delay in script evaluation have to be identified as well. Even many examiners aren’t interested in script evaluation because of lower payments.

Incumbent PSC chairman Sohrab Hossain after assuming office in 2021 had talked of forming a roadmap to reduce the gridlock of BCS exam. That did not happen in reality.

PSC has considered corona as an obstruction in this case. But corona isn’t the only obstacle. PSC finished taking exam of 42nd special BCS for appointing physicians amidst corona after all. And, the concerned persons have also been appointed.   

If necessary, PSC’s workforce has to be increased. But job seekers cannot be kept amid uncertainties for years. If the BCS exams are delayed, it’s not that only the current jobseekers are getting affected, future jobseekers will be affected too.

Therefore PSC needs to take effective and sustainable steps to untangle the knot of BCS exam and it needs to be taken right now.