The number of job seekers for cadre service (class one gazetted officer in government service) has been increasing gradually, according to statistics of Bangladesh Public Service Commission (BPSC).
A total of 115,164 candidates applied for the 28th Bangladesh Civil Service (BCS) examinations in 2008 while a total of 412,000 applied for the 40th BCS examinations in 2018.
Former PCS chairman Saadat Husain said interest in BCS is increasing for three reasons. The number of youth has increased in the country. Government service salary has increased. Jobs opportunities in the private sector have not increased.
Present PCS chairman Muhammed Sadique said a large number of successful BCS candidates get jobs in non-cadre service. That is one of the reasons that more candidates are applying for BCS, he added.
Most of the persons who go to study at the Sufia Kamal National Library at Dhaka’s Shahbagh and also at the Dhaka University central library, are BCS candidates. Both the libraries open at 8am but many wait outside since early morning.
Mahbubur Rahman completed his post graduate studies in political science from the National University. He goes to the national library regularly.
Mahbubur Rahman said he wants to join government service. He has passed the 40th BCS preliminary test. Now he is preparing for the written examinations, he added.
National library administrative officer Mahbubur Rahman said the number of readers has increased now by three to four fold compared to five years ago. The library can cater to 700 readers at a time, he added.
As youth show interest in BCS, various guide books are available in the market. Books related to BCS are being sold at Nilkhet market in the capital.
Female students are also interested for the government jobs. The number of female candidates in BCS preliminary examinations is increasing every year. Tasneem Sultana is a fourth year student at Jagannath University. She is also preparing for BCS examinations.
She said, “I have seen senior students to preparing for BCS while they are at the university. My friends and I are preparing too. Now the competition is very hard so we are taking preparing in advance.”
According to a recent BRAC study on youth, 57 per cent of females and 42 per cent of males want to join government services.
Former professor of English Department at Dhaka University, Syed Manzoorul Islam, said earlier the cadre officials had low salary so many chose to work at banks. Now the situation has changed. Currently session jam has lessened so a candidate can apply more than once and the number of applications has increased, he added.
*This report, originally originally published in Prothom Alo print edition, has been rewritten in English by Rabiul Islam.