Print Edition - 2015-02-04 | Nation
Applicants want PSC exams decentralised
Feb 3, 2015-
Sujan Bista came to Kathmandu two months ago with dream of landing a job in civil service. Bista, a native of Dharan in eastern Nepal, moans about the Public Service Commission’s (PSC) provision to conduct exams for officer-level technical positions in the metropolis only.
The PSC is a constitutional body entrusted to appoint candidates in civil service. As sarkari jagir (government job) is highly popular in the country, the commission receives thousands of applications against few vacancies it announces. Hopefuls make huge investment to get through the selection process which is notorious for being extremely tough.
Close to 300,000 people, on average, apply for different government positions in a year. “It would have been easier to take the exams near home,” Bista said. He is appearing for the exams of Highway Engineer and Irrigation Engineer scheduled at the end of this month.
All technical gazetted third-class officer level examinations, except for School Supervisor, are held in Kathmandu. Also centralised are examinations for foreign service. As per official stipulation, Bista had to travel to PSC’s Eastern Regional Directorate in Dhankuta to apply for the position. He then came to the Capital to enrol in preparatory classes which are conspicuously absent elsewhere outside the Valley. All this has been a tremendous financial burden for Bista whose expenses have crossed Rs 30,000 so far.
Gita Kumari Humagain, under secretary at the PSC, said low turnout of applicants for technical positions as the principal reason to centralise examinations. “There are incidences when we receive zero applications,” she said.
This year, 353 technical officer-level vacancies are open for government service. Addition of 72 new municipalities in May and 61 more in December last year led to higher number of vacancies this time.
The verified name list of technical officer-level positions available at PSC’s website shows that 16,114 candidates for the upcoming exams in Kathmandu alone. Applicants find this number large enough to entrust PSC’s regional offices to conduct exams locally. “Preparation of questions and their transportation to regional offices for only a handful of examinees is not economically feasible,” Humagain said.
People like Bista believe federalism, which has been a dividing issue in the Constituent Assembly, will enable the commission to delegate its exam duties regionally. “There have been repeated calls from stakeholders to transfer authority from the centre but no progress has been made yet,” Humagain said. “A common man is compelled to go through all this trouble for employment despite completing university education,” Bista said.
Published: 04-02-2015 09:07