Home / Editorial / Need to create a system that is fair to all
There is something utterly wrong with the way we plan job creation in this country. Even as we are already grappling with the challenge of excess supply of jobseekers, our methods to address the problems are further complicating the already grave employment situation in the country.

Need to create a system that is fair to all

There is something utterly wrong with the way we plan job creation in this country. Even as we are already grappling with the challenge of excess supply of jobseekers, our methods to address the problems are further complicating the already grave employment situation in the country.

The Royal Civil Service Commission (RCSC) introduced Position Classification System. At the front and centre of the move was to overhaul the system that had lived its time. And because the system was designed to bring improvement over the ‘archaic’ cadre system and to make civil service small, compact and efficient, this required civil servants to upgrade their qualification.

All’s fine until here. But how does the system help create employment space in the civil service? Civil service is still the biggest employer in the country because we have failed to strengthen our small and weedy private sector. And how fair is the classification system? Almost a decade since Position Classification System was introduced, it continues to generate rigorous debate.

Employment, or rather the absolute lack of it, has become a serious issue in the country. Efforts are being made to ameliorate the situation what with small grants and overseas employment opportunities. These immediate measures, however, do not guarantee long-term success, because along with good measures must also come encouraging financial opportunities for young entrepreneurs.

While we may find courage to applaud ourselves for being able to reduce the overall unemployment figure in the country, we have created vast pool of young people who are terminally unemployed. This will present unhealthy social development in the country. Already we are compelled to face growing youth problems, especially in the urban centres.

What is urgently necessary, therefore, is streamlining the systems to ease the bottlenecks that we face today. Only then will we be able to make our civil service strong, compact and efficient. Also, at the same time, we will have addressed youth unemployment situation commendably as we must.

It is crucial that we create a system that is fair to all. Civil servants who wish to upgrade their qualification should quit their job, complete their studies and compete with young graduates for civil service jobs. What is unfair to young graduates today is that they face competition from those who already hold job in the civil service. At the same time, civil servants who have qualified for RCSC slots after common examinations should be given the push to cross stagnation point in their career.

Unless we straighten these creases in the system out, unemployment scenario in the country will continue to grow. We need multisectorial initiatives to solve youth unemployment, which is perhaps, the greatest challenge of our time. Achieving this, we will also have effectively saved enormous government resources, particularly in education.

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6 comments

  1. We expect some responds on the issue from RCSC.

  2. In addition, we would like to add few more thoughts on this subject;
    1. BCSR 2012 was amended on the provision to issue eligibility certificate. What was the logic behind?. Is it officially amended since it is not accessible to us. Perhaps, this provision was given deeper meaning to provide opportunity to the candidates ( in-service and pre-service) eligible for recruitment if the new post was announced for such entry within a year. There are lot of civil servants recruited like this. The amendment has provided another chance to the already advantaged candidate who are recruited ( where there is water there is rain – Bhutanese saying) and is not fair at all.
    2. The recent announcements for new scholarship and higher studies especially for Masters degree, RCSC has added an criteria that the candidate should have bachelors degree at the time of entry into civil service or should be RCSC select. This criteria has defeated the meaning of qualifications…because CV of concerned civil servants who have completed Bachelors Degree have been indicated as Completed. I understand it as recognized by RCSC but otherwise not. Then, what should be done with such cases. Should RCSC take this into consideration or delete it from CV because the purpose is not served by it. If not, RCSC should provide opportunity and make eligible for open competition of the post and further studies once the obligation to serve the service have been fulfilled.
    3. What is the differences between the Diploma holder and degree holder. I am confident that a degree holder has more scientific knowledge and skills gained from the studies. We find differences especially in documentation process which is weak at the moment. There are lot other areas that has vast differences made by the qualification and studies b I got contributed in the field. Now when it looks like same as expressed by Kachen, we feel another area unfair for both the category.
    4. Last but not the least, we have big question with the appeal result for the written examination and Viva Voce. The marks obtained are extremely lower than expected. We don’t know if individual marks are given to another candidates when papers were coded for corrections. Every time, the result is NO CHANGE. It is not accessible to the candidate. I think it should be made accessible to candidate in presence of committee to recount the marks and authenticate that it is the paper of the individual.
    Therefore, we request RCSC to kindly tell ok into these areas and decide if it is worth amending. With honesty, these unfair approaches of today has really affected many people and demotivated especially the in-service. Pre-service is not the exception.

  3. While we highly appreciate the clean and fair civil service recruitment system adopted by RCSC, I’d like to put forth following points and suggestions for further improvement of the process;
    1. Civil Service slots – Unlike in the past, RCSC is being very stern with the number of graduates being recruited every year. This, as we understand is the attempt by RCSC to maintain small and compact civil service.
    However, the limited slots are being floated for both pre and in-service candidates. Going by the trend, lion’s share of the slots are being taken by in-service candidates who infact are already accounted within the current civil service strength. So, if serious math is done, the number of new civil servants recruited annually are far less than what is reflected through announcement of vacancies.
    2. Fighting for small pie – The limited slots are filled in mostly by in-service candidates. This robs the opportunity of the pre-service candidates resulting in many young and fresh graduates remaining jobless. Take out in-service, the slots could have been rightfully theirs.
    3. Serious need to reconsider civil service recruitment modality: We feel that there is serious need to reconsider the modality of civil service recruitment process. RCSC should solely dedicate the approved slots for pre-service candidates. This is because when the ministries and agencies put up requisitions, their requisition is for new personnel, to top up to what they already have.
    This is in the backdrop of many ministries and agencies citing human resource shortage as one of the reasons for not achieving planned targets.
    When it comes to in-service candidates, RCSC must consider them not having to compete for the slots. While in-service candidates must go through the same process in terms of appearing Preliminary and Main Exams, those able to get through in both exams may be considered selected but without necessarily providing grade jump to bachelor holder’s civil service entry grade/Grade 7/P4.
    This is because many of the in-service candidates are either already in the grade mentioned above or are due for that grade. Hence, such entry grade has not much of benefits to the in-service candidates.
    If RCSC is seriously looking for recruiting the best and brightest, in-service candidates who aren’t, gets already filtered in those exams. It takes much effort, intelligence, knowledge and many other qualities to make through these two tough exams. Therefore, even for in-service candidates, except for handful, majority fails to secure cut off in PE itself.
    The other possible and logical option is, if RCSC still want to go for brightest among in-service candidates, different slots solely for in-service candidates can be worked out. Such a modality will make it fair for pre-service to compete among themselves while in-service can do so among themselves.
    In-service candidates certainly has an edge over pre-service candidates because earlier has not only acquired degree but has huge field or practical experiences. Most in-service candidates has served in civil service more than five years, without which RCSC doesn’t approve upgradation.

    4. Inflow could be far less than outflow – Although sensible number of slots or vacancies are tendered, seriously working on math, the number of entry in civil service could be far less. This is because annual recruitment includes majority of the in-service, who are already within the 26,000 something civil servants.
    On the other hand, many civil servants exits through several means such as retirements, early retirements, termination etc. Hence, the inflow could be far less than civil servants outflow.
    5. Waste of Govt. resources – Majority of the graduates (both pre and in-service) have done their studies on govt. scholarships. For instance, in-service gets full salary for whole study period which extends to 2 to 4 years. Logically, they are contributing nothing to govt. while on study. In addition, in-service students studying within the countries are paid monthly stipends.
    One typical example
    A grade 8 in-service
    Salary for 2 years = 23,000x2x12 = 5,52,000
    Stipend = 5000x2x12 = 1,20,000
    Tuition fee = 84,0000×2 = 16,80,000

    So, govt expenses for one comes to = 23,52,000 (Close to 2 and half million)

    6. Sacrifices – Upgradation for in-service entailed lots of sacrifices. Families had to be left behind. Many had to sacrifice their time with the family. Few had to left behind toddlers. Juggling between their job and study, preparation for numerous RCSC grillings such as PE, ME and VIVA was another sacrifices. Not only that, lots of expenditure was expended having to report to Thimphu for all these. Some had to come from all the way in extreme east and different other parts of the Country.

    7. Degree unaccounted – In-service who could not get selected lost 6 months seniority in service, since out of 24 months, only 18 months were accounted as active service. So, it was a loss for those in-service who pursued degree but didn’t get selected in RCSC.
    8. In addition, having degree certificate is no benefit since, the career ladder is same with the diploma and certificate holder. A diploma holder and BCSE unselected degree holder can rise same upto P2 level.
    So, it was just a waste of time, torture in doing assignments, exams and other college works. Studying in old age is quite difficult. Brains do not work like that of young ones. But despite all such drawbacks, upgradation was done expecting our efforts will get rewarded. But with RCSC filtering, these are all waste, It’s back to square one.

    Therefore, we would immensely appreciate if RCSC could seriously consider all these and relook and revisit the recruitment process in the interest of making it fair for both pre and in-service candidates. Earnestly hoping RCSC will soon inculcate the changes.

    A well wisher.

  4. Unfair to both category. For pre-service candidates it’s a threat and competition from the in-service candidates and for in service it’s another harassment when RCSC doesn’t recognize as RCSC select when the candidates have obtained more than 50% in common examination. I state here as harassment because in-service candidates have to adjust time for preparation of examination and at the same time perform his/her job regularly. It is not always easy to handle this sort of situation. We need to sacrifice lot such as time, family, earned leave, money and of course health. I think no one from RCSC and concerned HR Officers really understand this situation.
    Now it is full stop for In-service candidates carrier path who are not recognized as RCSC select even when they have obtained more than 60% in the common examination. These candidates can’t pursue his/her master degree because the criteria that RCSC demands is RCSC SELECT. Many such candidates have been demoralized at this juncture. To me, 3 papers written examination, viva voce does not justify to test the capability of the candidates. The study for 2-4 years to complete bachelors degree is not easy. All that was gained are now drained. I should have been briefed about this criteria before RCSC provided training opportunities. All we recall is if an in-Service candidate obtains more than 50% , its FINE. Now it’s not the case.
    It’s useless to share our ideas of this sort, because such appeal was not considered by RCSC since last year. But just to share few ideas to all about the situation laa. If considered otherwise, then many in-service candidates would remain thankful and motivated..

  5. Over a period of 12 years till the XII th standard, we have a system with our students competing fiercely for a promotion at the end of each academic year. The competition may not be assumed uniform in terms of difficulties moving from one class to another even though examination system remains equally testing every year. We all are very much used to that system and expect students to be adequately qualified, reasonably learned and handsomely educated at the end of it where they are ready for more rewarding education that awaits them in higher levels of university education. Even universities and colleges have their limitations and students find themselves restricted to different streams and branches of education; the completion of which keeps them open to fierce competition in today’s job markets. True that many universities have started to explore different opportunities where students get to pick the subjects they want to read.

    This age old system of our education is assumed to be well known to all of us. Universities and colleges are no more the major employers in every economy. It’s worth a mention here as civil service itself is no more only about education related services. But with the PCS in place, are we looking at a system that’s more in line with the reward and recognition for performance in the education system? Moreover, civil service delivery system doesn’t even function like any other business units. Still a comparison of our administrative style in place with a system of schooling in the matters of performance evaluation can only be considered just wild exaggeration and even I totally agree.

    And yet, we all know that something is not totally right. There are qualified people who are leaving civil service at different points of its tall structure spreading across no less than 30 odd vertical years. The competition to enter it is provided exclusively at the bottom where almost every young graduate is competing against all odds. The fields where our young learners of university education expand their knowledge base are shrinking to fast-completed certificates. Or have our organisational HR policies including that of the civil service has forced it to become like that? If positions in detailed classification of job descriptions are only designed to match easily available certified knowledges all the time; from where do we expect organisational HR to become strategic drivers in leading businesses and related agents. In the present structure of PCS, where can we expect to see major and highly significant breakthroughs where the entire organisation of civil service is facing a difficult time! At times, unfair to none is a better approach than fair to all. Between relevant individual for relevant job in relevant position always…and a relevant structure for a diversified system of human resource always ready; which should be considered more relevant?

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