CSS screening test ill-devised move?
Lahore, May 24: The announcement by the Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC) that the CSS candidates will have to go through a screening test before appearing in the competitive exams has alarmed the quarters concerned.
The incumbent FPSC chairman who belongs to the police group and was inducted from army in the civil service during the regime of former dictator Gen Zia-ul-Haq had forwarded a novel proposal to the government for the approval of the scheme on the sole ground that the move would filter out non-serious candidates. That the number of CSS aspirants was increasing every year, the screening test will facilitate the FPSC to announce the results on time, he had argued. For the purpose, the FPSC authorities have introduced the 200 marks test on multiple choice questions (MCQs) pattern, with 40 per cent marks to pass the test.
The syllabus of the screen test includes English, General Abilities, General Knowledge and Islamiat. In case of non-Muslim candidates, in lieu of Islamiat, their marks obtained in Pakistan Affairs would be doubled.
However, the introduction of the screening test is being criticized on many accounts. Since the announcement of screening test for the CSS exams, there has been a mushroom growth of tuition centers for preparation, creating hardships for the poor/needy candidates in the name of hefty fee which is Rs 5000 as a package. Moreover, by introducing the screening test through MCQs, it is an indirect way to facilitate those candidates who got education from foreign, top institutions, or who did A& O level from to elite educational institutions. The test seems to be discriminatory against poor candidates hailing from remote and underprivileged areas.
To determine seriousness through MCQs is not a true mode of assessment. If a candidate fails to pass the screening test does not mean that he is not serious. Doctors and engineers living in major cities are trained for such tests and would easily excel those living in rural areas with masters degrees in other subjects.
The basic reason for the increase of number of CSS candidates is not non-seriousness but unemployment. It is impossible for a poor graduate to get job of small scales due to Safarish culture whereas it is easy for them to become CSS officers on the basis of merit.
It would create more discrimination among the candidates appearing for screening test when such test is not applicable to the candidates from the armed forces. Moreover, the screening test has already been in vogue in the CSS in the form of intelligence and psychological test, so burdening the students with another test on the pretext of short listing is uncalled for.
Many suggested that the FPSC should focus on the flawless conduct of CSS exams by selecting impeccable and aboveboard paper setters, paper checkers and invigilators and adopting strict secrecy measures to restore the image and credibility of the institution. They urged the prime minister to take notice of this discriminatory scheme against the voiceless candidates.
Lahore: Dr Asad Zaheer has been appointed as registrar of the University of Health Sciences (UHS). A notification in this regard was issued on Tuesday by Punjab Health Department. Dr Asad has more than 25 years of experience in administration, public health and hospital management. He has been associated with UHS since the establishment of the university in 2002. Dr Asad is a graduate of Allama Iqbal Medical College, Lahore.
Summer vacation from June 1
Lahore: Punjab Education Minister Rana Mashhood Ahmad Khan has said that summer vacation will start in public sector schools of Punjab from June 1.
Talking to the media at Punjab Assembly on Thursday, the minister said private schools also had been asked to observe this schedule and, if not, they could observe summer vacation from June 10.
Rana Mashhood Ahmed said Orange Line Metro Train Project in Lahore with an investment of $ 1.6 billion was an excellent gift of China for Lahorites. He said the project would not only benefit the people of Lahore but also of the whole country.
He said large-scale investment and introduction of modern means of communication was of paramount importance for speedy economic development.
He said the investment of $ 32 billion by China in energy generation projects in Pakistan was reflection of the confidence of Chinese leadership in Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif. He said initial production of 20,000 megawatt electricity projects would start in next one and a half years, overcoming loadshedding and energy crisis in Pakistan.
He said the nation would not be hoodwinked by those who wanted to topple the government on the pretext of load-shedding.
Meanwhile, the education minister distributed achievement certificates among the participants of 12-day training workshop of master trainers under Federal Ministry of Education and Training and Standards in Higher Education here.
Provincial Director of Directorate of Basic Education Community Schools Faisal Shahzad Awan, in a briefing, said that his institution was providing facility of free education to 250,000 children of the Cholistan area from class 1 to 5.
The minister said his government was working for the same purpose, therefore, joint efforts should be made in this regard.
He said the Punjab government was ready to provide training facility to the teachers of community schools of federal government at DSD, Lahore.
Similarly, he said, the Punjab government was also willing to provide free textbooks to the students studying in community schools.
PU probes fake degree case
Lahore: The Punjab University has started de novo inquiry into an alleged fake degree case of former premier Yusuf Raza Gilani's son Abdul Qadir Gilani.
A five-member committee headed by Institute of Education and Research Director Dr Mumtaz Akhtar has been constituted as per the decision of the university syndicate. Sources in the Punjab University said the committee would review the whole case.
PU LLB date-sheets
Lahore: Punjab University has issued written date-sheets for the LLB Part-I, II and III annual exams 2014. The exams will commence on June 16, 17 and 18 respectively. The details are available at PU website www.pu.edu.pk. The news