Pakistan

ISLAMABAD (APP) – Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on Friday turned down a proposal of the Establishment Division seeking enhancement of the upper age limit from 28 to 30 years for the Central Superior Services (CSS) Examination.

According to a document available with the APP, the Prime Minister’s Office rejected the summary saying that it did not agree with the justification given by the Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform and the Establishment Division that there had been an increase in the number of academic years from 14 to 16 for the Bachelors Degree for CSS candidates.

The PM Office’s letter said even if schooling begins at the age of six, a bachelor’s degree would be earned by the age of 22, and six years – upto the age of 28 years was more than enough for any candidate to avail three chances to appear in the CSS examination.

The letter said the government should encourage people to join the civil service at a younger age, “at which they are expected to be comparatively more receptive to the core ethics of civil service and the basic tenets of the public interest.”

The letter said the minimum existing stipulated requirement in terms of experience for any Basic Scale 21 to be considered for promotion to BS-22 is 24 years.

It pointed that in actual practice it takes even longer, and most officers end up being able to serve in BS-22 for the last year or two of their careers and many officers even superannuate in BS-21.

The letter pointed that the government requires its experienced and seasoned officers to serve in its most important executive, leadership and policy-making position, particularly those with a degree of stability and continuity. It was said that for the large part, this was not possible since most officers superannuate quickly after promotion to BS-22.

Raising the age limit from 28 to 30 would only serve to exacerbate this situation as even more officers would superannuate before, or soon after, their promotions to BS-22, the letter said.

“This in turn would mean a further reduction in the pool of seasoned and experienced officers available to the federal and provincial governments for appointment in key positions.