Tuesday, February 19, 2019 | ePaper

Make the complex quota system a time-befitting one

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THE quota system in Bangladesh Civil Service is extremely complex and cannot be implemented ensuring proportionate representation of all sections of the society, as per local media reports. The system has become unrealistic and it requires reform based on the current socio-economic and demographic structure of Bangladesh or it should be phased out. Terming implementation of the quota system extremely complicated and difficult, the Public Service Commission in its latest Annual Report suggested simplification of the system. The current system is also unique as it allows one to reap the benefits of the quota more than once.
The quota for freedom fighters is disproportionately large when compared to their representation in the population. The 10 percent quota for half the population women has little impact on their representation in the civil service. Similarly the district quota was designed to give jobs to people of districts underrepresented in the civil service. The 10 percent quota was effective when there were only 17 districts. It became less effective and disproportionate when 47 more districts were created in the 80's.The indigenous people, who are one percent of the population, deserve quota for being part of the society lagging behind.
Experts have long been calling for reforms but no real move was taken in this regard until July 2, when a committee was formed to look into the matter. The last major reforms were made in 1985 when the government increased the merit-based recruitment to 45 percent from 40. In 2012, one percent quota for the physically challenged was introduced, reducing merit-based recruitment to 44 percent.
So it is easy to see why quotas must be abolished--but the political will for reform must be there. It is very easy for students to get agitated over this as we have an acute shortage of jobs in the country in any event--the government is one of the largest organisations with regards to offering quality employment. There is no real reason for our meritorious students to be searching for meaningful employment even 4-5 years after they have finished graduation. 

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