I am acquainted with a poultry slayer located in the market nearest to my home. He deals in meat of chickens, roosters and other edible fowls. His clean-looking shop is my favourite stopover for purchasing some fresh chicken, so I can distinguish his face and gestures even from meters away. I always found him nippy at his small butchery while slaughtering the hens single handedly and clipping their wings deliberately. It was the occasion of Eid-ul-Azha in 2020 when I just stopped my car on the street seeing him doing wonders of his skill with a sacrificial cow. I knew someone had hired him for thrashing the cow to obligate sacrifice. It just stroke to my mind how a chicken slaughterer could manage with an oversized cow! My eagerness forced me to stay there and cherish the ultimate sight. What I saw was unconditionally weird. He, overlooking the cow tightly tied up with sturdy ropes in laying position, seemed to be cramped with a long sharp knife in his right hand. As he placed the tip of the knife with intention to take it across its neck, the cow jolted. My curiosity got momentum. Soon the cow was at legs and I saw the half slaughtered animal washing the road with its thick blood.
The incident took me to the Pakistan’s bureaucracy where the Civil Services Academy (CSA) is always busy in preparing the doctors to perform in the PSP. The economists are being trained to serve in the Information Group. The engineers are getting trained to play their role in the FSP and the foreign qualified language specialists are happily ready to control Pakistan Audit and Accounts Services. This is how the history of Pakistan has witnessed livestock specialists at the position of Assistant Commissioners. To me, AC just stands for Air Conditioner to comfort the friends and peers in the intense sunshine of summers. The mechanism of the Federal Public Service Commission has given the blade to the chicken sellers who have no background of slaughtering the cows. Technocracy is the solution!
What does the public get accordingly then? A portion of these bureaucrats resigns during the early years of their service and, ridiculously, they are not held accountable for ruining the tax money of the public that was allocated to train them in the capacity of civil servants. Around two million rupees per trainee are apportioned for the initial tenure of training that covers Common Training Program (CTP) and Specialised Training Program (STP). Similarly, a few of bureaucrats are found guilty of financial and moral corruption in the later years and those who maintain their integrity play in the hands of the politicians into the government. Who is authorised to take the knife back from the butchers of the hens and entrust it to the superior civilians who are just unmatched in the respective groups?
Let me discuss a bit about the administration of the Civil Service Academy itself! The probationers of the 48th CTP have just stepped into STP. The aggregate planning of the CSA has appeared to be flawed in managing the Common Training Program during the COVID-19 epoch. The probationers of the current session have been allowed to travel in public transport and many of them have got infected. This is causing successive delays in executing the necessary training in physical. The salaries of the trainees are not being paid timely; it shows the competence crisis prevailed in the CSA. The things does not stop here. The wages of the guest speakers are deducted from the small remunerations of the trainees. Nonsensically, the novice bureaucrats are happy with the situation. Why? They are gratified because they know the hen butchers have teamed up to slaughter cows and camels. Alas! The system staffs the right people at wrong places.
Leaving a few aside, most trainers and instructors have no sound background to teach and train online. The eCTP has exposed the ill-preparedness of the managing staff at CSA. The instructors are just counting the hours to turn into days and that is it! They charge huge chunks of money from the academy and hardly impart moral skills in the personalities of the trainees which could be instrumental in alleviating worries of the public by motivating the civil servants to combat corruption in future. Corruption breeds under the nose of bureaucracy. They neither practise whistle-blowing, nor do they supplement effective bridge between the masses and the government. Perhaps, they are educated to only safeguard the government by usurping the rules of business that passage benefits to the common man.
Actually, the whole structure of the Competitive Examination is characterised by loopholes. The public is being deprived of the proficient doctors, engineers, teachers and economists. There is no bureaucratic group that entertains health and education departments both at federal and provincial levels. Only the graduates in Business, Arts, Humanities, Law and Language could be allowed to take the Competitive Examination. We need more men of science and experts of medicine to safeguard public health at massive levels. A comprehensive amendment in the Administrative Reforms of 1973 could take the bull by the horns for improving the standard of the Civil Services Academy; otherwise, the governments would keep on using the bureaucratic machinery to oppress the opposition and already miserable public.
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