Some University graduates appearing for the RCSC, on the condition of anonymity, said there is a strong need to revisit the recruitment process currently practiced by Royal Civil Service Commission (RCSC) as both fresh and in-service graduates have to fight at par for entry in the civil service.
In-service candidates are graduates who have government jobs but have not made it to the officer and management level in the Bhutan Civil Service Examinations (BCSE).
For instance, from 392 candidates who were recruited for civil service in the last year, 51 seats were taken by in-service candidates. The pre-service candidates said that these seats should have been theirs.
They justified such a statement saying that those selected in-service candidates were already included within the current civil service strength of 26,699 which comprises of 25,588 regular civil servants and 1,111 on contract. “So, it was as good as recruiting only 341 new civil servants.”
They also said that this is contradicting the government effort towards curtailing unemployment.
They proposed that RCSC should solely dedicate the available slots for pre-service candidates. While for in-service, RCSC may come up with system where they compete among themselves.
Meanwhile another in-service graduate who scored 58% in the main exam said that a change in position title from supervisor to professional is all they are asking for. She explained that RCSC may look into possibility of automatic position title change when an in-service degree holder reaches P4 level.
Doing so she supposed will not have much of an impact to RCSC because even with the current system, the benefits are the same. “It’s just the change in title which will be a huge motivation for us.”
She said RCSC is working on the basis of the Position Classification System where civil servants in the same grade, qualification and position level will have two different position titles. Those having got selected in BCSE will get officer’s title while those unselected will remain as Supervisor.
She elaborated that an in-service degree holder RCSC selected lost 6 months seniority in the service. “Out of 24 months study period, only 18 months were accounted as active service. “So, diploma holders are ahead of us.”
In addition, having acquired an degree, they said, is of no benefit. “The career ladder is same with the diploma and certificate holders. A diploma holder and BCSE unselected degree holder can rise up to the same level.
Hence, graduates on both sides insist that RCSC either incorporate a two category selection system or come up with another solution that works best for both.
Meanwhile the RCSC Commissioner, Dasho Karma Tshiteem said that the present system, where both pre-service and in-service candidate compete, is the best approach as candidates will be selected based on merit.
He said introducing a two categories selection process will not be a solution since the overall number of people the RCSC can take in will remain the same.
Further Dasho added that, RCSC’s assessment shows that other than in PGDE, pre-service candidates outperform in-service candidates.
“The real issue is the number of applicants vis-a-vis the limited slots growing each year and the ensuing growth in competition, will be a reality for some time” Dasho Karma Tshiteem said.
Dasho also said that the policy of RCSC is to take in the best and the brightest to the Professional & Management Position Category and ensure that both pre-service and in-service candidate must compete for the limited slots.
If this was not done, Dasho said that and instead in-service candidates were allowed to upgrade to positions simply because they have the requisite degree, the slots for new intake will be even less since the number of in-service candidates who make it through the BCSE are a small percentage of the number who appear for BCSE.
Citing an example Dasho stressed that only 51 in-service graduates were selected out of a total of 459 in-service graduates who appeared for the BCSE. This is compared to the total 2015 intake number of 392.
Hence Dasho said that RCSE only wants to take the best and the brightest into the Professional and Management Position Category of the civil service and the best way to determine that is to use the competitive BCSE to separate the wheat from the chaff, not just the production of a Bachelors degree.