2013, and we still have Quota System


It’s been more than 60 years since Pakistan’s independence, yet we struggle with dealing (let alone resolving) some of the fundamental issues that hamper our progress, eg Feudalism, Quota system, racism, illiteracy, injustice, lack of healthy food and health facilities and shelter for living.

Quota system in Pakistani law is the root cause of Racism in the country, which has resulted in widespread economic disparity, thus hate.

I was startled to hear this, on SamaTV, earlier today (Mar 2013). I thought quota system was a thing of history, what we faced in college/university admissions, but the guest said that there has been hiring in the Police department, also referred KMC/KBCA, using quota system, denying deserving candidates on merit. I don’t know how many institutions are corrupted like that, but since it’s a law, it applies to every government institutions.

The original 1973 constitution had fixed a period of 10 years for the job quota for the provinces, but the governments in the 1980s and 1990s enhanced it to 40 years which were to expire on Aug 13, 2012. Check this, last year (2012) Law Ministry got approval for the extension of Quota System in Sindh for the next 20 years.

Take an example of CSS (Central Superior Service of Pakistan), where only 10% of posts are reserved on merit (1). I still can’t believe that! 90% of our bureaucrats are recruited through lowering the selection criteria, while other more intelligent Pakistanis are denied to serve the nation? And you wonder what’s wrong in our governance, why there’s so much inefficiency and corruption? We are doing irreparable damage, by putting Quota system in any institution.  

According to the current recruitment policy listed at the Central Superior Service of Pakistan website, only 10% of posts are reserved for merit.

FPSC (Federal Public Services Commission) allocates jobs in civil services institutions (every govt. organization, WAPDA, EOBI, Steel Mills, Railways, FBR, Excise & Taxation, Water board, Defence, Finance, SBP, including Police) on the basis of merit and provincial or regional quotas. As per their rule, they are:

Merit                                                                                                               7.5 %
Punjab (including the Islamabad Capital Area)                                           50%
Sindh Rural                                                                                                   11.4%
Sindh Urban                                                                                                  7.6%
Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa                                                                               11.5%
Balochistan                                                                                                    6%
Gilgit-Baltistan and FATA                                                                        4%
Azad Jammu and Kashmir                                                                      2%

The passing percentage of the candidates in the written examination of CSS was 30% in 2002. In 2013 that figure has plummeted to a barely believable 2.09%. If you amass inefficient people in bureaucracy, how would you attract bright minds in such places then ?

If we inject inefficiency into institutions, how can we expect efficiency as the outcome ?

Do we need a scholar to tell us, what happens, when merit is killed. Do we need someone else to explain, what’s going on around us today, as it breeds a whole lot of issues in our society, viz. injustice, economic disparity, nepotism, inefficiency, corruption, bribery, feelings of deprivation, unemployment for skilled resources, resulting in hatred, fighting, killing and chaos! Don’t you see how many people leave country, to get fairer chance in education, job, services, etc. So much so, these issues have become so complex, we consider them incorrigible.

Quota for a time being is ok for greater educational access for the underprivileged, but it shouldn’t be renewed for 20 more years after being used for past 60 years. But it’s effectively discrimination, if used for job/hiring and you know discrimination is prohibited in Islam, may it be on the basis of race, color, family, land, or ethnicity. You cannot favor one over other.

Quota system has been declared un-islamic by Federal Shariat Court and illegal by the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

If some sectors are underprivileged, it’s the Govt’s responsibility to provide sufficient opportunities for their services (eg education, jobs, health), instead of resorting to unfair means and compromising on quality, through giving advantage to someone less qualified, over the ones who’s worked hard to earn it. Imagine a doctor hired at a Govt. hospital on lesser grades (based on quota), how will he/she treats the patient ? And then we wonder why Doctors aren’t respected anymore, unlike the way our culture treats this profession sacredly.

Quota clearly deteriorate the quality of service and causes hatred among deprived parties. It’s time we abolish such policies and promote hard work and equal opportunity. And we can very well improve our society as a whole. You know, when a small Pakistani businessman understands it and never compromises on quality of service, why can’t we do it as a nation as well.

Quota system is unconstitutional, unethical, and unIslamic.

Let’s appreciate, share and demand ‘MERIT’ and bring back harmony and progress in our society.

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4 thoughts on “2013, and we still have Quota System

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