For stable institutions choose meritocracy

Daily Times

The national institutions, including civil service, can never have the desired stability or be worthy of trust with regard to service delivery unless all recuitment, promotion and transfer decisions are based strictly on merit. Otherwise, the governments that employ them as well as the people they are supposed to serve are destined to suffer. If we continue to ignore merit we will not be able to hold our heads high in the comity of nations.

The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf-led federal government and the Pakistan Peoples Party-led government of Sindh have recently announced that they are going to fill all vacant positions in the ministries and departments. The decision is entirely welcome, particularly so since the number of educated but unemployed young people is too high for anybody’s comfort. All we need going forward is applying the golden principles of respect for merit, justice, transparency and fairplay. This is the first step towards smooth functioning of civil services in day-to-day affairs.There should be no place for recruitment based on personal likes and dislikes, nepotism, favouritism and political considerations. Meritorious candidates should be recruited and appointed to the jobs irrespective of prejudice, caste, colour, creed or political affiliation. They should be mandated to deliver quality services and work for the welfare of the common man.

We are lagging behind many nations in vrious disciplines of life. Upholding of merit in all our decisions can help us compete with them. If the practice of making appointments to win political favours continues narrow political interests will jeopardise national interest.

The federal governemnt and the government of Sindh plan to recruit 10 million and 41,000 peple, respectively. Advertisements inviting applications for these jobs are expected to appear in the national papers.

All we need going forward is to apply the golden principles of respect for merit, justice, transparency and fair play. This is the first step towards smooth functioning of civil services in day-to-day affairs. There should be no place for recruitment based on personal likes and dislikes, nepotism, favouritism and political considerations

If all or most of the appointments are to be made on the basis of recommendations by those favoured by government leaders the government would do well to be prepared for waste and corruption to follow.

By far the biggest question today is whether we are up to the task of taking and leading the nation to the path of prosperity and progress or not. All it requires is a commitment to merit, transparency and fairness.

Leaders of successive governments in the past have been accused of inducting and accomodating their cronies in lucrative jobs by bending rules and regulations meant to ensure merit. It is the unfortunate practice that is to blame for the situation we find ourselves in. The time is ripe for the PTI-led federal government whose election manifesto promised reform to fulfill its promise of change. Paying only lip service to merit will not do.

The country desperately needs sweeping reforms.

There is no shortage of qualified, talented and competent candidates. They have completed their studies and are wandering from piller to post in search of suitable employment. Government leaders must respect their talent

and values. If competent pepole are denied the jobs they so richly deserve they could become disillusioned, alienated and a menace for the society. Pushing our unemployed youths to the brink of the abyss would be tantamount to treason. This is no trivial matter.

Our rulers have a duty to provide employment to the deserving and meritorious candidates. This will lift them out of depression and protect them against developing an inferiority complex.

Ensuring merit in all appointments would bring much needed stability to our institutions, including civil service. The general public will take a sigh of relief. Let’s make a pledge to hold the merit supreme in the country come. It is the only panacea for institutional stabilit

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