PSC can replace NTS in Punjab

Source:  Agencies Published in Education on Sunday, March 06, 2016

LAHORE – Punjab’s Public Service Commission (PSC) Chairman SajjadAkram has said the commission is capable enough to replace the National Testing Service (NTS) in the province as it has the expertise and resources.

"The PPSC has more extensive network across Punjab besides the experience of almost 80 years to conduct reliable, transparent and fair tests as well besides its task of facilitating recruitment,” he said. The commission would develop its own question data-bank by December 2016 as it had the Optic Magnetic Readers (OMR) to mark the Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) on its own, he said.

Akram said that he had approached vice-chancellors of all public-sector universities to recommend advisers and subject specialists to assist the commission in developing the data-bank. To another question, he said that the commission could also process the promotions from Grade 20 and onwards inthe provincial cadre, adding the commission was empowered to conduct grade 20 and promotions under the 1935 Act but the powers were transferred to the chief secretary in the early 1970s.

He said that the commission should be granted the role as the Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC) was doing the same. He said this would enhance transparency and fairness of the system. He said the commission had ensured a system which was fair, free, merit-based and expeditious to promote excellence and professionalism through right selection.

About the speedy disposal of all requisitions, Akram said the time-span had been reduced to mere 91 days from 280 days under him. In order to ensure more transparency, acandidate's photo had been made compulsory on the MCQ answer-sheet under PPSC, while use of technology was hallmark ofoperations as interview-panels were now formed on the interview day.

He said all correspondence with candidates was ensured through SMS, e-mail and the web-site which had minimized the error. To a question, he said that the commission was also focused on the capacity-building of the staff, adding that IT training was made compulsory. Management and Professional Development Department (MPDD) training is essential for promotion to the next grade in the commission, he said.

About problems, he called upon the government to allow some part of fee collection to the commission to meet impromptu expenses as all fee was deposited with government exchequer. He said he was working on new Standard Operating Procedure (SOPs) to make system more efficient, transparent and fair for the masses.