Ehd-e-Wafa’s Shehryar passed the CSS in two months, can you?

The TV show looks at the journey of four friends
Feb 06, 2020

Last weekend’s episode of the ISPR and Hum Tv hit drama serial Ehd-e-Wafa has caused an uproar on social media over the representation of the Pakistan’s civil service examinations and postings.

In the episode, we see Sheheryar (Ahmed Ali Akbar) telling his parents that instead of going for a job interview at a hotel, he went to give his CSS exam two months ago. The result was out (he secured the seventh position) and he was going to be an assistant commissioner.

The plot thickens as Shahzain, an MNA, played by Osman Khalid Butt, manipulates Shehryar into thinking that he would not have become an assistant commissioner without the MNA’s help.

This led CSS candidates and civil servants to wonder if the show’s writers did any research writing the script.

Taking to Twitter, Shanza Faiq, a lawyer and civil servant in the making, said: “Why must our dramas be so poorly researched and so idiotically scripted? Disappointed to see how the CSS journey was portrayed in Ehd-e-Wafa. Not only does it spread misinformation but it demeans the hardwork of all CSPs. Wish our writers spent a LITTLE more time researching!”

She explained that preparing for the CSS, giving the CSS and being allocated were two entirely different subjects. She added that it took her three months to prepare for the exam. Even the Deputy Commissioner of Islamabad had something to say.

Mohammad Hamza Shafqat tweeted: “I passed CSS in 2006. 3 of my friends who were sons of Grade 22 officers, were not allocated to any group. One batchmate, an orphan was so poverty-stricken that his family even accepted zakat. He got allocated to the best group. There is no shifarish in CSS/FPSC.”

SAMAA Digital reached out to a civil servant to break down the entire CSS process for our readers.

From the registration, exam and interviews to finally getting posted, it took this CSS officer four years. “Registration opened in Aug or Sept 2014 and the last date to submit your form was Oct 31, 2014. The exams were the following year in 2015,” he said.

Results were out by mid-August and in December, the officer had his medical and psychological assessment. The next four months, he said, they had interviews in Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar. By May 2016, the group allocation was announced.

“Training started in October. We were in Lahore for the common training programme. Then in April, 2017, we went for our specialised training programme which takes six to 12 months depending on the group. Mine took 10 months and I finished in January, 2018. By February, I had joined the office,” he said, adding that there was also a final passing out exam which has to be cleared in order for an officer to get confirmed.  

The officer shared that there was a 10% quota for army officers. “In Gen Ziaul Haq’s time, army officers were exempted from the written exam for the top three groups: police, administrative and foreign services. They still have to clear the medical and psychological assessment and interview rounds. They train with us as well,” he said.

According to this officer, there were more than 21,000 applicants in 2014 and nearly 10,000 appeared for the exam which was only cleared by 500 or so. Half of them were then allocated. He added that the passing ratio was two to three per cent.

Another civil servant confirmed this. Talking to SAMAA Digital, she said that merit does matter. “Back in 2010 when I gave my interview I had no idea about who was going to interview me. I didn’t know any of them except for Rana Bhagwandas but only from TV.”

Maybe, she said, you get favoured a little if you have family members in the civil services but not much.

ISPR

Ehd-e-Wafa

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