Profession change in BCS: Inter-cadre inequality needs to be eliminated

bcs cadre job

In our country, BCS is associated with the long cherished dream,hope and aspiration of many dreamy people. Many people understand being successful in life means being a BCS cadre. BCS means Bangladesh Civil Service. The demand for BCS in our country is increasing day by day. People's dependence on BCS is increasing at a strange rate.

The question arises - despite having so many working environments why are the educated people and young generation of our country just running after BCS?  The simple answer is value, honor and fame. Who doesn't want to 'power practice'? Who doesn't want to be the boss? We all want to practice power, to be bosses.

In the context of Bangladesh, BCS is the only job where special value, fame and reputation can be obtained, power can be practiced under the shadow of the government. Therefore, keeping pace with the times, the educated people of our country, the young generation is leaning towards BCS. And this demand has turned BCS into a "Diamond Profession".

Our dependence on BCS has reached such an extreme that the number of applicants for the 40th BCS has surpassed the population of the Maldives. A huge educated population of the country is living the dream of becoming a bureaucrat by giving up the addiction of being an entrepreneur or inventor. It is not really good for the country in any way. Yes, the country's talented people should come forward to run the country, but it also has a limit. A country cannot lead in the world with only bureaucrats or bureaucracy.

The most demandable BCS examination begins with a preliminary examination of 200 marks. Through this preliminary exam, a huge part is selected. In the 38th BCS, out of 3.5 lakh candidates, only 16,000 selected in the preliminary test. Its questions are mainly limited to language, literature, general knowledge, general mathematics and science, state, history, geography.

The next step in the preliminary is the written test. In the written test, 200 marks in Bengali, English and Bangladesh studies. 100 marks in International Relations , Science and Technology. And 100 marks are allocated for mathematical reasoning and mental skills. A total of 900 marks in the written test.

The results of the 38th BCS have been announced on June 30 after going through many ups and downs. The 38th BCS will witness a history. The reason is that the quota system is going to be abolished from 38th BCS. The student movement on inequality has finally succeeded. All the student movements have been successful for ages. This is the example of students can implement anything they want.

reform quota movement
A total of 2,204 candidates have been recommended in the 38th BCS candidates – 306 are in BCS (Administration) cadre, 100 in (Police) cadre, 25 in BCS (Foreign) cadre, 35 in BCS (Tax) cadre, 45 in BCS (Audit and Accounts) cadre. 38 in BCS (Ansar) cadre, 241 in BCS (Agriculture) cadre, 20 in BCS (Fisheries) cadre, 291 in BCS (Health) cadre, 85 in BCS (Animal Resources) cadre, 22 in BCS (Forest) cadre, 97 in the BCS (Public Works) cadre, and 768 in the BCS (General Education and Technical College) cadre.

Analysis of the cadre posts of the 38th BCS shows that most of the engineering and medical students have left the cadre posts related to their profession and joined foreign, administration and police and many more in the general cadre posts.

Now simple question is- why did a medical student join the foreign, administration, police or tax cadre without joining the health cadre after studying medicine for 5/6 years at such a hard time, working so hard, spending so many money? The family, society and the state have spent an amount behind them. Shouldn't they repay the debt of society?

Our parents admit a boy or girl into medical college with full dreams and full hope, to make his son or daughter as a doctor. Moreover, having a talented doctor in the health cadre is beneficial for the health sector of our country and it is also pride for the nation.

According to the latest figures from the Department of Health, more than one lakh doctors have been registered in the country since independence. At present, the number of doctors directly involved in the medical profession (public and private) is 60-70 thousand. Of these, there are only 25-30 thousand doctors in government hospitals. But considering the population of the country and the number of patients, at least two lakh doctors are needed.

According to public-private medical college sources, it costs a student Tk 18-20 lakh to take a five-year MBBS degree in a private medical college in the country. The government spends more than Tk 15 lakh per student in government medical colleges. In such a situation, it is not good for the country for medical students to move to another profession day by day.

Moreover, the condition of the health sector of our country is terrible. In the Corona pandemic situation we are able to realize it to the extreme. In such a situation, leaving the great profession of doctors and moving to another profession is a thunder signal for the country.

The question may arise - in this country, doctors can no get the same facilities, fame and power like an administration cadre. Yes, it is true that an administration officer gets car, house and other facilities but a doctor cannot get such facilities.

At the beginning of the health cadre, a doctor was first appointed in the Upazila Health Complex. There is no car facility,  have to rent in the government quarters.  There is no personal assistant and no separate office. And will require a post graduate degree for promotion, which takes 14-15 years to complete.

On the other hand, at the beginning of the job in the administration cadre, there is an opportunity to join as Assistant Secretary of the Ministry, DC Office Officer, AC land office. There are opportunities for continuous promotion, car-house facilities, car maintenance Tk 50,000 per month. Personal assistant, separate office will also be available.  And if it is UNO post, there are government bungalows and car facilities. If promoted, he/she can also become a cabinet secretary. There are opportunities to study abroad with scholarships, there are also opportunities to work in international organizations on deputation. These walls of inequality may be forcing doctors to leave the health cadre and join other cadres.

bcs cadre
The same thing is true of engineering students. The student who studied Electrical and Electronics or Biomedical Engineering at BUET is now a foreign cadre with BCS. After so many years, his formal education has no connection with the job environment. If he had been in his formal education profession - we might have got the best IT chip maker, the future maker of an organization like Microsoft, the best technologist in the world or a successful scientist.

As a result of doctors, engineers, agriculturists leaving their own professions and joining other professions, students studying general subjects are being deprived of their rights. Students who have studied general subjects like Bengali, English, History, Economics, Political Science, Sociology, Philosophy etc. are the ones who are eligible to get foreign, administration, police, tax, general cadre. There is no separate job market for the students studying these subjects like the students of engineering, medical or agriculture faculties.

For a medical student there is a job sector in medical related line. For an engineering student, there are jobs in domestic and foreign institutions, various industrial factories. An agriculturist also has a separate sector of employment. There is also a separate job sectors for Commerce Faculty students. There have been different banking and insurance sectors for them. Various corporate organizations also have for them to work.

On the other hand, the BCS is the only hope for the students of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. This BCS is their only dream, hope and aspiration.  But due to this lack of coordination in the level playing field at BCS, many dreams are being shattered.

The cadres that are supposed to be available to the students studying these subjects are now occupied by doctors, engineers and agriculturists. "It is no longer possible for a student studying these general subjects to become a doctor or a health cadre."  The 38th BCS is the shining example of this matter.

"Shakib graduated from the History Department of Dhaka University and participated in BCS exam. He has been dreaming of becoming a Superintendent of Police (SP) with BCS since his childhood. In the 38th BCS, Shakib has become a cadre, but not a police cadre,  he is nominated for an education cadre.  If those doctors, engineers, agriculturists had been in the cadre of their own profession, Shakib's long cherished dream would not have been shattered. Only the lack of a level playing field has shattered the dreams of so many dreamers."

I do not understand why an officer of the agricultural cadre should not be the Secretary of Agriculture?  Why should the boy in English literature be the health secretary instead of an experienced doctor in the health cadre?  Why can't a teacher with the highest degree be or can not be the Secretary of Education?

Change in our education system is the demand of the time. At the end of the day, it is seen in our country that there is no similarity between academic education or degree in our job or workplace. "That's why a doctor studying medicine joins the administration without becoming a doctor."  'An engineer joined the police after studying engineering all his life'.  So what is the value of our education? Education failed to achieve its great purpose!

It's time to change our education system. For him/her who is studying the subject, it is necessary to create such a work environment related to his/her subject. We have to ensure equal opportunities in all professions according to the profession. 

The government has to take effective steps to change the existing rules and regulations. In fiercely competitive job examinations like BCS, cadre nomination should be given on the basis of merit and qualifications by creating coordination on institutional or academic degree as well as level playing field. Besides inter-cadre inequality should be eliminated. Then the walls of discrimination will break down. And the great purpose of education will be achieved.

Emran Emon
Emran Emon
Department of English
University of Chittagong,Bangladesh

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