ISLAMABAD: The Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC) has approached the government for reverting to the 30-year age limit for the CSS aspirants, which was reduced to 28 years in 2001 by Pervez Musharraf, The News learnt here.
FPSC sources claimed the commission has approached the Establishment Division in this regard, hoping Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani would not have any objection to fulfilling a long-standing demand of hundreds of thousands of youth, who wanted to take part in the competitive exams but could not due to the lower age limit.
Former military ruler Musharraf, through an ordinance, without consulting anyone, had lowered the upper age limit from 30 years to 28 years, for those interested in appearing in the competitive exams. The minimum age limit is 21 years.
These sources pointed out that the PPP-led government twice set aside the initiative but this time they expect the totally unjustified and arbitrary measure of a military ruler would be reversed.
It was learnt from a senior official that this year 9062 candidates appeared in the CSS exams and this number had been fluctuating from time to time. However, on average 9000 candidates have been taking part in the specialised exams in recent years but this number could go significantly up once the age limit is increased.
The age limit in South Asian countries, including India and Bangladesh, is 30 years. In all, a candidate gets three chances to clear the exam. However, sources conceded that the lowering of age had hit hard those belonging to the lower middle and middle class segments of society.
They noted lower and upper age limit and the related rules were thrashed out by a democratic dispensation after a concerted exercise but a military ruler had changed it in one go, and this continued to deprive thousands of youth from appearing in the CSS exams every year. These youth argued that in view of the dismally low literacy rate and compounding economic hardships, it was already becoming very difficult for the young generation to spare time and energies to take part in the competitive exams.
The government has turned down two summaries regarding age relaxation for CSS exams in recent months despite increasing upper age limit by five years for all BPS posts, barring the CSS aspirants. According to the decision, the upper age limit for CSS remained unchanged while for the other posts under the federal ministries, departments and FPSC has been increased up to 5 years for all BPS posts.
The youths contended it was sheer injustice to CSS aspirants, especially those who have become over-aged as per CSS rule. All provinces have given general age relaxation in all competitive examinations except FPSC.The news.