SPSC: Integrity in Peril

Despite mounting evidence and public outcry, the response from SPSC manage-ment has been tepid at best.

The Sindh Public Service Commission (SPSC) once again finds itself under the glaring spot­light of scrutiny and reproach, as recent revela­tions expose yet another instance of malpractice within its ranks. Last week, during the ongoing Second­ary School Teachers (SST) General category ex­aminations, a shocking incident came to light – the premature circulation of an answer key on social media platforms before the com­mencement of the test. This egregious breach of protocol prompted SPSC to take decisive ac­tion, swiftly annulling all papers scheduled from February 16 to February 26, 2024, for both general and science categories of the SST examinations. In the aftermath, initial investigations led to the suspension of three officials and five support staff members, found culpable of orchestrating the leak and sale of the answer key prior to the examination. Regrettably, this incident merely adds to a litany of accusations and controversies that have plagued SPSC, tarnishing its reputation for in­tegrity and impartiality.

Delving into the annals of SPSC’s history, one encoun­ters a disturbing pattern of misconduct and favoritism. The protracted delay in announcing the results of the 2019 Combined Competitive Examination (CCE) has sown seeds of doubt and disillusionment among as­piring candidates, casting doubt upon the fairness and transparency of the entire process. Similarly, during the 2018 CCE, reports surfaced of preferential treatment, with additional interview marks arbitrarily awarded to favored candidates, casting a shadow over the merito­cratic principles ostensibly upheld by SPSC. However, the rot runs deeper still. In 2013, rampant irregularities marred the conduct of written examinations and inter­views, prompting the Supreme Court of Pakistan to in­tervene and decry the lack of fairness and transparency in SPSC’s procedures. The nadir was reached when the Sindh High Court’s Hyderabad circuit bench, in a scath­ing indictment, declared SPSC defunct due to rampant nepotism and corruption within its ranks.

Manifestations of corruption within SPSC assume var­ious forms, from the blatant sale of answer keys to can­didates who can afford to pay exorbitant sums, to the surreptitious manipulation of examination papers to favor certain individuals. Nepotism, too, rears its ugly head, with instances of SPSC members’ relatives secur­ing coveted positions through dubious means.

Despite mounting evidence and public outcry, the re­sponse from SPSC management has been tepid at best. Superficial measures, such as temporary suspensions of implicated personnel, are swiftly rescinded once pub­lic attention wanes. This cycle of impunity only serves to perpetuate a culture of malfeasance within the in­stitution. The repercussions of SPSC’s malpractice are profound and far-reaching. Thousands of hopeful can­didates see their dreams dashed in an instant, while de­spair and frustration drive some to tragic ends. Justice remains elusive for these victims of nepotism and cor­ruption, as SPSC’s prolonged deliberations and bureau­cratic inertia exacerbate their plight.

The rampant corruption within the Sindh Public Ser­vice Commission (SPSC) demands a swift and resolute response from the authorities. Mere suspension of im­plicated personnel is insufficient; instead, exemplary punishment must be meted out to those found guilty of malpractice, sending a clear message that such trans­gressions will not be tolerated. Additionally, the recruit­ment process must undergo significant reforms to en­sure transparency and meritocracy. This could include conducting live online tests and interviews, accessi­ble to the public, thereby eliminating opportunities for clandestine manipulation. By prioritizing fairness and accountability, the government can begin to restore faith in SPSC and uphold the principles of justice and in­tegrity in public service recruitment.

Ali Gul Leghari
The writer is a teacher and writer. He is a member of PFUC Pakistan. He can be reached at@AliGulLeghari1

The writer is a teacher and writer. He is a member of PFUC Pakistan. He can be reached at @AliGulLeghari1

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