Province 2 on top again with highest number of civil service job applicantsOfficial attribute the high numbers to the policy of inclusion and relatively large population of the province.
In continuation of the past trend, the Public Service Commission received the largest number of applications for civil service jobs from Province 2 districts also in the last fiscal year 2020-21.
A statement issued by the commission after submitting its Annual Report 2020-21 to President Bidya Devi Bhandari on Monday, said the commission received the largest number of applications from Province 2. Within the province, Saptari, Sarlahi, Dhanusha, Siraha and Mahottari districts topped the chart in terms of the number of applications.
The commission has not mentioned the exact number of applications received from Province 2, which has eight districts. The commission had received a total of 566,617 applications for both open and internal competitions.
But, the domination of applications from Province 2 is not a new phenomenon. In fact, the commission has been receiving a good many number of applications for civil service jobs for several years, according to the commission’s data.
Even in the fiscal year 2019-20, the province had topped the list in terms of the number of people applying for civil service jobs.
According to the Public Service Commission’s annual report for 2019-20, 23.57 percent of total applications for public service jobs were from Province 2. Province 5, with 17.06 percent, was a distant second. There is a dominant presence of Madhesis in Province 2. Officials and experts believe that this may be a sign that the reservation system in the country is working.
“The number of applicants from the province is high also because its population is high,” said Madhav Regmi, chairperson of the commission. According to the 2011 census, the population of Province 2 is 5.4 million—highest after Bagmati, which is home to 5.52 million people.
“In the government service, there are certain technical positions for which the Madhesi population has considerable interest,” said Regmi. According to him, the growing interest of the people in the civil service is also fueled by the inclusion policy adopted by Nepal since 2007.
The Civil Service Act 2007 makes it compulsory for 45 percent of recruits in the civil service to come from marginalised communities and women. Such provision was made in line with the commitments made by the major political parties while resolving the Maoist insurgency and the Madhes movement.
As per the law, while filling the vacancies for section officer positions, 70 percent of the vacancies are filled through competition and the rest through promotions. Under the competition category, 45 percent of the total seats are set aside for a separate competition among different clusters of communities from historically marginalised groups.
As per the law, under the inclusion quota, 33 percent seats are reserved for women, 27 percent for indigenous nationalities, 22 percent for Madhesis, 9 percent for Dalits, 5 percent for the disabled, and 4 percent for backward regions. The remaining 55 percent of seats are filled through open competition.
“Besides the policy of inclusion, greater emphasis given to knowledge rather than the Nepali language also contributed to an increased interest among Madhesi youths for civil service jobs,” said Gajendra Thakur, secretary at the Economic Affairs Ministry in Province 2.
Thakur, who hails from Mahottari district, said earlier the Nepali language was prioritised when they were contesting for civil service jobs. “People from Madhesh were not familiar with the idioms in Nepali language and for failing to write the meaning of such idioms could be a great disadvantage for the candidates from the Madhesi communities,” he said.
According to him, now an examinee can write answers in either English or Nepali or both and this has made a big difference in participation and success rate of Madheshi applicants. “Lately, Madhesi youths are seeing that their friends have been landing government jobs so more Madhesi people have been applying for government jobs,” said Thakur.
The overall share of the Madhesi community in the civil service remains sizable. According to the Inclusion Watch, a journal published by Samabeshi Foundation, in April 2013, 15.18 percent of the total civil servants were from Madhesi communities.
Data from the Department of Civil Personnel Records show that 15.31 percent of Madhesis are employed under the unclassified category, 13.9 percent under non-gazetted, 18.76 percent are gazetted third class, 10.34 percent are gazetted second class, 10 percent are gazetted first class, and two percent are employed under the special class.