About eight graduates will be vying for a job in the civil service this year.

A total of 3,844 graduates have registered for the August 6 preliminary examination to compete for the 494 vacancies that the Royal Civil Service Commission (RCSC) has announced. The vacancy is four less than last year.

Although the slots for Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor in Surgery  (MBBS) decreased to 33 this year from 54 last year, the medical and technical categories are still allocated the highest number of vacancies with 273 slots.

The slots for the engineer (Civil) increased to 36 from 32 last year. The number of vacancies in this category decreased this year from 282 slots last year.

An RCSC official said that although the country is faced with the shortage of doctors in the country, the slots decreased because of supply, which means only 33 MBBS graduates registered for Bhutan Civil Service Examination (BCSE). “But we try to absorb as many as possible and they would have to pass the examination.”

There are 141 vacancies for the postgraduate diploma in education (PGDE) this year, seven down from the 2016 figure. However, the slots for PGDE (Dzongkha) increased to 35 slots this year from 20 last year.

The official said that this was probably due to teacher recruitment plan where the number of teaching hours was rationalised to 18 hours in a week. “This would mean the requirement for the teacher would increase to improve the quality of education.”

Some of the fields under the PGDE are IT education with 10 slots available, guidance and counseling with 25 slots, an increase from 21 slots last year, and one vacancy for rooms division or house keeping.

Vacancy for the postgraduate diploma in financial management and national law remained unchanged with 30 and 10 respectively. The slots for the postgraduate diploma in public administration increased to 40 from 36 slots last year.

A total of 80 slots is available in the general and technical categories.

The official said that this year the commission increased slots in the public administration because the commission has done away with the eligibility certificate. She added that the commission used to go by the qualification earlier but this time it has mentioned the position or title instead of the only category, including the numbers of vacancies against each position.

The Commission has, however, announced that the number of vacancies for the technical group could change based on the candidates qualifying in the preliminary examination, availability of the field of studies or specialisation, and verification of documents.

“Sometimes, they may fail the examination and we may not be able to fill all the slots,” the official said. “The actual number of recruitment might change although the number of vacancies would remain the same.”

The MBBS graduates are exempted from appearing preliminary examination but should have completed BCSE e-registration as on July 13. The commission also announced that preliminary examination would not be conducted in Gelephu and Mongar because there are a few candidates opting for the preliminary examination. The candidates should appear the examination in Thimphu.

Yangchen C Rinzin