A good reform, indeed

The Royal Civil Service Commission (RCSC) has reduced the ‘cooling period’ for those who joined political parties and now wish to enter civil service to one year from three. It is a welcome move.

Cooling period of three years was ‘unnecessarily long” indeed. And many fell prey to the consequences, especially young graduates, who tried their luck at the elections without understanding the repercussions if they failed to win a seat.

While as citizens failing to know the rules of the land cannot be forgiven, rules should make sense given the massive unemployment issue that we are currently facing. And, still, to a large extent, civil service is the most preferred employer in the country.

Our private sector, even as we give so much importance to it for our economic growth, has not been able to grow significantly to employ increasing number of jobseekers.

The new requirement that all the party forms should specifically and prominently mention the cooling the period time will make sure that those who decide to join political parties and contest in an election are aware of the consequences.

What is really heartening and encouraging is that the Chief Election Commissioner has welcomed RCSC’s decision to reduce the cooling period from three years to one. This decision will only do us good.

RCSC’s chairman, Karma Tshiteem, put it most eloquently without losing good sense, for which, of course, he is widely appreciated. For indeed, if civil servants and other apolitical public servants are allowed to join political parties without any cooling period, it really does raise the question of what implications such movements will have on the integrity of political and apolitical institutions.

This country needs to create jobs, awful lot of employment opportunities. Thousands of people graduate from colleges and universities every year. Blitheness of the situation and hopelessness of finding gainful employment is pushing many of our young people to the fringes.

What will come as a cost to the nation will be dreadfully expensive. We are already beginning to witness worrying developments related to youth and unemployment. Let not cooling period add fuel to the fire.

The good news is senior civil servants who voluntarily resigned to join political parties in the last elections may be recruited on contract through open competition if their services are required. Of course we need people with eminent skills and experience. We must be able to harness the wealth we have within our borders.

Losing them to senseless provisions will be a loss too big for a young nation like ours.

Politics, if real at all, should be opportunity to serve in the best of an individual’s capacity wherever the place, whatever the position or time.

RCSC’s decision to reduce the cooling period will only help us build a strong democratic society that we aspire for. We sincerely commend the move.

1 reply
  1. irfan
    irfan says:

    The experiences of our senior civil or public servants are indeed great resource for the country. With their long dedicated and sincere service deliveries, they are always selflessly creating great economic as well as social assets for the nation. So it’s indeed a good news that all such senior professionals who have resigned voluntarily to take part in politics can now continue to serve under contracts if things don’t go well in that purely political journey. Experience of civil or public servants are always in high demand in the private sector including sectors like education or private consultancy. But it’s also probably true that the private sector in Bhutan has still not reached that stage where such experience can be invested to its maximum.

    When it comes to new ideas or fresh thoughts on innovation in creating economic activities or going to the next level in trade and commerce through entrepreneurial initiatives; some of our youth still have faith in their abilities and sense of new businesses and economic activities. But they either don’t have the experiences or a resourceful environment to make their dreams take shape in real. Interestingly though, not only in Bhutan but also in the region; not many of our experienced civil or public servants always start a new business following a voluntary retirement. Some do leave to join a private sector abroad or become global consultants with their experience, but not many back our youth in their dreams to create a new economy or businesses. With long years spent in the bureaucracy and apolitical as well as political faith and complete understanding of our year’s old systems; these seniors probably foresee the limitations in the visions and belief of our totally inexperienced youth. It’s indeed a good reform that when a try at the political front goes totally wrong, our fresh young talents need not wait more than a year to think civil service once again. But if we wait to see every new idea arriving from outside our borders and then invest our human resources only to get the economic plans activated and executed; will we ever see the change that we want to see for our coming generations? May be that we are always fine without any changes.

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