Dechen Dolkar   

The Royal Civil Service Commission (RCSC) has announced that it will allow applicants to appear for the Bhutan Civil Service Examinations – Preliminary Exam (PE) and Main Examination (ME) – multiple times provided that they meet the age requirements. In the past, applicants were allowed to appear in PE three times and ME two times.

However, an applicant should not be older than 35 years if pre-service and 45 years, if in-service.

According to RCSC officials, it was decided because the Commission has been closely monitoring the attrition trend and strategizing ways to fill the gap created by such attrition. 

“Entry to civil service is through BCSE, and as per our assessment, 1,900 have reached the PE quota limit and 299 have exceeded their ME quota,” the official said.

Officials said that these graduates might be interested to sit for BCSE. Therefore, the quota to appear for the BCSE has been done away with to offer opportunities to the graduates and increase the talent pool for the RCSC to choose the best and the brightest. 

Similarly, for in-service (regular) candidates selected through the BCSE, Position Level and seniority will be protected as specified in Section 8.6.2. It states that however, exceptions will be made for calculating seniority and rural posting weightage for LTT scholarship and open competition.

However, for in-service (contract) candidates selected through the BCSE, their position level will be protected or be appointed in the entry Position Level (whichever is higher) if selected in the same superstructure only. 

RCSC stated that if a contract employee currently at P4A level in the administrative category gets selected through BCSE in another superstructure, the person’s current position level will not be protected, and will be appointed in the entry position level of the superstructure in which he is selected. However, if selected in the administrative category, the person will be appointed in P4A position level held prior to selection.

Similarly, a contract employee serving in the (administrative/finance/education/technical) category at P5C level will be in the entry position level of that superstructure.

The commission has also decided to repeal earlier notification on appointment into the Civil Service in the Professional and Management Category (PMC) in P5A from 2024 onwards.

Going forward, the current provisions outlined in Section 2.6.1 and 7.12.16 of the BCSR 2018 will remain unchanged.

Section 2.6.1 of BCSR 2018 states there shall be a position directory generated from Civil Service Information System (CSIS) showing all the position titles and levels, position hierarchy including broad-banded and non-broad-banded positions, minimum qualification, and entry-level within sub-groups of the entire respective major occupational group and superstructure groups.

Section 7.12.16 states that a qualified candidate shall be appointed as per the entry position level and position title as specified in the latest position directory or vacancy announcement.

The amendments have been made in view of expanding the pool of talent for selecting civil servants.

The official from RCSC said that the RCSC conducted a review in 2020 to simplify all entrance into the civil service based on the job sizes of entry-level positions and to address civil service stagnation issues. However, given the high rates of attrition in the current scenario, stagnation is not a very serious problem vis-a-vis attrition. 

The official said that additionally, with the updated Performance Management System, evaluations will be conducted in accordance with the competency requirements of that role and will be more stringent. Therefore, the RCSC took the decision to keep the entry-level status quo.

The commission decided on these changes on May 23.