Career Service

Career Service a term generally applied to different careers within the civil service structure in the government. Broadly, it can be grouped into two categories, generalist or administrative and specialist or technical.

During the early colonial rule, two classes of civil service evolved. These were the covenanted service, and the uncovenanted service. Members of the former were recruited in England and entered into a covenant with the east india company to serve it faithfully. The other category of civil servants did not enter into any covenant, and were recruited locally. This service took definite shape in 1833.

Covenanted service was essentially a superior service with definite prospects for promotion to fill up superior posts both in the field as well as in secretariat administration. By a Law enacted in 1861, the system of reservation of posts for the covenanted service was introduced to distinguish between the two classes of services. These posts came to be known as listed posts. After 1887, the covenanted civil service came to be known as the Indian Civil Service (ICS), and ICS officers were recruited by competition in England. The uncovenanted civil service came to be known as the Provincial Civil Service under the names of the concerned provinces.

The Bengal Civil Service (BCS) is a case in point. Even after the creation of Pakistan in 1947, the inherited structure of the career service remained more or less intact. The structure fell into two main categories. The former included all Pakistan services such as the Civil Service of Pakistan, the Police Service of Pakistan, and other functional services such as the Pakistan Foreign Service and those relating to audit and accounts, taxation, customs and excise, secretariat, postal and information. In the provinces, the same colonial service structure continued.

In Bangladesh the period between 1972 and 1990 is marked by attempts at redesigning the career service. These attempts at remodeling the career service flowed from the recommendations of successive committees/commissions. In September 1980, twenty-eight cadres were constituted. Later, the number of cadres were raised to thirty. At present, there are 29 cadres.

The effect of reforms in the career service led to proliferation of cadres, and with it demand for cadre rights and an intensification of the process of inter-cadre and intra-cadre bitterness centering on promotion prospects and status consciousness. The prospects for promotion, however, varies from cadre to cadre. [AMM Shawkat Ali]