40th BCS circular disappoints quota reform activists

DU Correspondent | Published at 12:34am on September 12, 2018

The issuance of the 40th Bangladesh Civil Service circular with existing quota system has disappointed many students and jobseekers demanding reforms in the quota system for government jobs.
Expressing frustration over the government’s indifference to their demands, Nurul Huq Nur, joint convener of Bangladesh General Students’ Rights Protection Council, on Tuesday said that the government could have taken some time before issuance of the circular as the quota reform process was still underway.
Nur said they had no other way but to take to the streets to press their demands.
He also said that they would announce their next programmes within a couple of days.
Bangladesh Public Service Commission published the circular for 40th BCS on Tuesday keeping previous quota system.
At a press conference on Tuesday morning in front of Dhaka University central library Bin Yamin Mollah, joint convener of the General Students’ Rights Protection Council platform said that if the gazette announcing reform in quota system was not issued before 40th Bangladesh Civil Service circular, they would resume the movement.
They also demanded withdrawal of all cases against the quota-reform protesters without any delay.
Mollah further said that the deadline to issue the gazette was August 31 but as Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader had asked the quota reformists to keep patience, the students waited but ten day already elapsed and they yet to take any visible steps.
A secretary-level committee for a review of the quota system in public service recruitment is yet to finalise its report although the protesters’ deadline for publication of gazette notification reforming the quota expired on August 31.
Earlier on August 12, quota protesters threatened to launch a tougher movement paralysing the country from September if their detained fellows were not released before the Eid-ul-Azha and a gazette notification reforming the quota system was not published by August 31.
Students and jobseekers took to the streets on February 17 and continued protests for reducing the quota in government jobs to 10 per cent from the existing 56 per cent, including 30 per cent for freedom fighters’ children and their grandchildren, 10 per cent for women and 10 per cent for districts, 5 per cent for ethnic minorities and 1 per cent for physically challenged people.
The government on July 2 formed the seven-member committee to reform or abolish the quota system in the face of protests that continued amid attacks and intimidation by the police and ruling Awami League-backed student body Bangladesh Chhatra League.
The committee that includes secretaries from the Prime Minister’s Office, public administration ministry, finance division, legislative division, Liberation War affairs ministry and Public Service Commission was initially given 15 working days to submit the report. The timeframe was later extended to 90 working days.
Amid countrywide protests for reform of the quota system, prime minister Sheikh Hasina on April 11 told parliament that there would be no quota in government jobs.