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Bangladesh – Recruitment quota causes protests

15 July 2013

Hundreds of student protestors are demanding that employment quota provisions for the Bangladesh Civil Service (BCS) be scrapped. The protestors are demanding that the quota be scrapped to allow recruitment on merit basis. At present, 55% of candidates are recruited as a direct result of quota requirements, with only 45% recruited on merit.

The quota system for BCS exams was introduced in 1972, at which time merit based recruitment accounted for only 20% of BCS recruitment. Freedom fighters consisted of 30% of quota based recruitment, war affected women 20%, and in-district specific quotas accounted for 40%. Amendments were made in 1976; halving the in-district specific quota to 20% and doubling the merit based recruitment to 40%.

Merit based recruitment was increased again in 1985 to 45%. The in-district quota was made more specific, accounting for the remaining 55% of recruitment; wards of freedom fighters (30%), women (10%), tribal (5%), and in-district merit (10%).

The protests have resulted in the BCS announcing that it will reconsider the results of the preliminary recruitment exams. The students called off their protests stating that they would resume their blockade unless the government announced it would be scrapping the quota system. 


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