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  • Sep, 2017
  • 14317
  • CSS


Pakistan Administrative Service or PAS (previously known as the District Management Group or DMG), is renowned as the elite cadre of the Civil Service of Pakistan. Officers' recruitment for PAS takes place via the annual CSS exams, the competitive examination held once a year by the Federal Public Service Commission of Pakistan. After clearing for the written exam, all selected candidates undergo a vigorous chain of examination which includes medical examination, physiological tests and interviews.


The candidates who clear all these tests are then allocated in various groups depending on their merit and preference. All the selected candidates, belonging to all the groups, undergo a 6-9 month training period in the Civil Services Academy, Walton Lahore. This training is known as Common Training program, or CTP. After the successful completion of this training period, all the officers undergo specialized training in their respective institutions. This specialized training is known as STP (Specialized Training program) and its duration varies for each group. For PAS, the training period of STP is approximately 7-9 months after which they have to clear the Final Passing out Exam (FPOE) for confirmation in grade 17. With the end of STP, PAS officers enter the field as AC UT (Under Training) for almost 6-9 months after which they are made part of the officer's league as AC (Assistant Commissioner, Grade 17)


The Indian Civil Service (ICS) which is the predecessor of the Civil Service of Pakistan and District Management Group- owes its origin to the British Raj. After the creation of Pakistan in 1947, the ICS which was ceded to Pakistan was renamed as Pakistan Administrative Service, later changed to Civil Service of Pakistan. Many reforms, some wanted and some condemned, have taken place in the civil services of Pakistan. The most notorious perhaps are the amendments introduced by Gen.Pervaiz Musharraf around 2008 and the subsequent devolution which hit PAS severely. It was one of those dark times in the history of PAS when many doubted the existence of the group or its superiority. Yet PAS proved all such critics wrong not only by surviving but managing to do so with its traditional spirit and accolade.


Each group has its own specialty and appeal both for the public at large and for its own officers. Some are specialized and deal with certain areas of governance and management, such as Inland Revenue Services (IRS) which deal with taxation related affairs while PAAS officer deal exclusively with audit and accounts. The beauty and charm of PAS lies in its generalization and the wide scope of activities and responsibilities which the State has entrusted it with. Historically, PAS is the service which has been the writ of the government from the top to the lowest possible layer of the public hierarchy. The power and prestige which has historically been accorded to this group because of its service delivery and unique vintage of responsibilities has diffused somehow over the past few decades due to various factors.

From the perspective of personal grooming and management, the scope and nature of opportunities that are provided to PAS officers are unparallel. PAS is the only group in the history of Pakistan's bureaucracy which enjoys an unparallel level of unity in its ranks. The sense of brotherhood and ownership by seniors for their juniors goes a long way in not only ensuring the personal development of both but also ensures that the service is strengthened. From the view point of public welfare and service delivery, again PAS is completely unique. The nature and extend of one's influence on the common man for his welfare and progress is massive when one is a PAS officer. There are countless examples of PAS officers who were giants of their time and who contributed to the magnifying of their service also.

The perks and privileges which are available to the PAS officers generally include residence and transportation. Moreover, they are provided with the control and management of the entire tehsil (as AC) and district (as Deputy Commissioner). The promotions which are available to PAS officers are also usually faster and larger in number than the other groups, owning to the nature of their job and the constitutional provision which exists in the 1973 constitution of Pakistan. At the position of Secretary, officers have the power to be the policy makers and play an active role in ensuring that they give back to their country and people.


At the end of the day, what's important isn't the group you are in. or the position...

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