An Imperfect Meritocratic Screening System
By Dawar Naqvi
Yorba Linda, CA


Charms strike the sight, but merit wins the soul.

Meritocracy is a political philosophy that holds power should be vested in individuals according to merit. The most common definition of meritocracy conceptualizes merit in terms of tested competency and ability, and most likely, as measured by IQ or standardized achievement tests.

In government or other administration systems, meritocracy, in an administrative sense, is a system of government or other administration (such as business administration) wherein appointments and responsibilities are objectively assigned to individuals based upon their “merits”, namely intelligence, credentials, and education, determined through evaluations or examinations.

The most common form of meritocratic screening found today is the college degree. In Pakistan higher education is an imperfect meritocratic screening system for various reasons, such as lack of uniform standards, lack of scope (not all occupations and processes are included), and lack of reliability (majority of current assembly members have fake degrees), and lack of merit (quota system still exists, five domicile in four provinces) ,etc.

Nonetheless, academic degrees serve some degree of meritocratic screening in the absence of a more refined methodology. Education alone, however, does not constitute a complete system, as meritocracy must automatically confer power and authority, which a degree does not accomplish independently.

In Pakistan democracy should be replaced by meritocracy, as an overarching political system. Only persons with appropriate qualifications should be allowed to vote. This will help in eliminating the feudal system where poor farmers or villagers by default have to vote for their regional landlords/waderas/sardars. Most farmers even do not know how to read and write.

Moreover, all politicians should have appropriate college or university degrees and candidates must pass the aptitude test. The test should be conducted by reputable institutions such as LUMS and IBA under the supervision of the Supreme Court. Media representatives should have complete access to the process. Written and verbal exams for the candidates should be introduced. They must know the history of Pakistan.

Only one person from the same family should be eligible to take part in the elections. This will help to eliminate the Family Feudal System.

All candidates should declare their property before the election. Their property declaration should be telecast on TV channels.

Generally people of the candidates’ constituencies know well about their living standards and their living houses.

All elected members should live in their constituencies during their tenure; otherwise they should be disqualified any time.

Currently, majority of members of the Sindh Assembly who were elected from rural Sindh are mostly living in the posh localities of Karachi. This is happening all over Pakistan too.

I humbly request the Chief Election Commissioner of Pakistan Justice (Retd) Fakharuddin G Ibrahim to impose these suggestions for the contestants in the upcoming elections.

The merit of originality is not novelty; it is sincerity.



Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
2004 . All Rights Reserved.