Monday, December 11, 2017

10 things to know about guokao, the exam that selects Chinese civil servants; 5-hour test, 7-yr jail for cheating…

ON SUNDAY, about 1.1 million candidates appeared for China's National Public Servant Examination, a huge jump from the last year's 984,000 aspirants, according to reports quoting China’s official news agency, Xinhua. The reports further said that this year's exam in China saw an increase of 76,000 applicants for the grassroots positions in difficult and remote areas. Here are 10 things to know about the Chinese civil service examination:
1. The examination is called guokao which is the shortened version of National Public Servant Examination in the Chinese language. 
2. The number of candidates who had originally applied for this year’s examination was 1.56 million out of which 1.1 million appeared on Sunday.
3. The total number of vacancy this year is about 28,000, which means only one out of every 39 candidates will manage a government job in China this year.
4. The examination is quite different from India’s civil service examination. The Chinese one is a five-hour-long test including a two-hour aptitude test with 135 multiple-choice questions and then a three-hour-long test on writing essays, mainly on policy matters. 
5. The candidates must be Chinese citizens only, aged between 18 and 35 years.
6. Cheating in Chinese civil services means fines, or jail upto seven years, according to rules as amended in 2015. 
7. In fact, the salaries and pensions of the Chinese civil servants were only reduced in recent times, with the government agencies even clamping down on unauthorised gifts, banquets and other benefits for officials.
8. The results of Sunday’s written examination will be announced in January, 2018; the successful candidates will be asked to appear for an interview in March before preparing the final list of successful candidates.
9. The salary may not be very high for the China’s civil servants, but the government jobs are termed as "iron rice bowls", meaning the ones with a guaranteed job security and immense benefits. The civil servants also get better health and welfare benefits; also the government jobs are considered prestigious in the society. 
10. Many candidates have master’s or doctoral degrees; some are overseas returnees competing for a more secured job.

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