Mumbai: There`s good news for those aspiring
to join public sector banks and for the banks themselves.
Aimed at reducing recruitment-time and the hassles
associated with recruitment - for both banks and candidates -
there will now be a common all-India entrance test from next
year onwards for those seeking to join public sector banks.
The recruitment process which now takes about a year to
be completed will drop drastically by a third, reducing the
mental tension candidates presently go through after an exam.
"There will now be a common pan-India entrance test which
will help in reducing recruitment-time by almost a third of
what it takes now," Indian Banks Association`s Chief
Executive, K Ramakrishnan, said here on Wednesday.
Presently, it takes about a year for the recruitment
process to be completed by public sector banks, beginning from
the advertisement stage to examination and interview stage
through to the final recruitment.
Three-four such common entrance examinations are planned
to be conducted every year and "this should begin in 2011,"
The exam will be conducted by the Institute of Banking
Personnel Selection (IBPS) which will declare the results of
the exam and give a scorecard to the candidates, valid for up
to one to one-and-a-half-years.
The exams will be mainly for clerical staff and
entry-point officers, he said.
With this, candidates need not sit for an entrance exam
each time a public sector bank advertises for recruitment.
Once a candidate passes the common entrance exam, all that he
or she has to do is to respond to an individual bank`s
advertisement and appear for an interview.
"20 public sector banks have joined this," Ramakrishnan
said, adding "through this exam, we aim to create a pool of
people who have passed the exam and who can be recruited by
This should come as a boon to PSBs which can easily and
promptly tap this pool for recruitment, saving them both time
as well as the hassles of conducting the exams themselves.
The State Bank of India group, will, however, not be a
part of this common entrance test. "The SBI group has its own
recruitment process and it will continue with it,"
Once the validity period of the scorecard expires, the
candidate will have to reappear for the exam, he said.
Going forward, it is planned to hold exams for
specialised officers such as rural officers, accountancy, law
and agriculture specialists, Ramakrishnan said.
Riyadh: Saudi Arabia might be an ultra-strict
Islamic society, but princes` mansions in Jeddah hide a
buzzing party scene replete with alcohol, drugs and sex,
according to a leaked US diplomatic memo.
"Behind the facade of Wahabi conservatism in the streets,
the underground nightlife for Jeddah`s elite youth is thriving
and throbbing," said the November 2009 cable, released by the
"The full range of worldly temptations and vices are
available -- alcohol, drugs, sex -- but strictly behind closed
doors," it said.
"This freedom to indulge carnal pursuits is possible
merely because the religious police keep their distance when
parties include the presence or patronage of a Saudi royal and
his circle of loyal attendants."
The cable, from the US consulate in the Red Sea city,
described a Halloween party attended by 150 people mostly in
their 20s and 30s, including consulate personnel.
"The scene resembled a nightclub anywhere outside the
kingdom: plentiful alcohol, young couples dancing, a DJ at the
turntables, and everyone in costume."
Big Jeddah parties -- also often attended by prostitutes
-- are a recent phenomenon, according to the consulate.
One Saudi told the consulate that wealthy locals try to
throw parties at princes` homes or with princes in attendance
so that the religious police can be kept away.
It also said that the high price of smuggled alcohol -- a
bottle of Smirnoff vodka can cost 1,500 riyals, or 400 dollars
-- sometimes forces party hosts to refill original bottles
with the harsh, locally bootlegged spirit sadiqi.
Producing and selling alcohol inside the kingdom can earn
a person an extremely stiff jail sentence, and drug
trafficking is punishable by death under the kingdom`s strict
interpretation of Islamic sharia law.