Beijing is to broaden its pilot scheme to recruit civil servants through examinations following repeated calls by state leaders to weed out nepotism and corruption. Two ministries under the State Council, the Ministry of Personnel and the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Co-operation (Moftec), would recruit eight and three officials respectively at the directorate and deputy directorate levels through open examinations, according to state media. The posts are so far the highest ranks to be set aside for the so-called 'promotion through competition' years after the mainland vowed to introduce a fairer system for recruiting and promoting civil servants. As appointments of civil servants are usually arbitrary decisions by their supervisors, corruption is rampant at all levels. Even state media admitted that many people 'purchased jobs' in the Government, or bribed their supervisors to keep their jobs. Xinhua said the Ministry of Personnel hoped to set an example for other departments. The vacancies earmarked for the pilot scheme included deputy directorate posts in the general office, the civil servants' management department, and the professional personnel management department. The ministry promoted two deputy directors through examination last year, Xinhua said. Moftec plans to promote three officials to the posts of director of the department of American and Oceanian Affairs, director of the Science and Technology Department, and vice-director of the Protocol Department through examinations. Assistant minister An Min said the new practice would boost civil servants' morale. At the local level, Guangdong has said nearly 10,000 jobs in the provincial Government would be decided by open procedures. Even bolder reform - public recruitment - has been introduced at the village level. Last week, more than 7,000 applicants, including many university graduates, scrambled to apply for 50 jobs available in village governments in Tianhe district, Guangzhou, in a public recruitment exercise.