The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi today approved the proposal to set up the National Recruitment Agency (NRA), marking a paradigm shift in government recruitment. The NRA will prove to be a boon for crores of youngsters. The NRA will conduct the Common Eligibility Test (CET) for recruitment to non-gazetted posts in government and public sector banks. Common Eligibility Test (CET) shall replace the tier-1 exam held by SSC, Railway recruitment boards & Institute of Banking Personnel Selection, etc.

Through the Common Eligibility Test, it will eliminate multiple tests, the money of youngsters, save them from stress and save precious time as well as resources.  NRA enhances transparency and ease in the recruitment process. Back to back NEP 2020, another step of Modi Government towards “Aatmanirbhar Bharat”

At present recruitment system, candidates seeking government jobs have to appear for separate examinations conducted by multiple recruiting agencies for various posts. Candidates have to pay a fee to multiple recruiting agencies and also have to travel long distances for appearing in various exams.

Approximately 1.25 lakh government jobs are advertised every year for which 2.5 crore aspirants appear in various examinations. A common eligibility Test would enable these candidates to appear once and apply to any or all of these recruitment agencies for the higher level of examination.

The NRA will conduct the Common Eligibility Test (CET) aims to replace multiple examinations conducted by different recruiting agencies for selection to government jobs advertised each year, with a single online test.

Salient features of CET

  • The Common Eligibility Test will be held twice a year.
  • There will be different CETs for graduate level, 12th Pass level and 10th pass level to facilitate recruitment to vacancies at various levels. 
  • The CET will be conducted in 12 major Indian languages. This is a major change, as hitherto examinations for recruitment to Central Government jobs were held only in English and Hindi.
  • To begin with, CET will cover recruitments made by three agencies: viz. Staff Selection Commission, Railway Recruitment Board and the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection. 
  • This will be expanded in a phased manner.
  • CET will be held in 1,000 centres across India in a to bid remove the currently prevalent urban bias. There will be an examination centre in every district of the country.  There will be a special thrust on creating examination infrastructure in the 117 aspirational districts.
  • CET will be a first level test to shortlist candidates and the score will be valid for three years.
  • There shall be no restriction on the number of attempts to be taken by a candidate to appear in the CET subject to the upper age limit. Age relaxation for SC/ST and OBC candidates as per existing rules will apply.

Advantages for students

  • Removes the hassle of appearing in multiple examinations.
  • Single examination fee would reduce the financial burden that multiple exams imposed.
  • Since exams will be held in every district, it would substantially save travel and lodging cost for the candidates. Examination in their own district would encourage more and more women candidates also to apply for government jobs.
  • Applicants are required to register on a single Registration portal.
  • No need to worry about clashing of examination dates.
  • Advantages for Institutions
  • Removes the hassle of conducting preliminary / screening test of candidates.
  • Drastically reduces the recruitment cycle.
  • Brings standardization in the examination pattern.
  • Reduces costs for different recruiting agencies. Rs 600 crore savings expected.
  • The Government also plans to provide outreach and awareness facility to assist candidates in rural and far-flung areas to familiarize them with the online examination system. 24×7 helpline will be set up for answering queries, complaints and queries.

National Recruitment Agency will be a Society registered under the Societies Registration Act. It will be headed by a Chairman of the rank of the Secretary to the Government of India. It will have representatives of the Ministry of Railways, Ministry of Finance/Department of Financial Services, the SSC, RRB & IBPS. The Government has sanctioned a sum of Rs. 1517.57 crore for the National Recruitment Agency (NRA).

The expenditure will be undertaken over a period of three years. It is envisioned that the NRA would be a specialist body bringing state-of-the-art technology and best practices to the field of Central Government recruitment. This policy is defined in way of new horizon so that it may give new hope with valid opportunities to youngsters of Bharat.

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