Union Cabinet approves setting up of National Recruitment Agency to conduct Common Eligibility Test

The Union Cabinet has approved a proposal to set up NRA. The agency will conduct the Common Eligibility Test (CET) for recruitment to all non-gazetted posts in various departments/organisations of the Central Government and public sector banks.

The Union Cabinet, on August 19, has approved a proposal to set up a National Recruitment Agency (NRA) for conducting the proposed Common Eligibility Test (CET) for recruitment to all non-gazetted posts in various department/organisations of Central Government and public sector banks.

Prime Minister tweeted, “NRA will prove to be a boon for crores of youngsters. Through the Common Eligibility Test, it will eliminate multiple tests and save precious time as well as resources. This will also be a big boost to transparency.”

Union Home Minister Amit Shah tweeted, “NRA would create a uniform transformative recruitment process. NRA will provide equal opportunities to all sections of the society as each district will have an exam centre, the test will be in multiple languages and CET score will be valid for three years. A single test will also reduce the financial burden, which will benefit the candidates.”

Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said that the Union Cabinet has approved the setting of NRA to conduct CET. This will benefit the youths of the country seeking government jobs.

Union Minister Jitendra Singh too hailed the decision as a landmark reform in the history of independent India and said that this will bring ease of recruitment and ease of selection.

What is NRA?

NRA will work as an independent, professional and specialist organisation. NRA will be an autonomous society under the Societies Act. It will have representatives from SSC, RRB and IBPS. The agency will conduct the computer-based Common Eligibility Test for selection to the non-gazetted posts. This will be a single entrance examination for all non-gazetted posts falling under Group B and C. NRA will conduct a tier-1 examination of CET. To begin with, there will be 1000 exam centres, including 117 aspirational districts and every district will have at least one exam centre. The test will be conducted in 12 languages. The fees will be the same as any government exam. CET will be conducted twice in a year. There is no age bar, and candidates can try as many times as their age permits. The dates of the first CET exam will be announced soon. The government has sanctioned Rs 1,517.57 crore for NRA. 

NRA: What is the purpose?

Around 2.5 crore aspirants appear for various government and banking exams conducted by various authorities. With the implementation of NRA, candidates will need to appear for a single exam and scores will be used by the different agencies to offer appointments based on their performance. This will reduce the time, effort, and cost for candidates.

NRA: How will it work?

Candidates will have to qualify the common entrance examination to be shortlisted for the next stage of examination or selection process to be conducted any recruitment agency. The score will be valid for three years from the date of declaration of result. The best available score during three years will be deemed valid for shortlisting. CET scores will be made available to the candidates as well as to the individual recruitment agency. CET merit list will be made available to the states by NRA on a cost-sharing basis for considering the same to offer state government jobs. Initially, the scores will be used by the three major recruitment agencies. However, over a period of time is expected that other recruitment agencies in the Central Government will adopt the scores. The scores can be used by organisations in both. The scores will be shared with recruiting agencies in the Central Government, state governments/union territories, public sector undertakings and private sector. This would help such organisations in cutting down costs and time spent on recruitment.

Number of Attempts

There is no restriction on the number of attempts to be taken by a candidate to appear in the CET. It is subject to the upper age limit. Relaxation in the upper age limit will be given to candidates from SC/ST/OBC and other categories as per the existing policy of the government.

Eligibility and Selection Process

NRA will conduct separate CETs for each level: graduate, Class 12 pass and Class 10 pass candidates. The recruitment to non-technical posts is presently managed by the Staff Selection Commission (SSC), the Railway Recruitment Boards (RRBs) and by the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS). Based on the CET score, the final selection will be made through separate specialised tier 2/tier 3 examinations conducted by the respective recruitment agency. 

What will be the curriculum?

CET will follow a standard curriculum and degree of difficulty. This will ease the burden of candidates who are at present required to prepare for each of the examinations separately as per their specific curriculum.

NRA: How to register?

Candidates will have the facility of registering online on a common portal and provide choice/preference for exam centres. Based on availability, they will be allotted centres. Candidates can schedule tests.

Pattern of NRA

Registration of applicants, generation of roll numbers, display of marks, merit list, etc. will be done online. A large number of candidates will be screened out during CET. The exam will comprise multiple-choice-objective type questions. The number of candidates appearing in the subsequent stages will get reduced to nearly 5% of the total number of candidates who appeared in CET.

Tweets on National Recruitment Agency 

PM’s tweet on National Recruitment Agency (NRA)

Henesh Rawat
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