In February 2020, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman proposed setting up an agency to conduct a Common Eligibility Test (CET) for all central government recruitments. Months after the proposal, the union cabinet has approved setting up of the National Recruitment Agency.

National Recruitment Agency

The government envisions the National Recruitment Agency (NRA) as a specialist body which will be responsible for infusing technology and the best recruitment practices into the central government’s recruitment processes.

The NRA will have representatives from the Ministry of Railways, Ministry of Finance/Department of Financial Services, the Staff Selection Commission (SSC), Railway Recruitment Board (RRB) and Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS).

National Recruitment Agency aims to foster good governance

This multi-agency body will be responsible for conducting the CET to shortlist candidates for Group B and C (non-technical) posts.

Common Eligibility Test

The Common Eligibility Test will be conducted online by NRA and it will replace all the tier-I exams presently conducted by SSC, RRB, and IBPS. This test would be conducted in 12 different languages, and the paper pattern would be based on a common curriculum.

The agency will conduct a separate test for a different level of candidates – graduate, higher secondary (12th Pass) and matriculation (10th Pass). Based on the score in this test, candidates would be shortlisted for further specialized (Tier-II, Tier-III, etc) exams which shall be conducted by the respective recruitment agencies.

Some key highlights of the Common Eligibility Test

The CET score will be valid for three years from the date of declaration of the result. There is no limit on the number of attempts for this test, subject to the maximum age limit for respective posts in the central government.

The highest score of a candidate would be considered as his/her recent score and would be valid for the recruitment process of the specified agencies.

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Potential Benefits To Candidates

Setting up of an independent body for conducting a common test vital for different recruitments comes as a landmark reform. This decision of the central government aims to reduce hardships for job seekers by bringing in transparency in the recruitment process.

Here are some of the highlights of CET and NRA that every aspirant who is willing to seek a job in the government sector needs to know:

  • Presently, job seekers have to appear for different exams conducted by SSC, RRB and IBPS to be eligible for the jobs posted by these agencies. This would not be the scenario anymore because CET would suffice as a tier-I exam for all these posts.
  • Every year, many test-takers clear the preliminary examinations conducted by these agencies but fail to get through the higher level exams or interviews (where applicable) so, they have to appear for these tests again and again. After CET, this would not be a problem because the score will be valid for three years.
  • The test will have a common curriculum for all the specified posts of the enlisted agencies, therefore, students would not have to go through the hardship of preparing multiple times and in different formats as presently, different exams have different time frames and somewhat different paper patterns.
  • The test will be conducted in various languages, so it aims to provide equal opportunity of selection to aspirants from various backgrounds across the country.
  • Aspirants will not have to pay the examination fee, boarding and lodging charges, etc multiple times for different exams, every year. This will ease the financial burden to a great extent.
Benefits of National Recruitment Agency
  • Candidates will be able to register on a common portal and give their choice of centres. Based on the availability, they will be allotted their centre. The government aims to take the testing to a level where students will be able to schedule their tests at the centre of their choice.
  • The centre has committed to undertake the necessary expenditure on examination centres in 117 aspirational districts. This will ensure greater access to the nearby centres, especially for women candidates.
  • According to the centre, various departments are intending to do away with the higher levels of examination (Tier-II, III, etc) and conduct the recruitments based on CET score, physical and medical examination only. So, this will shorten the recruitment cycle.
  • Over a period of time, the government intends to bring the central government’s other recruitment agencies on the same table. Other public and private agencies will also be able to opt for this test, thereby reducing costs and efforts.

All in all, this announcement comes as a bonanza to various government job aspirants. Hopefully, it will make the recruitment process more transparent and uniform throughout the nation.

Image Credits: Twitter, Google Images

Sources: Indian Express, The Hindu, Narendra

Find the blogger: @RitikaaNijhawan

This post is tagged under: National Recruitment Agency, SSC exams, RRB, IBPS, Railway recruitment, ssc recruitment, CET, upcoming govt jobs 2020, bank jobs recruitment 2020, recruitment 2020, government jobs, government job aspirant, Bank PO, SSC,#National Recruitment Agency, how to get a govt job, apply for govt jobs, new rules, new policy, exams, tests, government recruitment, central recruitment, centre jobs

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