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Cabinet approves setting up of NRA- National Recruitment Agency to conduct Common Eligibility Test for govt jobs

Cabinet approves setting up of NRA- National Recruitment Agency to conduct Common Eligibility Test for govt jobs

The Central Government on Wednesday approved setting up of 'National Recruitment Agency' to conduct Common Eligibility Test for jobseekers.
The decision was taken at the Union Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
This decision will benefit job seeking youth of the country, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said while announcing the Cabinet decision.

Addressing the media, Union Minister Jitendra Singh said it is one of the most landmark reforms in the history of independent India.

"It'll bring in ease of recruitment, selection, job placement and ease of living particularly for certain sections of society which are at a disadvantage on one account or the other," he said.
"Merit list of Common Entrance Test (CET) will remain valid for 3 years during which the candidate can apply for jobs in different sectors depending upon his aptitude and preferences," he added.

"A multi-agency body called the National Recruitment Agency (NRA) will conduct a Common Eligibility Test (CET) to screen and shortlist candidates for the Group B and C (non-technical) posts. NRA will have representatives of Ministry of Railways, Ministry of Finance/Department of Financial Services, the SSC, RRB & IBPS. It is envisioned that the NRA would be a specialist body bringing the state of the art technology and best practices to the field of Central Government recruitment," the government said in a press release.

This will end the need for candidates to appear in multiple examinations conducted by multiple agencies.

"Apart from the examination fees, candidates have to incur additional expenses for travel, boarding, lodging and other such. A single examination would reduce the financial burden on candidates to a large extent," the statement said.

The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved setting up of a national agency to conduct tests for various central government jobs. The National Recruitment Agency (NRA) will conduct computer-based online Common Eligibility Test (CET) to screen candidates at the first level for Staff Selection Commission (SSC), the Railway Recruitment Boards (RRBs) and the Institute of Banking Service Personnel (IBPS).

The approval given by the Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi will pave the way for a transformational reform in the recruitment process for central government jobs, a government press release said.

At present, candidates seeking government jobs have to appear for separate examinations conducted by multiple recruiting agencies for various posts, for which similar eligibility conditions have been prescribed. Candidates have to pay fee to multiple recruiting agencies and also have to travel long distances for appearing in various exams.
"These multiple recruitment examinations are a burden on the candidates, as also on the respective recruitment agencies, involving avoidable and repetitive expenditure, law and order and security related issues and venue related problems. On average, 2.5 crore to 3 crore candidates appear in each of these 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. This would indeed be a boon to all the candidates," the government said.
Here is all you need to know about the National Recruitment Agency (NRA) and the Common Eligibility Test (CET)

National Recruitment Agency (NRA)
A multi-agency body called the National Recruitment Agency (NRA) will conduct a Common Eligibility Test (CET) to screen shortlist candidates for the Group B and C (non-technical) posts. NRA will have representatives of the Ministry of Railways, Ministry of Finance/Department of Financial Services, the SSC, RRB & IBPS. It is envisioned that the NRA would be a specialist body bringing the state of the art technology and best practices to the field of Central Government recruitment.

Financial Outlay: Rs 1517.57 crore sanctioned
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. Apart from setting up the NRA, costs will be incurred for setting up examination infrastructure in the 117 Aspirational Districts.

Standardised Testing for three graduate, 12th and 10th level
NRA will conduct a separate CET each for the three levels of graduate, higher secondary (12th pass) and the matriculate (10th pass) candidates for those non-technical posts to which recruitment is presently carried out by the Staff Selection Commission (SSC), the Railway Recruitment Boards (RRBs) and by the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS). Based on the screening done at the CET score level, final selection for recruitment will be made through separate specialised Tiers (II, III etc) of examination which will be conducted by the respective recruitment agencies. The curriculum for this test would be common as would be the standard. This would greatly ease the burden of candidates who are at present required to prepare for each of the examinations separately as per the different curriculum.

CET Score to be valid for three years, no bar on attempts
The CET score of the candidate will be valid for a period of three years from the date of declaration of the result. The best of the valid scores shall be deemed to be the current score of the candidate. There will 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. Relaxation in the upper age limit will be given to candidates of SC/ST/OBC and other categories as per the extant policy of the government. This would go a long way in mitigating the hardship of candidates who spend a considerable amount of time, money and effort preparing and giving these examinations every year.

CET Scores – access to multiple recruitment agencies
Initially the scores would be used by the three major recruitment agencies. However, over a period of time it is expected that other recruitment agencies in the Central Government would adopt the same. Further, it would be open for other agencies in the public as well as private domain to adopt it if they so choose. Thus, in the long run, the CET score could be shared with other recruiting agencies in the Central Government, State Governments/Union Territories, Public Sector Undertaking and Private Sector. This would help such organizations in saving costs and time spent on recruitment.

Scheduling Tests and choosing centres
Candidates would have the facility of registering on a common portal and give a choice of centres. Based on availability, they would be allotted centres. The ultimate aim is to reach a stage wherein candidates can schedule their own tests at centres of their choice.

Examination centres in every district
Examination Centres for the CET in every district of the country would greatly enhance access to the candidates located in far-flung areas. Special focus on creating examination infrastructure in the 117 Aspirational Districts would go a long way in affording access to candidates at a place nearer to where they reside. The benefits in terms of cost, effort, safety and much more would be immense. The proposal will not only ease access to rural candidates, but it will also motivate the rural candidates residing in the far-flung areas to take the examination and thereby, enhance their representation in Central Government jobs.
How NRA, CET will benefit jobseekers

Major Relief to poor candidates
Presently, the candidates have to appear in multiple examinations conducted by multiple agencies. Apart from the examination fees, candidates have to incur additional expenses for travel, boarding and lodging. A single examination would reduce the financial burden on candidates to a large extent.

Women candidates to benefit greatly
Women candidates, especially from rural areas, face constraints in appearing in multiple examinations as they have to arrange for transportation and places to stay in places that are far away. They sometimes have to find suitable persons to accompany them to these Centres that are located far away. The location of test centres in every district would greatly benefit candidates from rural areas in general and women candidates in particular.

Candidates from rural areas to benefit
Given the financial and other constraints, the candidates from rural background have to make a choice as to which examination they want to appear in. Under the NRA, the candidates by appearing in one examination will get an opportunity to compete for many posts. NRA will conduct the first-level or Tier I Examination which is the stepping stone for many other selections.

Multiple languages
The CET would be available in a number of languages. This would greatly facilitate people from different parts of the country to take the exam and have an equal opportunity of being selected.

Shortening the recruitment cycle
A single eligibility test would significantly reduce the recruitment cycle. Some Departments have indicated their intention to do away with any second-level test and go ahead with the recruitment on the basis of CET scores, physical tests and medical examination. This would greatly reduce the cycle and benefit a large section of youth.

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