The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved the plan to set up a National Recruitment Agency (NRA) on Wednesday.
NRA will conduct a Common Eligibility Test (CET) for all non-gazetted posts, including Group B and C (non-technical) jobs.
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 the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS).
NRA will benefit around 25 million aspirants who apply for multiple government jobs every year and have to apply for each exam separately.
National Recruitment Agency will benefit government job aspirants as follows:
Aspirants do not have to apply and appear separately for multiple recruitment exams. They will be able to apply once for a single or multiple recruitment exams in various departments and take the Common Eligibility Test (CET). CET will be a preliminary level test. Its score will be valid for 3 years. After the CET is conducted, NRA will send the scores of eligible candidates to the respective agencies to continue the recruitment process. So, those who clear the CET will have to appear for the mains or second level of the recruitment.
CET would significantly reduce the lengthy recruitment cycle as some of the recruitment departments have decided to skip their tier -2 or second level test and go ahead with the recruitment based on CET score which will be the preliminary level test followed by physical tests and medical examination. This will reduce the time taken by the agencies to hire the candidates.
CET will be conducted separately for graduate, higher secondary (12th) and matric (10th) levels. Each level of exam will have a common syllabus and will serve as a screening (preliminary) test for that level.
Candidates who clear CET once, will be eligible to attempt for the second level exam (mains) thrice (once every year). They will not have to appear for the PT/ screening test again for three years. Currently, those who pass the PT and fail in Main exam (tier 2) have to again appear for the PT next year and start afresh. This way, CET will save their time and energy.
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. Relaxation in the upper age limit shall be given to candidates of SC/ST/OBC and other categories as per the extant policy of the Government.
Candidates will have the facility to give a choice of centres and they would be allotted the chosen centres, based on the availability. They will be given an option to schedule their own tests at their choice centres.
Government has sanctioned a sum of Rs 1517.57 crore for the NRA. The expenditure will be undertaken over a period of three years. The cost will also be incurred for setting up exam infrastructure in 117 districts with large numbers of aspirants. The proposal is expected to ease the access to aspirants residing in rural areas.
Candidates will not have to incur additional expenses for travel, boarding, lodging to reach their exam centres that are usually far from their hometown. Single exam will reduce the financial burden on candidates.
CET would be available in a number of languages, benefitting aspirants from different regions of the country. Presently, most of the exams are conducted in English and Hindi languages.