Cabinet clears National Recruitment Agency to conduct common test for government jobs

Updated: 19 August, 2020 17:22 IST | PTI | New Delhi

It is envisioned that the NRA would be a specialist body bringing the state-of-the-art technology and best practices in the field of Central government recruitment, an official statement said.

The Union Cabinet Wednesday approved the creation of National Recruitment Agency (NRA) for conducting a common eligibility test for central government jobs, initiating a "landmark reform" in the recruitment process.

Briefing the media on the Cabinet meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, I&B Minister Prakash Javadekar said it was a historic decision that will allow job-seekers take one common test and save costs and time spent on writing multiple exams.

This has been a major demand of the youths for many years which has been fulfilled, he said.

Union minister Jitendra Singh termed it a revolutionary and landmark reform in the history of the country.

It will lead to ease of selection, ease of job placement and ease of living, especially for those sections of society that are considered disadvantaged, he said.

This will also help the poor and women who have to travel long distances for taking exams for various jobs, he said.

The NRA will conduct a Common Eligibility Test (CET) to screen/shortlist candidates for the Group B and Group C (non-technical) posts.

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

It is envisioned that the NRA would be a specialist body bringing the state-of-the-art technology and best practices in the field of Central government recruitment, an official statement said.

For now, the scores of the common test will be used by three major recruitment agencies, but other agencies would be included over a period of time.

In the long run, the CET score could be shared with other recruiting agencies in the Central government, state governments/Union Territories, Public Sector Undertakings and Private Sector, Singh said.

This, he said, would help them save costs and time spent on recruitment.

The government has sanctioned a sum of Rs 1,517.57 crore for setting up the National Recruitment Agency (NRA), which will be headquartered in Delhi.

It will have a chairman of the rank of a Secretary to the government.

The expenditure will be undertaken over a period of three years. Apart from setting up the NRA, the costs will be incurred on setting up examination infrastructure in the 117 aspirational districts, the statement said.

At present, candidates seeking government jobs have to appear for separate examinations conducted by multiple recruiting agencies for various posts even though they have similar eligibility conditions.

The candidates thus end up paying fees to multiple recruiting agencies and also have to travel long distances for appearing in these exams.

Singh said the initial plan is to set up 1,000 exam centres across the country for conduction this common test.

There will be at least one exam centre in each district and no candidate will now have to travel out of their district for taking this common exam, he said.

On an average, around 2.5 crore to 3 crore candidates appear in each of these examinations and a common eligibility test would enable them to appear once and apply to any or all of these recruitment agencies for the higher level of examination, he said.

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First Published: 19 August, 2020 16:47 IST

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