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Explained: How does the National Recruitment Agency, Common Eligibility Test work

New Delhi, Aug 20: The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the creation of the National Recruitment Agency (NRA) for conducting an online common eligibility test to screen and shortlist candidates for non-gazetted Group B and Group C posts in the central government as well as public sector banks.

Explained: How does the National Recruitment Agency, Common Eligibility Test work

It may be recalled that this agency first found a mention in Union Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman's budget speech on February 1 this year. This agency would benefit a large number of aspirants who currently have to take exams for different services.

The Common Entrance Test would replace nearly 50 examinations which are held by different recruiting agencies for around 1.25 lakh government jobs that are advertised each year. The CET would be a single and standardised online test and the scores of the same would be valid for three years.

CET to replace Tier-1 exam:

The CET would replace the Tier-1 exam that is held by the Staff Selection Commission (SSC), Railway Recruitment Boards (RRB) and Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS). The test would be conducted for the recruitment to Group B and Group C posts.

The CET would be held for all posts simultaneously. However there will be different tests which would be job specific and applicant eligibility criteria such as graduate, higher secondary and matriculate level.

Can apply for higher tiers:

The NRA would initially conduct CET for only three recruitment agencies, but would expand to all 20 various agencies. Based on the CET score, an aspirant can apply for higher tiers of recruitment process to be conducted by these agencies, Secretary (Personnel) C Chandramouli said.

The CET will use an ICT interface with a secure central server. This would ensure cost cutting and will be convenient as well save time for the government, recruiting agencies. And candidates during the recruitment process.

Number of attempts:

An aspirant would be allowed unlimited attempts within a prescribed age limit to better his or her CET score. The best would be considered. Moreover an aspirant would not need to travel outside his or her district to access a test centre. Over a 1,000 centres across the country are proposed for this, with one at least in each district. This would ensure that the money spent for multiple recruitment tests would be saved.

CET score generation:

The CET score would be generated immediately and shall be made available for both the candidate and the recruitment agency. This would help in ensuring better transparency.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed the move and said that the National Recruitment Agency 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 be a big boost to transparency, PM Modi also said.

Data for states soon:

The NRA will be headquartered in Delhi and will be headed by a secretary level officer.

The NRA will include representatives from the railway ministry, finance ministry, SSC, RRB and IBPS. The representatives will be part of the governing board.

Further, the CET merit list will be eventually made available by the NRA to states on a cost sharing basis. This would help the states undertake recruitment for the state government jobs as well as in the private sector.

CET in 12 languages:

The test will be conducted twice a year. It can be taken in 12 different languages to begin with. The test centres will be set up in 117 aspirational districts, for which Rs 600 crore has been separately earmarked.

Minister of State for personnel, Jitendra Singh said that the Rs 1,517 crore NRA proposal is one the most landmark reforms in the history of independent India. He also said that it would enable testing for non-technical government jobs based on a standardised curriculum and difficulty level. It will benefit women, poor and other disadvantaged sections by eliminating travel to multiple and far away places.

Amit Shah hails decision:

"#NationalRecruitmentAgency is an unprecedented step taken by Modi govt as it would create an uniform transformative recruitment process. PM @NarendraModi ji has given the due right to the job seeking youth of the country by ensuring transparency & ease in the recruitment process," Union Home Minister Amit Shah said.

The home minister said the NRA will provide equal opportunities to all sections of the society as each district will have an exam centre, test will be in multiple languages and Common Eligibility Test score will be valid for three years.

Shah said a single test will also reduce the financial burden, which will greatly benefit the candidates and termed it as a "landmark day for India's youth!".

"I thank PM @NarendraModi ji for approving the creation of #NationalRecruitmentAgency in today's cabinet. This transformational reform will remove the hurdles of multiple exams for central govt jobs through Common Eligibility Test," he said.

National BJP President J P Nadda said, 'in a determined step to help millions of youths, PM Modi's Cabinet assented to set up NRA.

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