Cabinet approves creation of ‘National Recruitment Agency’ — Government and PSU bank job seekers will now have to clear a single central test

Cabinet approves creation of ‘National Recruitment Agency’ — Government and PSU bank job seekers will now have to clear a single central test
Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) Secretary C. Chandramouli during press briefingPIB
  • India’s Union Cabinet has given the nod to set up a National Recruitment Agency (NRA), which will spearhead the initiative to set up a Common Eligibility Test (CET) that will cover all central government jobs and public sector bank positions.
  • A common score will be given to determine a candidate’s eligibility for a particular post.
  • Setting up the NRA will cost the Indian government ₹ 1,517.57 crore but it hopes the new process will save it up to ₹600 crore each year.
The Indian government has given the newly formed National Recruitment Agency (NRA) the nod to set up a Common Eligibility Test (CET). Instead of applying to each individual branch of the government or different public sector banks, there will now be one single test to standardise the process.

"There are more than 20 recruitment agencies in the Central government. Right now, we are bringing 3 agencies under the National Recruitment Agency and will eventually bring all of them under it," said Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) Secretary C. Chandramouli.

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Not only will the CET make the process more convenient for job seekers but it will also help the government cut down on costs and time normally taken to recruit. The central government may also share the CET merit list with states for state government jobs on a cost-sharing basis.

The NRA will be a society registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 and government will be doling out ₹1,517.57 crore to set it up. However, it estimates that it will be able to save around ₹600 crore per annum under the new system — breaking even in around three years.


How will CET work?
The CET serves as an entrance exam. It’s a first level test to shortlist candidates for a particular post.

The scores of the test will remain valid for three years and can be used to apply for jobs across the government spectrum. Each person will have two additional chances to improve their scores, and only the best of all scores will be taken into final consideration.

"There are 1.25 lakh vacancies every year in Group B and C for Railways, banks and SSC for which 2.5 crore to 3 crore people apply," said Chandramouli.

What will CET achieve?
According to the Indian government, the CET is aimed at solving problems for the candidates. From the varying schedules of different exams to their different application processes, the CET will simplify the entire ecosystem. By bringing all the exams under one umbrella, It will also address the infrastructure shortage that creates scope for malpractice, said Chandramouli.

One exam will also mean just a one-time payment of exams fees instead of shelling out separate payments.

Chandramouli pointed out that the CET will also enable job opportunities to reach rural areas for those candidates for whom travelling to testing centres, located mostly in urban centres, may not be possible or affordable. To remain accessible, the CET will also be available in multiple languages.

For institutions, CET will standardise the process that could solve for the delay that occurs from time to time in the finalisation of results. The government asserts that the central test will shorten the overall cycle time of recruitment from the current 12 to 18 months.

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