The Union cabinet has approved a proposal to set up a National Recruitment Agency (NRA) for conducting the proposed Common Eligibility Test (CET) for recruitment to all non-gazetted posts in the Central government and public sector banks. With the approval of NRA, nearly 2.5 job seekers in India who apply for multiple examinations to various government and public sector agencies will now have to appear for a single online entrance test, CET, the scores of which will be valid for up to three years.
"There are almost more than 20 recruitment agencies in central govt. Although we are making exams of only three agencies common as of now, in course of time we will be able to have Common Eligiblity Test for all recruitment agencies," said Secretary to the Government, C Chandramouli.
The proposal to set up NRA for conducting CET was part of the announcements made by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her Union budget speech on February 1 this year.
The CET proposal seeks to cut costs, inconvenience and time — for the government, recruiting agencies and candidates — taken in recruitment process for non-gazetted posts in the government and public sector banks.
Here are the major changes under the new National Recruitment Agency:
- There will be no separate examinations but a single online CET for recruitment in non-gazetted posts in the government and public sector banks.
- The CET scores will be valid for up to three years from the date of result declaration.
- Each candidate will get two additional chances to improve their scores. The best out of the three scores will be considered.
- CET merit list by the NRA will also apply for recruitment to state government jobs on a cost-sharing basis.
- The NRA will be similar to the National Testing Agency (NTA) that conducts common entrance exams for admissions to undergraduate course in medical and engineering colleges across India.
As of now, aspirants need to appear for multiple examinations conducted by different agencies at different points of time, for similar posts demanding similar eligibility criteria. This places enormous burden on time, effort and cost of young people, said a government officer.
The CET score — valid for three years from date of declaration of the result — will be made available to the candidate as well as to the individual recruitment agency. Each candidate will have two additional chances to improve his score, and the best of all scores will be considered.
CET merit list may be made available to the states by NRA on cost-sharing basis, for undertaking recruitment to state government jobs.