New Delhi [India], Aug 19 (ANI): In a significant reform in the recruitment process for central government jobs, the Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved setting up of National Recruitment Agency to conduct Common Eligibility Test.
NRA, a multi-agency body, will encompass the first-level test by the Staff Selection Commission (SSC), the Railway Recruitment Boards (RRBs) and the Institute of Banking Service Personnel (IBPS).
Addressing a press conference here, Union Minister Jitendra Singh said it is one of the most landmark reforms in independent India.
"It will bring ease of recruitment, selection, job placement and ease of living particularly for certain sections of society which are at a disadvantage on one account or the other," he said.
Addressing a press conference here, Union Minister Jitendra Singh said that the move will not only lead to ease of recruitment, selection and job placement but will ultimately ensure ease of living.
"At least 1000 centres, one in each district will be set up, where candidates can take the test. The measure will immensely help the candidates from the far flung and hilly areas and particularly the girl candidates, besides saving their valuable time and resources. NRA will come into force from next year and will be headquartered in Delhi. State governments will also be advised to come on board in a true spirit of cooperative federalism," he said.
"There will be two tests per year under NRA and the CET scores of the candidates will remain valid for three years. Besides Hindi and English, tests will be conducted in 12 languages in due course and efforts will be made to include all the languages mentioned in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution. 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," he added.
The CET score of the candidate shall be valid for a period of three years from the date of declaration of the result. The best of the valid scores shall be deemed to be the current score of the candidate.
Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said the decision will benefit job seeking youth of the country.
C Chandramouli, Secretary, Department of Personnel and Training, said that there are more than 20 recruitment agencies in central government.
He said preliminary exam of three recruitment agencies was being made common and in course of time there will be common eligibility test for other recruitment agencies.
An official release said that the central government has sanctioned a sum of Rs. 1517.57 crore for NRA.
"The expenditure will be undertaken over a period of three years. Apart from setting up the NRA, costs will be incurred for setting up examination infrastructure in the 117 aspirational districts. The benefits in terms of cost, effort, safety and much more would be immense," it said.
The Common Eligibility Test (CET) will screen/shortlist candidates for the Group B and C (non-technical) posts.
"NRA will have representatives of the Ministry of Railways, Ministry of Finance/Department of Financial Services, the SSC, RRB and IBPS. It is envisioned that the NRA would be a specialist body bringing the state-of-the-art technology and best practices to the field of Central Government recruitment," the release said.
It said on an average, 2.5 crore to 3 crore candidates appear in recruitment examinations for various government posts.
The release said candidates have to appear in multiple examinations conducted by multiple agencies.
Apart from examination fees, candidates have to incur additional expenses for travel, boarding, lodging and other such.
The Common Eligibility Test would enable these candidates to appear once and apply to any or all of these recruitment agencies for the higher level of examination and it would reduce the financial burden on candidates to a large extent, the release said.
NRA shall conduct a separate CET each for the three levels of graduate, higher secondary (12th pass) and the matriculate (10th pass) candidates for those non-technical posts to which recruitment is presently carried out by SSC, RRBs and by IBPS.
"Based on the screening done at the CET score level, final selection for recruitment shall be made through separate specialised Tiers (II, III etc) of examination which shall be conducted by the respective recruitment agencies. The curriculum for this test would be common as would be the standard," it said.
"Candidates would have the facility of registering on a common portal and give a choice of Centres. Based on availability, they would be allotted Centres. The ultimate aim is to reach a stage wherein candidates can schedule their own tests at Centres of their choice," it added.