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‘National Recruitment Agency’

  • Category
    Polity & Governance
  • Published
    26th Aug, 2020

The Union Cabinet approved the plan to set up a National Recruitment Agency (NRA).


The Union Cabinet approved the plan to set up a National Recruitment Agency (NRA).


  • The proposed National Recruitment Agency will be an independent body to conduct examination for government jobs.
  • It will conduct a common preliminary examination for various recruitments in the central government.
  • It will conduct the Tier-1 examination for these three agencies online. Examination centres will be set up in each district, with the Centre committing to invest in the necessary infrastructure for 117 aspirational districts.
  • This agency is set up under the Societies Registration Act.
  • NRA will have representatives from the ministry of railways, ministry of finance/department of financial services, the Staff Selection Commission (SSC), Railway Recruitment Board (RRB) and the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS).

What will be the process?

  • Initially, it will organise a CET to screen/shortlist candidates for the Group B and C (non -technical) posts, which are now being conducted by the Staff Selection Commission (SSC), Railways Recruitment Board (SSC) and Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS).
  • Later on, more exams may be brought under it.
  • The agency will have representatives from SSC, IBPS and RRB.
  • The test will be conducted for three levels:
    • Graduate candidates
    • higher secondary (12th pass) candidates
    • the matriculate (10th pass) candidates
  • However, the present recruitment agencies– IBPS, RRB and SCC — will remain in place.
  • 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 CET would be common.

Validity of CET Score

  • The CET score of a 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. While there will be no restriction on the number of attempts to be taken by a candidate to appear in the CET, it will be subject to the upper age limit.
  • However, the relaxation in the upper age limit shall be given to candidates of SC/ST/OBC and other categories as per the extant policy of the Government.

The need

  • As of now, aspirants have to take different exams that are conducted by various agencies for central government jobs.
  • On an average 2.5 crore to 3 crore aspirants appear for about 1.25 lakh vacancies in the central government every year.
  • As and when it will be set up, the NRA will conduct a common eligibility test (CET) and based on the CET score a candidate can apply for a vacancy with the respective agency.

Assessing the benefits

  • Easing the process: NRA will benefit around 25 million aspirants who apply for multiple government jobs every year and have to apply for each exam separately.
  • Streamlining the recruitment process: A single eligibility test would “significantly reduce” the recruitment cycle. 

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