Soon, government job aspirants will not have to apply for several entrance exams to land the job of their dreams. The government is moving forward to establish the National Recruitment Agency (NRA) which will hold the CET or common entrance test. The CET will replace multiple exams held by several hiring routes including IBPS, RRB, and SSC. The NRA will be headed by a Chairman of the rank of the Secretary to the Government of India. It will have representatives of the Ministry of Railways, the Ministry of Finance/Department of Financial Services, the SSC, RRB, and IBPS.
The NRA will conduct CET for recruitment to non-gazetted posts in government and public sector banks. The CET will be an online test and will be twice a year. There will be different CETs each based on the curriculum. For instance, all jobs having eligibility of a graduation degree and entrance exam requirement of subject knowledge of graduate degree will be held through one exam while the CET for 12th jobs across the government PSUs, and departments will be held through one exam.
The CET will be conducted in 12 major Indian languages as opposed to now when most of the central government recruitment exams are held only in Hindi and English. NRA would identify language experts to translate the question bank/paper in all regional languages included in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution, as per requirement and subject to an adequate number of candidates opting to take tests in the regional language, as per the government.
CET will be the first-level test to shortlist candidates and the score will be valid for three years. There will 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. Age relaxation for SC/ST and OBC candidates as per existing rules will apply.
To begin with, CET will cover recruitments made by three agencies, namely, the Staff Selection Commission, the Railway Recruitment Board, and the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection. This will be expanded in a phased manner.
As per the government, CET will be held in 1,000 centres across India. Candidates would have the facility of registering on a common portal and give a choice of Centres. The number of centres will be increased to ensure candidates from rural and remote areas also get a chance to appear for the exams locally. The government while announcing NRA had said that the aim will be to have an examination centre in every district of the country. Since the exam will be a CBT mode or online exan, digital infrastructure to hold online exams will be set-up in the 117 aspirational districts. The Government also plans to provide outreach and awareness facilities to assist candidates in rural and far-flung areas to familiarize them with the online examination system. A 24×7 helpline will be set up for answering queries, complaints, and queries.
Approximately 1.25 lakh government jobs are advertised every year for which 2.5 crore aspirants appear in various exams. A 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. Candidates will have to apply only once and based on score would be eligible for respective jobs. It would save both time and money from the candidates’ side, however, further rounds of recruitment depending on the profile on offer can be conducted by the respective agency.
Union Minister of State (Independent Charge), Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh had recently that NRA is expected to conduct common Eligibility Test (CET) from September 2021 onwards