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RSTV: THE BIG PICTURE- ROLE & FUNCTIONS OF NATIONAL RECRUITMENT AGENCY

RSTV


Terming the setting up of a National Recruitment Agency as “historic”, Union minister Jitendra Singh said it will conduct an online Common Eligibility Test for shortlisting candidates for majority of central government jobs twice a year. He said the multiple recruitment examinations are a burden on the candidates, as also on the respective recruitment agencies, involving avoidable or repetitive expenditure, law and order or security-related issues and venue-related problems. It is envisioned that the NRA would be a specialist body bringing state of the art technology and best practices to the field of central government recruitment.

A major boon for the youth:

  • At present, candidates seeking government jobs have to appear for separate examinations conducted by multiple recruiting agencies for various posts, for which similar eligibility conditions have been prescribed.
  • Candidates have to pay fee to multiple recruiting agencies and also have to travel long distances for appearing in various exams. These multiple recruitment examinations are a burden on the candidates, as also on the respective recruitment agencies, involving avoidable/repetitive expenditure, law and order/security related issues and venue related problems.
  • On an average, 2.5 crore to 3 crore candidates appear in each of these examinations. 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. This would indeed be a boon to all the candidates.

National Recruitment Agency (NRA)

  • The setting up of such an agency to conduct a common eligibility test (CET) was announced in the Union Budget by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in February.
  • A multi-agency body called the National Recruitment Agency (NRA) will conduct a Common Eligibility Test (CET) to screen/shortlist candidates for the Group B and C (non-technical) posts.
  • NRA will have representatives of Ministry of Railways, Ministry of Finance/Department of Financial Services, the SSC, RRB & 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.

Salient features:

  • The Common Eligibility Test will be held twice a year.
  • There will be different CETs for graduate level,  12th Pass level and 10th pass level to facilitate recruitment to vacancies at various levels.
  • The CET will be conducted in 12 major Indian languages. This is a major change, as hitherto examinations for recruitment to Central Government jobs were held only in English and Hindi.
  • To begin with CET will cover recruitments made by three agencies : viz. Staff Selection Commission, Railway Recruitment Board and the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection.  This will be expanded in a phased manner.
  • CET will be held in 1,000 centres across India in a to bid remove the currently prevalent urban bias. There will be an examination centre in every district of the country.  There will be a special thrust on creating examination infrastructure in the 117 aspirational districts.
  • CET will be a first level test to shortlist candidates and the score will be valid for three years.
  • 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. Age relaxation for SC/ST and OBC candidates as per existing rules will apply.
  • 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 the Staff Selection Commission (SSC), the Railway Recruitment Boards (RRBs) and by the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (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. This would greatly ease the burden of candidates who are at present required to prepare for each of the examinations separately as per different curriculum.
  • 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 the Staff Selection Commission (SSC), the Railway Recruitment Boards (RRBs) and by the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (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. This would greatly ease the burden of candidates who are at present required to prepare for each of the examinations separately as per different curriculum.

 Women candidates to benefit greatly:

  • Women candidates especially from rural areas face constraints in appearing in multiple examinations as they have to arrange for transportation and places to stay in places that are far away.
  • They sometimes have to find suitable persons to accompany them to these Centres that are located far away. The location of test centres in every District would greatly benefit candidates from rural areas in general and women candidates in particular.

Advantages for students:

  • Removes the hassle of appearing in multiple examinations.
  • Single examination fee would reduce financial burden that multiple exams imposed.
  • Since exams will be held in every district, it would substantially save travel and lodging cost for the candidates. Examination in their own district would encourage more and more women candidates also to apply for government jobs.
  • Applicants are required to register on a single Registration portal.
  • No need to worry about clashing of examination dates.

Advantages for Institutions:

  • Removes the hassle of conducting preliminary / screening test of candidates.
  • Drastically reduces the recruitment cycle.
  • Brings standardization in examination pattern.
  • Reduces costs for different recruiting agencies. Rs 600 crore savings expected.