National Recruitment Agency | 20 Aug 2020

Why in News

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister has decided to set up a National Recruitment Agency (NRA) to conduct a common preliminary examination for various recruitments in the central government.

Key Points

  • About:
    • The NRA will conduct the Common Eligibility Test (CET) for recruitment to non-gazetted posts in government and public sector banks.
      • Approximately 1.25 lakh government jobs are advertised every year for which 2.5 crore aspirants appear in various examinations.
    • This test aims to replace multiple examinations conducted by different recruiting agencies for selection to government jobs advertised each year, with a single online test.
      • 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 24x7 helpline will be set up for answering queries, complaints and queries.
    • The present recruitment agencies– Staff Selection Commission (SSC), Railway Recruitment Board (RRB) and the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS)— will remain in place.
    • Based on the preliminary 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.
  • Salient Features of CET:
    • 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 curriculum for CET would be common.
    • 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.
    • Initially, CET will cover recruitments made by three agencies : viz. SSC, RRB and IBPS at Group B and C (non -technical) posts. This will be expanded in a phased manner.
    • CET will be held in 1,000 centres across India in a bid to 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.
  • About NRA:
    • National Recruitment Agency will be a Society registered under the Societies Registration Act,1860.
    • It 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, Ministry of Finance/Department of Financial Services, the SSC, RRB & IBPS.
    • The Government has sanctioned a sum of Rs. 1517.57 crore for the National Recruitment Agency (NRA).
    • The expenditure will be undertaken over a period of three years.
    • 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.
  • Need:
    • At present, candidates seeking government jobs have to appear for separate examinations conducted by multiple recruiting agencies for various posts.
    • Candidates have to pay fees to multiple recruiting agencies and also have to travel long distances for appearing in various exams.
    • 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.
  • Advantages for Students:
    • Removes the hassle of appearing in multiple examinations.
    • Single examination fee would reduce the 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.
    • It will also prevent the issue of clashing examination dates.
  • Advantages for Institutions:
    • Removes the hassle of conducting preliminary/screening tests of candidates.
    • Drastically reduces the time of recruitment cycle.
    • Brings standardization in examination pattern.
    • Reduces costs for different recruiting agencies. Rs 600 crore savings expected.

Staff Selection Commission

  • The Staff Selection Commission is an attached office of the Department of Personnel and Training under the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions.
  • The Government of India, in the Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms, vide its resolution dated the 4th November 1975 constituted a Commission called the Subordinate Services Commission. The same was re-designated as Staff Selection Commission effective from 26th September 1977.
  • It makes recruitment to various Group “B” and Group “C” posts in the various Ministries/Departments of the Government of India and in Subordinate Offices.
  • It has its headquarters in New Delhi.

Institute of Banking Personnel Selection

  • IBPS is an autonomous body formed in 1984.
  • It is registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 and also a Public Trust under the Bombay Public Trust Act, 1950.
  • It was created to render assistance to organisations in the areas of personnel such as recruitment, selection, placement, etc.
  • It has its headquarters in Mumbai, Maharashtra.

Source: IE