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NRA CET Official Announcement

Recently there has been a news of setting up National Recruitment Agency (NRA) for conducting Common Eligibility Test (CET) for several non gazetted post of Group B and Group C of Government of India and Various Public Sector Banks. i.e. SSC, RRB and IBPS. However, on 28 Aug 2020 Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions Department of Personnel and Training has released an official notification for setting up of National Recruitment Agency (NRA).

 It is to be noted that CET is not proposed for technical competitive exams held by UPSC, State Public Service Commissions and IIT’s like GATE, ESE, Civil Services Examination, SSC JE, RRB JE and so on.


What is CET and NRA?

Common Eligibility test (CET) is in news these days. The Union Cabinet chaired by PM Narendra Modi has given its approval for creation of National Recruitment Agency (NRA) for conducting CET. Common Eligibility test will set up a new benchmark in the world of competitive examination. The reason being it will eliminate various exams for the recruitment of Non-Technical posts i.e. Non-Gazetted posts in the central government and public sector banks.

The Proposal for setting up National Recruitment Agency (NRA) to conduct Common Eligibility Test was introduced in Union Budget 2020 by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. NRA will work as a preliminary single-window agency to shortlist qualifying candidates from bulk of applicants and forward the list to SSC, IBPS, etc., to hold the mains.

NRA would be registered as a Society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 with its HO. in Delhi NCR. However, the processes within the organization and the accounting formalities shall be as rigorous as mentioned in the Companies Act.


What is the Budget Allocated for NRA?

The Government has not only planned but has sanctioned a huge amount of ₹1,517.57 crore for setting up NRA. Apart from setting up the NRA, costs will be incurred for setting up examination infrastructure in the 117 aspirational districts.

In how many levels NRA will Conduct CET?

The National Recruitment Agency (NRA) has planned to conduct Common Eligibility Test at 3 levels:

  • Graduate
  • Higher Secondary (12th Pass)
  • Matriculate (10th Pass)

for those non-technical posts to which recruitment is carried out by the Staff Selection Commission (SSC), the Railway Recruitment Boards (RRBs) and, by the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS).

However, this exam will not impact other technical competitive exams held by UPSC , State Public Service Commissions and IIT’s like GATE, ESE, Civil Services Examination, SSC JE, RRB JE and so on.

Initially, a CET for each of the three levels (the graduate, the 12th pass and the 10th pass) shall be held bi-annually. NRA shall enhance the frequency of the CET at each level in a planned manner so as to reach a stage where it shall afford opportunity to a candidate to book and take the test on the date and time requested by him

Prakash Javadeka, Minister of Environment; Information & Broadcasting; & Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises said this landmark initiative will help 2.5 crore candidates every year who appear for Government Exams.


Till when the CET score will be valid?

The validity of the CET score will be for 3 years from the date of declaration of the result and the score which is best out of the valid scores shall be deemed to be the current score of the candidate.


What are the number of attempts to appear for CET?

There shall be no restriction on the number of attempts to be taken by a candidate to appear in the CET. 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.


Which all departments will CET be conducted for?

Common Eligibility Test (CET) will prove to be a single window examination for the recruitment to the post of Group ‘B’ Non-Gazetted posts, Group ‘B’ Gazetted posts, which are exempted from consultation with UPSC; Group ‘C’ posts in the Government and equivalent posts (where no such classifications exist) in instrumentalities of the Government.


Is CET enough to secure a job in various posts prescribed by government in SSC, RRB and IBPS?

Based on the screening done at the CET score level, final selection for recruitment shall be made through separate specialized Tests/examinations, to be conducted by the respective recruitment agencies.

Mere appearing in the CET and having obtained score shall not guarantee a job to a candidate. The candidates will have to necessarily appear and qualify in the specific examination to be conducted by the individual recruitment agencies and will also have to meet the other criteria laid down by the recruitment agency in all respects.


What will be the structure of NRA?

There shall be a Governing Body at the Apex Level to give strategic direction to the NRA. The composition of the Governing Body will be as follows:  Post Designation
1 Chairman, NRA President
2 Secretary, DoP&T or his representative Member
3 Representative of Ministry of Railways Member
4 Representative of D/o Financial Services Member
5 Chairman, Staff Selection Commission Member
6 Chairman, Railway Recruitment Board Member
7 Chairman, Institute of Banking Personnel Selection Member
8 Two experts from the field of academics Member
9 Secretary and Controller of Examinations, NRA Member Secretary
  • Chairman of the NRA will be of the rank of Secretary to the Government of India to be appointed by the Govt.
  • Secretary and Controller of Examinations shall be of the level of Joint Secretary to the Government of India, to be appointed on deputation basis.
  • NRA HQ: There will be 7 functional verticals/Divisions, namely Controller of Examination; Strategic Directions; IEC; IT Solutions; Administration; Finance, and Research & Content Development, each headed by a Director/Deputy Secretary level officer of Govt. of India. Besides, there will be a dedicated legal cell headed by an officer of Director level. The manpower for all 7 verticals, as also for the Legal Cell and Regional Offices, will be drawn on deputation. The NRA will have flexibility to hire consultants and other support staff required for discharge of its day to day functions and operational requirement on contract basis, as per need, restricting the administrative expenses to 10% of the total operational cost.
  • Regional Offices: The NRA will have six Regional Offices in the North, East, West. South. Central & North East, each headed by a Director/Deputy Secretary level officer.
  • Government of India shall give directions to the NRA and the Governing Body in respect of its policies and the NRA shall be bound to comply with such directions.
  • An estimated expenditure of Rs.1517.57 crore will be incurred on setting up of NRA and conduct of CETs by the NRA in the first three years.

Setting up NRA for conducting CET is one of the major steps that has been taken by the government for the transformation of the education and competitive exam sector. Which will serve as a single transparent window for various exams.

And we can very well assume that it may be a possibility in coming future that some other single body may be formed for conducting common exam for technical Group A and Group B posts as well and may eliminate the requirement of GATE, ESE, CSE, SSC-JE, RRB JE and other state level examinations.

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