National Recruitment Agency and Common Entrance Test

National Recruitment Agency and Common Entrance Test

The Union Cabinet approved National Recruitment Agency, an independent body which will act as a specialized organisation to conduct preliminary examination of various government jobs in India.Let’s learn.

National Recruitment Agency and Common Entrance Test

What is National Recruitment Agency (NRA)
  • The proposal of National Recruitment Agency (NRA) was tabled for the first time in union budget 2020.
  • The government has sanctioned ₹ 1,517.57 crore Rs for setting up the National Recruitment Agency (NRA).
  • The expenditure will account for a period of three years.
  • The Headquarter of National Recruitment Agency (NRA) will be set up in New Delhi.
  • National Recruitment Agency (NRA) will be headed by a Chairman of the rank of the Secretary to the Government of India.
  • National Recruitment Agency (NRA) will have representatives of the Ministry of Railways, Ministry of Finance/Department of Financial Services, the SSC, Regional Rural Bank (RRB) & Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS).
  • Initially 1000 exam centers will be set up across the country.In the long run the NRA will set up examination centers in every district across the country.
  • There will be a special focus on setting up examination centers in 117 aspirational districts.
  • National Recruitment Agency (NRA) is registered under Societies Registration Act,1860.
  • NRA will formulate and monitor all the exam related aspects like Syllabus,Exam Pattern,Exam Schedule or Exam Calender,Difficulty Level of Questions,Queries from the students,Allocation of exam center,Issuance of Admit card of Common Entrance Test,display of marks,merit list etc.
  • Official Website of National Recruitment Agency (NRA) not yet published.
Common Entrance Test
  • The NRA will be conducting the Common Eligibility Test (CET) for recruitment to non-gazetted posts i.e Group B and Group C (non -technical) posts in government jobs.
  • Common Eligibility Test (CET) will replace all multiple exams by a common preliminary exam.
  • The syllabus of CET would be common.
  • Common Eligibility Test (CET) will conducted twice a year.
  • CET Score will remain valid for three years.
  • The Common Eligibility Test (CET) will be more inclusive in nature as it will allow 12 major Indian languages as medium of examination.
  • There will be no restriction on the number of attempts i.e a candidate can appear in CET examination as many times as he/she want within the upper age limit.
  • The CET will be conducted for three levels such as graduate, higher secondary (12th pass) and the matriculate (10th pass) candidates.
Clear your confusion: What does it mean by ‘a candidate can appear CET two times in a year’?

The CET will be conducted for three levels such as graduate, higher secondary (12th pass) and matriculate (10th pass) candidates. So graduate students can appear at higher secondary level and matriculate level exam also. Hence graduate students can appear CET a total 6 times in a year, higher secondary students can appear 4 times in a year and the students of matriculation level can appear only 2 times in a year.

  • A standard question bank with multiple questions of similar difficulty levels will be created in a central server. Specific algorithm will jumble the database of the questions so that each candidate gets a different question paper.Therefore it will reduce the malpractice and malicious acts like paper leakage.
  • The CET will be an online examination.
  • The main aim of CET will be elimination of candidates,nearly 5% of the total number of candidates will be made qualified for next tiers/phase.

Process of NRA and CET

  • Clear your confusion: Will SSC, RRB, IBPS be scrapped?

No. It is to be noted that recruitment agencies like SSC, RRB, IBPS will remain active. Recruitment agencies will conduct separate specialized Tiers (II, III, etc.) for the final selection based on the Common Entrance Test score.

Advantages of Common Entrance Test
  • Candidates will no longer pay fees for multiple examinations thus it will reduce their financial burden.
  • Examination centres will be established in very districts, hence it will reduce journey hassle for travelling inter state exam centers.Also it will save time and expense.
  • CET will remove the hassle of appearing in multiple examinations.
  • Common Entrance Test application form will be available on a Registration portal of NRA.(Registration portal of NRA will be published in due course) A single registration will be accepted for different levels of exams i.e for Graduation level,Higher Secondary level and Matriculation Level.
  • Issues with clashing examination dates of multiple exams would be avoided.
  • The overall concept of National Recruitment Agency and Common Entrance Test will reduce economic burden for government also,as the central government does not need to allocate funds for multiple recruitment agencies and for multiple examinations.

It is expected that State governments from various corners of the country will also validate and accept CET score to reduce their financial burden too.

Madhya Pradesh government already announced that the job seekers of the state will be selected for next tier on the basis of their score in CET.

National Recruitment Agency will curtail the lengthy recruitment cycle to speed up the whole recruitment process.The job seekers will have multifaced advantages from NRA. Apart from being a faster approach,it will also keep the candidates more focused on their preparation hence will provide psychological stability to crores of students across the country.

Every year approximately 1.25 lakh vacancies in Group B and C are announced in various departments of Indian government (excluding all the state government examinations).And about 2.5 crore candidates apply every year for examinations to fill these vacancies.
Some Issues are Needed to Be Addressed
  • As there are no fixed guidelines on whether states are obliged to accept the CET marks or not.As of now it’s optional.Here is the controversy.If some states allow and some do not ,then it will be a discrimination among job seekers for different states,there will be no uniform opportunity and guidelines.
  • Right now Railway Recruitment Board,IBPS allow waiting list of candidates but SSC does not.If NRA is meant to bring uniformity,transparency and homogeneous system then this discrimination of different recruitment agencies should be removed.
  • Candidates will be allocated exam centers in his/her district itself.The aim is to reduce the journey hazards,but there is other side of the coin too.If a candidate gets his/her known exam center,there will be rise of corruption.As we already witnessed it multiple times in SSC exams.
  • CET will be bringing the Immediate answer just after the examination i.e. the candidate will get the answer as soon as they finish the exam.But we have seen issues with wrong questions and answer key in Railways and SSC exams.How will this issue be solved?
  • CET will definitely be conducted through multiple shifts and multiple days.So normalization of marks is an issue which is needed to be addressed.
  • It is also proposed that CET score will be accepted in private sectors too.But there is not any clean guidelines on this too.

National Recruitment Agency is a progressive step towards the transparency,speed and cost effectiveness.But there are lots of opaque layers which are to be addressed before the NRA gets implemented. COVID-19 pandemic has already widened the unemployment rate in the country and the damage is getting worse as the existing jobs are also getting wiped out by many private companies and even PSUs as theirs stakes are being sold to private partners.

National Recruitment Agency is meant to bring a change in recruitment process.But SSC is a recruitment agency that is infamous for the delay it makes in conducting a exam.For example,SSC is incapable to publish the result of descriptive paper of SSC MTS 2019 exam even after a year.SSC also has postponed many pending results including SSC CGL 2018,SSC CHSL 2018 and many More.Railway Recruitment Board released a notification of job vacancy for RRB NTPC and RRB Group D posts.But even after year,there is no news from RRB about the exam dates.So even if NRA is implemented how will the delay made by SSC,RRB be handled?

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