There is good news for young job seekers in the country, who may be tired of appearing for several different examinations for various job vacancies, for instance in the government and public-sector banks. With the National Recruitment Agency (NRA) receiving the Union Cabinet’s approval, from now on, there will be just one common eligibility test (CET) that will allow candidates to apply to the non-gazetted posts in the government and public-sector banks.
A specialist body, the National Recruitment Agency will comprise representatives of the ministries of railways, finance as well as, the Staff Selection Commission (SSC), Regional Rural Banks (RRB) as well as the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS).
Over a period of three years, the Government will be spending about Rs. 1517.57 crore on the NRA.
How will it work?
The CETs, which will be held twice a year will be different for graduates, 12th pass students and those who have passed class 10, so that they can be easily recruited for different positions at different levels.
Initially, the CET will facilitate hiring for the non-gazetted posts of the Staff Selection Commission, Railway Recruitment Board and the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection. However, over a period of time, it will gradually cover other agencies too.
Every district of the country will have an examination centre where the CET will be conducted, to ensure that it is easy for those in the rural areas to appear for the tests. There will be a 1,000 centres across country, and efforts will be made to put in place the required exam infrastructure in 117 districts.
The CET score will be valid for three years, and it will be a first-level test meant for shortlisting candidates. However, candidates can appear for the CET as many times as they wish to, as long as they fall within the age limit. There will be age relaxation for SC/ST and OBC candidates.
This is truly convenient for the 2.5 crore job aspirants, who apply for about 1.25 lakh government jobs that are advertised annually. These job seekers will have to appear for just one test to apply to any or all of these recruitment agencies for the higher-level exam.
How will students benefit?
Students and job seekers will not have to prepare for or travel long distances to appear for several different examinations, conducted by multiple recruitment agencies, frequently. Also, this will save them a lot of money as they will have to pay the examination fee for just the CET. With centres in every district, they will not have to undertake long journeys to take the test or spend on lodging.
Students have often had to skip certain exams because the dates of different agencies often clashed. This will not happen any more. Also, many women and young girls from the rural areas who were often discouraged from travelling long distances to take the tests, will now be able to appear for them at the conveniently located centres.
The fact that there will be a single portal for registration only adds to the convenience.
The biggest advantage is that the CET will be conducted in 12 major Indian languages. Earlier, only English and Hindi were used.
Candidates may seek clarifications through the 24×7 helpline that the Government will set up to answer queries and provide information about the test.
How will institutions and organisations benefit?
With the NRA taking care of the initial shortlisting of suitable candidates, the time and effort spent on preliminary tests for screening will be saved. The recruitment cycle will be shortened too.
The examination pattern will be standardised and expenditure on the part of recruitment agencies will be drastically reduced. A whopping Rs 600 crore is expected to be saved.