Union Minister Jitendra Singh on Monday asserted that 1000 centres will be set up in 700 districts of the country for holding the Common Eligibility Test (CET) under the National Recruitment Agency (NRA). Speaking exclusively to Zee News, the Union Minister said, “A centre will be made in every district. There are 700 districts in India, so there will be 1,000 centres. Women will be relaxed because many families avoided sending girls to far-flung areas.”

He added that under the National Recruitment Agency, there will be exams in 12 languages, and later more languages ​​will be added.

The NRA is mandated to conduct the CET online for selecting candidates for a majority of central government jobs. The Union Cabinet on August 19 approved the creation of an NRA to conduct an online CET for selecting candidates for the majority of central government jobs.

Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar had said it was a historic decision that will allow job-seekers to take one common test and save costs and time spent on writing multiple exams. The NRA will set up examination centres in every district of the country to help youths, especially women, from rural and far-flung areas of the country, as they won’t be required to travel to another place to take recruitment tests.

At present, candidates have to appear in multiple examinations conducted by multiple agencies. Apart from the examination fees, candidates have to incur additional expenses for travel, boarding, lodging. A single examination would reduce the financial burden on candidates to a large extent.

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. On an average, 2.5-3 crore candidates appear in each of these examinations, it said.

Today, there are 20 recruitment agencies that have been created for recruitment in different ways. Every year, one and a half lakh job centres are created for which two and a half crore youth apply for jobs.

A level playing field will now be available and a process has been made to conduct a common test for three agencies. There will be only one examination through the NRA. An examination is being arranged by merging the staff selection board, rail selection board and banking selection.

The validity of the exam for the job under the National Recruitment Agency will be for three years. If there is an advertisement for a state or central job, then there will be no need to give a separate exam. The selection will be done only by the score of the National Recruitment Agency.

Earlier, Singh had said that the NRA will come into force from next year and will be headquartered in Delhi. He had said state governments will also be advised to come on board in a true spirit of cooperative federalism. Singh has also hoped that in the near future the private sector will also join the NRA.

He had said the NRA will have representatives of the Ministry of Railways, Ministry of Finance/Department of Financial Services, Staff Selection Commission (SSC), Railway Recruitment Boards (RRBs) and the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (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 the central government recruitment, the statement said. 

On August 22, Singh had said states and Union Territories can avail of scores on the Common Eligibility Test, to be conducted by the National Recruitment Agency (NRA), to shortlist candidates for government jobs. This would actually help the recruiting agencies including the state and UT governments to save the cost and time spent on recruitment, while at the same time also be convenient and cost-effective for the young job aspirants, he had said.

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