Why NRA CET has been introduced in India?

By Parnab Mallick|Updated : September 4th, 2020

Union Cabinet of India had approved the setting up of the National Recruitment Agency in the second half of the August. The motive behind setting up the National Recruitment Agency is to streamline the various competition exams which were held by the various public sector and government organization to recruit for non-gazetted posts in their organization.

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As per the official information, the National Recruitment Agency will conduct a single test for all the non-gazetted posts in the central government and public sector banks. This new exam is known as the Common Eligibility Test or CET for short. 

"The Common Eligibility Test score will be valid for three years, thus eliminating the need of repeated attempts for the preliminary exams."

In this article, we will try to figure out why the government of India decided to replace the majority of recruitment exams by a single Common Eligibility Test. In other words why the centre introduced the NRA CET? But before going into the discuss head first, let's backtrack a bit and understand the genesis of the idea that we now call the National Recruitment Agency. 

The concept of implementation of National Recruitment Agency which will handle the recruitment for the post of the non-gazetted post in government and the public organization was first introduced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the Union Budget 2020.

"The NRA will conduct the entrance test for the Staff Selection Commission (SSC), the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS) and Railway Recruitment Board (RRB)."

The union budget said that the new agency which will be an "autonomous organization" will conduct a single entrance test, i.e., Common Eligibility Test for selection to the government jobs. This exam will work as a great filter to shortlist suitable candidates from the bulk of the applicants and provide that list to the SSC, IBPS, RRB, etc so that they can proceed with the main examinations.

Why India Required a Common Entrance Test?

let's understand the need for CET for India by the following points.

1. Overburdened and Inefficient Examination System:

  • Every year around 2-3 crore aspirants appear for various recruitment exams.
  • These recruitment exams are held by the various sperate agency such as SSC, IBPS etc. 
  • Each exam generally consists of 2-3 tiers where the first round is usually the elimination round followed by the II and III more specialized rounds.
  • Conducting the elimination round for each and every exam is cumbersome and puts unnecessary pressure on aspirants. 
  • CET eliminated the need for separate preliminary rounds as the candidates only need to appear for CET once and he will then be eligible for the mains of all the various recruitment exams. 
  • This increase the efficiency of the whole process of recruitment exams as the different exam conducting bodies can use CET score to filter the suitable aspirants from the bulk. 

2. Higher Cost of Examination:

  • Common Eligibility Test will replace the preliminary exams of SSC, IBPS and RRB with more exams will come under CET in due course. 
  • This will reduce the number of Preliminary exams from 10-12 a year to one CET. This will result in a reduction in money spent by the various organization on examination infrastructure and subsequently, the cost of application fees may also get reduced. 
  • With CET, the aspirants do not need to spend money to fill up the different application for different jobs. This will lighten the burden on aspirants pockets.
  • Also, a single common test will reduce the cost of travelling for different examinations. 

3. No Provision of Local Language:

  • India is a vast country with many local languages. 
  • Till now the language available for most of the exams in either English or Hindi. This creates a disadvantage for a lot of aspirants who prefer to take the examination in their local language.  
  • The fact the CET would be available in several Indian languages means that it will level the playing field and provide equal opportunities to people from different parts of the country. 

4.  Geographical and Travelling Constraints: 

  • Transportation and accommodation constraints restrain many aspirants, especially Women candidates from rural areas, to appear in multiple examinations. CET will eliminate such constraints and make it easier for these aspirants to appear for the examination. 
  • Implementation of CET will not only increase the geographical reach but also the cultural reach in India. 
  • According to the Union Cabinet, the NRA will set up examination centres in every district of the country. This helps the youth from the rural and remote area to appear for the exam with more ease as they do not require to travel far from their home. 

These are some points which illustrate the need for the Common Eligibility Test for India. As per the Union Minister Jitendra Singh, the CET will lead to ease the selection, ease of job placement and ease of living for the disadvantage section of the society. 

Will the National Recruitment Agency able to streamline the recruitment process for the Non-gazetted post in government and public sector organization with the implementation of Common Eligibility Test? It is a question which only time will answer but from today's vantage point NRA CET looks exactly what India needs.  

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Parnab MallickParnab MallickMember since Aug 2020
Parnab Mallick is an educator and mentor with an expertise in SSC and Railway exams. He tries to make students’ life easy by guiding them the right path and knowledge to cater to their dream govt. job. He lives with the notion ‘We all have equal opportunity to be unequal’
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