Many may remember that in the Independence Day speech of August 2015 PM Narendra Modi pitched for the abolition of interviews to for junior-level posts to end corruption in that process. In 2016, the Central government had decided to scrap interview process for selection of non-gazetted posts. Now, the government has taken another significant step to ease the life of those opting for central government jobs. The cabinet has approved the setup of a National Recruitment Agency (NRA), paving the way for a transformational reform in the recruitment process for central government jobs.
Saving Both Money and Energy for Youth of the Country
At present, candidates seeking government jobs have to appear for separate examinations conducted by multiple recruiting agencies for various posts with similar eligibility criteria. Candidates have to pay the fees to multiple recruiting agencies and also have to travel long distances for appearing in various exams. Apart from burdening the candidates, it also creates a stress on exam conducting apparatus. On an average, 2.5 crore to 3 crore candidates appear in each of these examinations. 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.
The Role of National Recruitment Agency
The National Recruitment Agency (NRA) will conduct a Common Eligibility Test (CET) to screen/shortlist candidates for Group B and C (non-technical) posts. NRA will have representatives of Ministry of Railways, Ministry of Finance/Department of Financial Services, the SSC, RRB & 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 Central Government recruitment.
NRA shall conduct a separate CET each for the three levels of graduate, higher secondary (12th pass) and the matriculate (10th pass) candidates for those non-technical posts to which recruitment is presently carried out by the Staff Selection Commission (SSC), the Railway Recruitment Boards (RRBs) and by the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS). Based on the screening done at the CET score level, he final selection for recruitment shall be made through separate specialised Tiers (II, III etc) of examination which shall be conducted by the respective recruitment agencies. The curriculum for this test would be common as would be the standard. This would greatly ease the burden of candidates who are at present required to prepare for each of the examinations separately as per different curricula.
Three Years Score Validity, No Bar on Attempts
The CET score of the candidate shall be valid for a period of three years from the date of declaration of the result. The best of the valid scores shall be deemed to be the current score of the candidate. There shall be no restriction on the number of attempts to be taken by a candidate to appear in the CET subject to the upper age limit. 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. This would go a long way in mitigating the hardship of candidates who spend a considerable amount of time, money and effort preparing and giving these examinations every year.
Rural India to Benefit Greatly
Examination Centres in every District of the country would greatly enhance access to the candidates located in far-flung areas. Special focus will be laid on creating examination infrastructure in the 117 Aspirational Districts.
Just think about all those youth from rural side, including women, who were made to travel frequently to places in their pursuit of government jobs. They can not only save money and time; these candidates can also now direct their energies positively towards the one examination to secure an opportunity to compete for many posts.
The Modi government’s steps towards ensuring ease in doing business has helped the entrepreneurs, while the tax reforms eased the life of honest tax payers. On the same lines, setting up of National Recruitment Agency is writing another chapter of reform by freeing the large population of youth from the maze of too many entrance exams.