NATIONAL RECRUITMENT AGENCY (NRA)

Why in news?

The Union Cabinet has recently given its approval for creation of National Recruitment Agency (NRA), paving the way for a transformational reform in the recruitment process for central government jobs.

What was the need for setting up a  National Recruitment Agency (NRA)? 

At present, candidates seeking government jobs have to appear for separate examinations conducted by multiple recruiting agencies for various posts, for which similar eligibility conditions have been prescribed. Candidates have to pay fee to multiple recruiting agencies and also have to travel long distances for appearing in various exams.

Multiple recruitment examinations are a burden on the candidates, as also on the respective recruitment agencies, involving avoidable/repetitive expenditure, law and order/security related issues and venue related problems. 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.

About National Recruitment Agency (NRA)

A multi-agency body called the National Recruitment Agency (NRA) will conduct a Common Eligibility Test (CET) to screen/shortlist candidates for the 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.

Advantages of a National Recruitment Agency (NRA)

1 . Examination Centres in every District of the country would greatly enhance access to the candidates located in far-flung areas.

2 . A single examination would reduce the financial burden on candidates to a large extent.

3 . The location of test centres in every District would greatly benefit candidates from rural areas in general and women candidates in particular.

4 . Given the financial and other constraints, the candidates from rural background have to make a choice as to which examination they want to appear in. Under the NRA, the candidates by appearing in one examination will get an opportunity to compete for many posts.

5 . The CET would be available in a number of languages. This would greatly facilitate people from different parts of the country to take the exam and have an equal opportunity of being selected.

6 . Initially the scores would be used by the three major recruitment agencies. However , in the long run, the CET score could be shared with other recruiting agencies in the Central Government, State Governments/Union Territories, Public Sector Undertaking and Private Sector. This would help such organizations in saving costs and time spent on recruitment.

7 . A single eligibility test would significantly reduce the recruitment cycle.

Financial Outlay

The Government has sanctioned a sum of Rs. 1517.57 crore for the National Recruitment Agency (NRA). The expenditure will be undertaken over a period of three years.

Other provisions with respect to NRA

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.

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).