Common Eligibility Test (CET) by NRA : Read facts and Benefits

Union Cabinet  approved a proposal to set up National Recruitment Agency

Union Cabinet on 19th August approved a proposal to set up National Recruitment Agency that will conduct Common Eligibility Test (CET) for selection to non-gazetted posts in the central government and public sector banks.

This decision will benefit job seeking youth of the country. There will be single entrance examination for all non-gazetted posts — Group B and C posts.


Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on 1st February (Budget 2020) BIG! announced that a recruitment agency will be set up for all computer based examinations for the recruitment in government and public sector banks.

Financial Minister said: “ At present candidates have to appear for multiple examinations conducted by multiple agencies at different points of time. for similar posts. This places enormous burden on time, effort and cost for young people .To mitigate the hardship so faced, it is proposed to set up a National recruitment agency as an independent, professional specialized organisation for conduct of computer based online common eligibility test for recruitment on all non gazetted posts.

Important Note: A single agency will be set up to conduct a common test for different organizations like IBPS, RRBs and SSC. One Common Eligibility Test (CET) will be conducted in place of various Preliminary exams which were previously conducted by IBPS, RRBs and SSC and CET score will be given to the candidate which will be valid for 3 years. There will be no bar on the number of attempts. Separate CETs will be conducted for graduate and matric level examinations. The list of Qualifying candidates of the CET will be forwaded to different agencies to conduct the mains exam separately. The CET score can also be used by the private organizations

The main objective is to cut the cost and time for both the agencies and candidates.

Financial Minister also said It is proposed to evolve a robust mechanism for appointment including direct recruitment to tribunals and specialised bodies to attract best talents and professional experts. There is also a strong argument for ensuring the contracts are honoured. India has a strong framework related to contract act.


What is the NRA?

  • NRA would work as an independent agency that would be set up to conduct computer-based Common Eligibility Test for recruitment to non-gazetted posts. The agency is expected to work in a manner similar to the National Testing Agency (NTA).

Roles & Responsibilities

  • NRA will play an important role in handling the government jobs, provide better access and direct employment opportunities to lakhs of the youth of the country.

Which are the Non-Gazetted posts?

  • Non-gazetted jobs are the government jobs or posts which do not give the person the authority to issue an official stamp on the behalf of the government. In terms of types of jobs, this includes Group B, Group C, and Group D government jobs.

What benefit for Aspirants?

  • The government will set up a National Recruitment Agency to recruit candidates for non gazette posts, the advantages of this includes – the exams and the other recruitment processes for SSC and railways which takes a lot of time, will be faster like IBPS. At present, candidates have to appear in different exams like SSC, Railways, IBPS etc. which costs a lot of time. After the set up of NRA, money and time both will be saved as a single computer based online Common Eligibility Test will be conducted.
  • An algorithm will be used to jumble and dole out different questions, so that each candidate receives a different question paper, reducing the chances of cheating and paper leakage.



  • Currently, there are about 1.25 lakh vacancies in the Central government, at the Group B and C level, often known as non-gazetted officers. About 2.5 crore young men and women apply every year for examinations to fill these vacancies, also appearing for 50 other recruitment tests for positions at public sector banks, railways, police, paramilitary forces and other State and Central government bodies. The recruitment cycle takes at least 18 months and is often marred by clashing dates, leaked papers and examination scams.

When is expected it to be implemented?

  • The proposed NRA will conduct preliminary examinations for all these recruitment, which are at present conducted by the Staff Selection Commission (SSC) and the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS). Expected 2021 it to be implemented.


Note:The SSC and IBPS, it is learnt, will not be disbanded for now and will conduct the mains examinations as usual.

  • As SSC and IBPS has already released this year’s exam calendar and according to us (, it takes time to create an agency so NRA will come into effect from next year i.e.2021.


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  1. Its a major reform by the Indian government and will help poor people financially. One more thing must be considered to include all state and central level recruitment under the NRA CET test.

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