NRA or the National Recruitment Agency is an autonomous and self-reliant body, approved by the Union Cabinet for conducting a Common Eligibility Test (CET) for all non gazetted and non-technical Group B and Group C jobs under IBPS, SSC and RRB.
The Organisation got a nod from the Union Cabinet, chaired by PM Narendra Modi, on August 20, 2020, and is expected to make the recruitment process in the Government sector more transparent and convenient. As per the latest updates, the first common test for IBPS, RRB, and SSC exams is expected to be conducted in September 2021 tentatively.
** It must be noted that NRA has only been approved as yet by the Cabinet and details about its implementation, exam pattern and conduct of CET shall be notified to the candidates once a final structure for the same is released by the Government.
To get a detailed list of all the Government exams conducted in the country, candidates can visit the linked article.
The table given below mentions all the important information that one must know regarding the common test, the participating bodies, posts, and other relevant data about the Agency:
|National Recruitment Agency – All You Need To Know|
|Name of the Exam||Common Eligibility Test (CET)|
|Conducting Body||National Recruitment Agency (NRA)|
|Participating Bodies||Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS)
Staff Selection Commission (SSC)
Railway Recruitment Board (RRB)
Group B (Non-Techincal)
Group C (Non-Technical)
|Level of Exam||To be conducted for 3 Tiers:
|Exam Venue||New Exam centers to be set in 117 aspirational districts|
|Language of Exam||To be conducted in 12 languages|
|Exam Pattern||To Be Notified by the Agency|
|Syllabus||To Be Notified by the Agency|
|Total Budget passed for NRA||INR 1517.57 crore|
With over 3 crore Government aspirants appearing for the exams every year, National Recruitment Agency has come as a boon to these candidates.
More About National Recruitment Agency
It is important for candidates to know in detail why this recruitment body is being set up and how this change will bring about transparency in the recruitment process for Government exams. Discussed below are a few important points regarding the National Recruitment Agency (NRA):
- This Organisation will be registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860
- This Agency will not replace IBPS, RRB or SSC, but will only make the initial application and online examination stage effectively convenient for the candidates
- Initially, NRA will only conduct common examination for these three sectors but is expected to gradually expand and cover up the entire recruitment drive conducted for various other Government sector exams
- Only the preliminary stage exam will be conducted by the NRA where the screening and shortlisting of candidates will be done. Following this stage, the Tier II, III and so on stages will be conducted by the recruiting Organisations themselves
Given below is the proposed composition of the NRA. The final list of member and Chairperson shall soon be released by the authorities or the respective Government Ministries:
|National Recruitment Agency: Its Composition and Members|
|Since the Organisation has only been approved, the Members and Chairperson are yet to be decided. However, as per the official announcement, NRA shall comprise:
One important question which may arise is that what is a need to set up an individual body which shall solely be responsible for conducting Government exams? There are various reasons which can answer this question.
So, what is the need for the National Recruitment Agency (NRA)?
Following are the reasons why the Government has decided to set up NRA:
- With over 3 crore candidates applying for almost 1.25 lakhs vacancies in the Government sector each year, the expenses that the recruiting bodies have to bear are quite high. Thus, a single exam will resolve this issue and reduce not just the candidate’s expenses but also the conducting body’s expenses
- Encouraging female candidates to fill in forms for these Government jobs
- A lot of services have lately been transferred to private companies. With NRA, the Government may also get better chances of increasing the number of vacancies and raise public sector employment
Initially, the Government intends to conduct a common test for the three Organisations – SSC, RRB and IBPS, but in the future, they may use the CET marks of a candidate as a common scorecard for all recruitments.
|IBPS Exam||SSC Exam|
|RRB Exam||Government Exams after 12th|
|Upcoming Bank Exams||Preparation Strategy for Competitive Exams|
Common Eligibility Test (CET) – Important Pointers
Since things are at a very initial stage, it is important for candidates to get familiar with the Common Eligibility Test and its aspects. This will help them easily adapt to the changes made in the exam pattern and syllabus for CET.
Government exam aspirants must carefully go through the points given below:
- One common test shall be conducted to recruit candidates at Non-technical and Non gazetted posts in IBPS, SSC and RRB
- Exam centers shall be set up in every district of India
- There will be a common registration form and one-time application fee
- Three separate exam pattern and syllabus will be announced by the conducting body for Graduate level, 12th pass and 10th pass levels of exam respectively
- A common question paper shall be set ensuring the standard difficulty level of exam
- Scores for this CET shall be made available to the candidates online and marks will be valid for 3 years. This will be the Prelims phase.
- Those who qualify the CET first phase, they shall be applicable to sit in the Mains exam following it, which will be conducted by the recruiting body themselves.
- There will be no restriction on the number of attempts as long as the candidate shall be eligible
- Set eligibility criteria will be notified by the Government to apply for the CET
- Age relaxations and other moderations may be provided for specific categories. All this shall be informed to the candidates once a final notification is released by the Government
Until the final exam pattern and syllabus is announced by the conducting body or the Government authorities, aspirants must continue with their preparation for other Public sector exams. Refer to the following links:
|Free Online Mock Test Series for Government Exams||Previous Year Question Papers PDF with Solutions|
|Free Online Govt Exam Quiz||Bank PO Question Papers with Solutions|
Benefits of National Recruitment Agency’s CET
A lot of factors have been responsible for this initiative taken by the Government for approving the National Recruitment Agency.
The Common Eligibility Test will benefit around 3 to 4 crore Government exam aspirants in multiple ways. Following are the benefits of CET, which shall soon be the first step to qualifying the competitive exams:
- Reduce the Financial Burden – With one common test, the Government aims to restrict the financial burden on the candidates. Candidates will only have to pay a one-time application fee for this test. Till now, a separate amount had to be paid for different posts
- Time Saving – A standard recruitment process under IBPS, RRB or SSC took atleast 8 to 9 months in completion, individually for each post. This will now be restricted to a single exam which will take lesser time in completing the process
- Restrict Travel Cost – The NRA intends to set up one exam center in every Indian district. This will enable candidates to save money by zero travels to reach another city or district to appear for the exam
- Encouraging Rural Female Candidates – A lot of female candidates could not appear for these exams because of far off exam centers. But the approach of setting centers in every district will ensure that a female candidate is easily able to reach the exam venue
- No Fixed Number of Attempts – There will be no fixed number of attempts. Candidates can apply for as long as they are eligible for the exam
- No Clashing of Exam Dates – Until now, many cases where candidates had to skip one exam because of clash in exam dates have been reported. This problem shall now be sorted with one single examination
- Exam in Multiple Languages – Till date, the IBPS, SSC and RRB exams were conducted either in English or Hindi. But with the NRA, the exam shall be conducted in a total of 12 languages, including many regional languages. This will make it simpler for candidates to appear in the exam
All the points mentioned above will help candidates analyse how this Common Eligibility test will act as an advantage for them and open a wider frame of opportunities for them.
Based on the current syllabus and exam pattern for SSC, RRB and IBPS, given below are links to the section-wise syllabus for the various posts. Aspirants can refer to these until the final draft of CET exam pattern and syllabus is released by NRA:
|Logical Reasoning||Quantitative Aptitude|
|Verbal Ability||Computer Knowledge|
|Banking Awareness||Static GK|
Challenges with the National Recruitment Agency
As of now, there are certain challenges also which shall be faced by the NRA. These challenges include:
- With the increased involvement of private organisations in the public sector, the Government will have to ensure that sufficient job opportunities are given to candidates who are looking forward to joining the public sector
- To ensure that the long term benefit of creating an individual recruitment organisation is enjoyed by the youngsters of the country, reforms under the State level will also have to be created as only 14% jobs fall under the Government sector and rest all are state-owned
- No compromise with the number of vacancies must be made with the introduction of Common Eligibility Test
Once a detailed draft regarding the functioning of the Organisation is released, along with the selection process and syllabus, many things will become more transparent and relatable for the candidates.
The details regarding the syllabus, pattern, exam dates will eventually be released by the Government and then accordingly be made available to the candidates.
For any further update regarding the National Recruitment Agency or the Common Eligibility Test, aspirants are advised to regularly check for updates on this page.
Frequently Asked Questions on National Recruitment Agency
Q 1. What is the full form of NRA?
Q 2. What is the full form of CET?
Q 3. What are the benefits of the NRA?
Ans. The benefits of the NRA are as follows:
- One common test will reduce the excess expenditure of paying the application fee separately for each post
- The recruitment process will be completed in a shorter time span
- Marks scored in CET will be valid for 3 years
- Separate exam pattern for Graduate level, 12th pass and 10th pass
- A standard level of difficulty for all posts
- One common question paper will be set for CET
Q 4. When was the National Recruitment Agency approved?
Q 5. Which Organisations shall be involved in CET?
Ans. Three Organisations will be involved in CET:
- Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS)
- Staff Selection Commission (SSC)
- Railway Recruitment Board (RRB)