Cabinet Approves Setting Up of NRA (National Recruitment Agency) – One Nation One Exam

The Union Cabinet approved a proposal to set up a National Recruitment Agency – NRA, which will conduct Common Eligibility Test (CET) for selection to non-gazetted posts in the central government and public sector banks. The decision will benefit millions of job seeking youth of the country.

The National Recruitment Agency was first proposed by the government in the Union Budget 2020

The NRA Agency will initially replace 3 recruiting agencies: Staff Selection Commission (SSC), Railway Recruitment Board (RRB) and IBPS  NRA will conduct preliminary examinations for all these three recruitment agencies.

Now there will be a single entrance examination for all non-gazetted (non- technical) Group B and C posts.

The multi-agency body will conduct a separate CET each for the three levels of candidates:

Graduate, Higher secondary (12th pass) and Matriculate (10th pass)

A CET would allow the candidates to appear any number of times and once cleared, they can apply to recruitment agencies for the higher level of examination, for up to next three years.

The CET will be based on multiple choice objective type question papers.

The CET will be held twice a year.

Based on the screening done at the CET score level, final selection for recruitment shall be made by the respective recruitment agencies through separate specialised tiers (II, III etc.) of examination

The score of CET will be valid for three years.

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.

The curriculum for this test would be common and standard.

Nearly 2.5 to 3 crore candidates take exams for selection to 1.25 lakh government jobs each year.

The CET would greatly ease the burden of candidates who are at present required to prepare for each of the examinations separately as per different curriculum.

Candidates would have the facility of registering on a common portal and give a choice of centres. Based on availability, they would be allotted centres.

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.

CET scores can be shared with the central government, state government, union territories, public sector undertakings and private sector.


  • Candidates no longer need to spend money to fill up different applications for different jobs.
  • The cost of travelling for different examinations will also be saved.
  • No multiple exams
  • Single examination fee would reduce the financial burden that multiple exams imposed.
  • Exams will be held in every district to reduce the burden of travel expenses and women can also participate without any pressure.
  • Applicants are required to register on a single Registration portal.
  • No need to worry about clashing of examination dates.


It will lead to: ease of selection — ease of job placement — ease of living — especially for those sections of society that are considered disadvantaged.

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.

Women candidates especially from rural areas face constraints in appearing in multiple examinations as they have to arrange for transportation and stay in places that are far away. Center in every district will avoid this.

How National Recruitment Agency (NRA) will benefit institutions?

  • Removes the hassle of conducting preliminary / screening tests of candidates.
  • Drastically reduces the recruitment cycle.
  • Brings standardization in the examination pattern.
  • Reduces costs for different recruiting agencies.

What is a non-gazetted post?

Officers falling under the category of class III and IV are not gazetted. They do not have the personal authority to issue an official stamp on behalf of the Government. However, they can attest the financial documents.

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