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NEW DELHI : The Union cabinet on Wednesday approved a proposal to create a National Recruitment Agency (NRA) that will conduct exams for non-gazetted jobs in central government departments and public sector banks.

The agency will conduct a single entrance exam for tens of thousands of such positions that fall vacant every year. The current recruitment model comprises separate exams held by different recruitment agencies, including some by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).

The UPSC, however, will continue to conduct top administrative exams, including the civil services .

NRA will be a multi-agency body that will encompass the first-level test currently conducted by agencies such as Staff Selection Commission, the Railway Recruitment Boards and the Institute of Banking Service Personnel. It is expected that other recruitment agencies in the central government will adopt the central eligibility test (CET), a cabinet statement said.

“Further, it would be open for other agencies in public as well as private domain to adopt it if they so choose. Thus, in the long run, the CET score could be shared with other recruiting agencies at the Centre, state governments/Union territories, public sector undertaking and private sector. This would help such organizations in saving costs and time spent on recruitment," it added.

The plan to establish the NRA was first mentioned in the 2020 Union budget. “The NRA will prove to be a boon for crores of youngsters. Through the Common Eligibility Test, it will eliminate multiple tests and save precious time as well as resources. This will also be a big boost to transparency," Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted on Wednesday.

Currently, around 25 million aspirants apply for government jobs every year .

The cabinet said CET will work as a screening test, and based on the score, the final selection for recruitment shall be made through separate specialised tier-I and tier-II exams, which will be conducted by the respective recruitment agencies.

The cabinet said it will spend 1,517.57 crore over three years to set up NRA and examination infrastructure in 117 aspirational districts. The national entrance will be conducted in various languages, each for the three levels of graduate, higher secondary and matriculate candidates.

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