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National Recruitment Agency (NRA)

National Recruitment Agency (NRA)


The Union Cabinet has decided to set up a National Recruitment Agency (NRA). NRA will conduct a common preliminary examination for various recruitments in the central government.

  • An amount of Rs 1517.57 crore has been approved for the NRA, for a period of 3 years. The fund will be used for setting up of NRA, and examination centres in ‘aspirational districts’.

Functions of the NRA:

  • Initially, NRA will organise a common eligibility test (CET) to shortlist candidates for the Group B and C (non -technical) posts, which are now being conducted by the Staff Selection Commission (SSC), Railways Recruitment Board (SSC) and Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS). Later on, more exams may be brought under it.
  • The NRA will have representatives from SSC, IBPS and RRB.
  • The test will be conducted for three levels: graduate, higher secondary (12th pass) and the matriculate (10th pass) candidates.
    • However, the present recruitment agencies IBPS, RRB and SCC will remain in place.
  • Based on the screening done at the CET score level, final selection for recruitment shall be made through separate specialised Tiers (II, III, etc.) of examination which shall be conducted by the respective recruitment agencies.
    • The curriculum for CET would be common.
    • Each district to have an examination centre
    • Examination centres would be set up in every district.
    • A special focus will be on creating examination infrastructure in the 117 ‘Aspirational Districts’.

The validity of the CET score:

  • The CET score of a 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 will be no restriction on the number of attempts to be taken by a candidate to appear in the CET, however, it will be subject to the upper age limit.
  • The relaxation in the upper age limit shall be given to candidates of reserved category  (SC/ST/OBC) and other categories as per the government policy.

The medium of CET:

  • The exam will be conducted in 12 languages that are in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution of India.


  • As of now, aspirants have to take different exams that are conducted by various agencies for central government jobs. Every year on an average 2.5 crore to 3 crore aspirants appear for about 1.25 lakh vacancies in the central government.
  • The NRA will conduct CET and based on the CET score a candidate can apply for a vacancy with the respective agency.


  • A single eligibility test would “significantly reduce” the recruitment cycle.
  • Some departments are planning to do away with any second-level test and go ahead with the recruitment on the basis of CET scores, Physical Tests and Medical examination.
  • NRE will benefit the candidates in many ways. In the present system, candidates have to appear in multiple examinations conducted by multiple agencies.
  • Candidates have to incur expenditure on examination fees, travel, boarding, lodging etc. The single examination is expected to reduce the financial burden.

Source: Indian Express