National Recruitment Agency: Common Eligibility Test, CET For Govt. Jobs, Check Key Highlights

The Union Cabinet has approved the setting up of the National Recruitment Agency (NRA) that will be responsible for conducting the Common Eligibility Test (CET) for selection to non-gazetted posts in the central government and public sector banks. According to the NRA, there will be a single entrance examination for all non-gazetted posts which are Group B and C posts. Candidates who qualify this Common Entrance Test (CET) can apply to any recruitment agencies for a higher level of examination. The score will be valid for three years during which a candidate can apply for jobs in different sectors depending upon his/her aptitude and preferences.

The proposal to set up NRA for conducting CET was part of the announcements made by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her budget speech this year on February 1st 2020. The education sector was allotted Rs 99,300 crore for FY 2020-21 and Rs 3,000 crore for skill development.

List of Exams To Be Conducted By NRA

The NRA will initially aim at replacing the preliminary exams of 3 agencies namely the following:

  • Staff Selection Commission (SSC) which includes SSC CHSL, CGL, Steno Group C, D, JHT, etc.
  • Railway Recruitment Board (RRB) 
  • Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS) which includes Clerk, PO

The UPSC or Union Public Service Commission will not come under the NRA. UPSC conducts the recruitment examinations for Group A and Group B posts. These examinations do not come under the ambit of NRA.

A single exam will be held for IBPS, SSC and RRB initially. This will be the preliminary exam. The big move has been made due to a large no. exams being conducted in the country. Through the conduction of the NRA, there will be a reduction in expenses, there will be an enormous reduction in the burden on time, effort, and cost of young people as per a govt. officer.

Image Source: MyGovIndia Handle on Twitter

The agency will conduct exams in 12 languages, and it will be expanded to include more regional languages. The score will be valid for three years and candidates will have a chance to improve their score by taking the exam again. Common registration, single fee, and common curriculum are among the benefits for candidates, he added.

Key Points of NRA, CET: Explained

  1. NRA will be an autonomous society under Societies Act
  2. NRA will conduct the Tier-1 examination- Common Eligibility Test, CET that will be an online examination.
  3. A single exam will be held for IBPS, SSC, and RRB initially. This will be the preliminary exam.
  4. The CET score will be valid for three years from the date of declaration of the result and will be made available to the candidates as well as the recruiting agency.
  5. Each candidate will have two additional chances to improve his or her scores and the best scores will be taken into consideration.
  6. Every district will have at least one exam center.
  7. Separate CET will be held for graduate, higher secondary and class 10 level
  8. There will be a common syllabus for the CET
  9. As per the PIB, the list of successful candidates from CET can be utilized by State Governments also

NRA CET Syllabus

The NRA CET Syllabus and Exam Pattern will be vary according to level of Nation Recruitment Agency examination. There will be three levels of Exams to be conducted by th NRA at the following three different levels.

NRA CET Exam Level

Level 1 Graduate (स्नातक)
Level 2 12th Pass (12वीं पास)
Level 3 10th Pass (10वीं पास)


NRA CET Eligibility Criteria

  • There will be no restriction on the no. of attempts by the candidates subject to upper age limit prescribed.
  • Relaxation in age limit to be given to SC/ST/OBC/PwD candidates.
  • There will be 3 levels of exam namely, undergraduate, 12th level exam, and 10th level exam.
  • There is no change in the eligibility of the exam.
  • The age relaxation given to different categories will remain same.
  • Candidates no need to panic as it is a single prelims exam for the major govt. exams which are Railways, SSC, and IBPS.

IS NRA CET Better than the Current System?

This is the question that has been into the minds of major chunk of the youth. Well, to speak of which is better, then NRA is the better option than the current system. The following will enlighten you on the NRA CET.

Relief to the financial burden

Given the financial and other constraints, the candidates from remote and rural background have to make a choice as to which examination they want to appear in. Under the NRA, the candidates can appear in one single examination through which he/she can get an opportunity to compete for many posts. NRA will conduct the first-level /Tier I Examination which will be the stepping stone for the major exams in India.

Women candidates to benefit greatly

The women candidates face constraints while appearing for multiple examinations as many of them they have to arrange for transportation and accomodations. Moreover, they even have to find suitable persons to accompany them to these Centres that are located far away. The location of test centres in every District would greatly benefit candidates from rural areas in general and every women candidates in particular.

CET Score to be valid for three years, no bar on attempts

The CET score of the 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 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.

CET To be conducted in Multiple Language

As of now, the CET will be conducted in multiple languages. At present the exam would be conducted in 12 major Indian languages – giving the candidates the option and ease of selecting the medium of the paper. It being online and conducted twice every year would give the aspirants flexibility and also speed up the process.

Test Schedule and Exam Centre

Candidates would have the facility of registering on a common portal and give a choice of Exam Centres. Based on the availability, they would be allotted Centres. The ultimate aim is to reach a stage wherein candidates can schedule their own tests at Centres of their choice as per their convenience.

Standardised Testing

NRA shall conduct a separate CET each for the three levels of graduate, higher secondary (12th pass) and the matriculate (10th pass) candidates for those non-technical posts to which recruitment is presently carried out by the SSC, IBPS, and RRBs.

On the basis of the CET score, the 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.

When Will NRA CET 2020 Be Conducted?

NRA CET 2020 may not be conducted. The details regarding the implementation of NRA and the calendar for the examination would be shared once the agency is set up. The dates and when exactly the test would be held would be shared in due course of time and notified on this page. However, it is likely that NRA CET would be conducted from 2021.

What is NRA?

NRA is a multi-agency body called the National Recruitment Agency (NRA), It will conduct a Common Eligibility Test (CET) to screen/shortlist candidates for the Group B and C (non-technical) posts. NRA will have representatives of the Ministry of Railways, Ministry of Finance/Department of Financial Services, the SSC, RRB & IBPS. Through the setting up of NRA, the conduction of the major National Level Examinations will be at ease.

Check Govt. Jobs 2020


Q. What is NRA?

Ans. NRA is the National Recruitment Agency to conduct a common eligibility test.

Q. Which Exams are conducted by the NRA?

Ans. At present, the IBPS, SSC, and Railway exams will be conducted by the NRA.

Q. What are the key benefits of the NRA?

Ans. NRA will conduct the Tier-1 examination- Common Eligibility Test, CET. There will be a common syllabus for the CET.

Q. How many chances will be given to a candidate to appear for the CET?

Ans. Each candidate will have two additional chances to improve his or her scores and the best scores will be taken into consideration

Q. What will be the type of questions CET?

Ans. The questions will be multiple types of objective questions.

Download Upcoming Government Exam Calendar 2021


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  1. hello , myself akansha srivastava and i wanted to know when i can fill the application form for this???? i am from prayagraj.


  2. Is this exam may not be conducted in 2020??? And what are the subjects should I go through for this exam

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