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Subject:- Setting up of National Recruitment Agency (NRA) to conduct Common Eligibility Test for subordinate posts.

In order to provide the same test platform to all candidates at the nearest District HQ, particularly those in rural areas/Aspirational Districts, and with view to set a new standard of equity and inclusiveness in recruitments, Government has decided to set up a National Recruitment Agency (NRA) as an autonomous and self-reliant body to conduct a Common Eligibility Test (CET) to shortlist candidates for vacancies of Group 'B' Non-Gazetted posts, Group 'B' Gazetted posts, which are exempted from consultation with UPSC; Group 'C' posts in the Government and equivalent posts (where no such classifications exist) in instrumentalities of the Government, through a computer-based online Tier-I examination.


2.         To begin with, NRA shall conduct a separate CET for the three levels viz., graduate, higher secondary (12th pass) and the matriculate (10th pass) candidates for those non-technical posts to which recruitment is carried out by the Staff Selection Commission (SSC), the Railway Recruitment Boards (RRBs) and by the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS).


3.         Initially, a CET for each of the three levels (the graduate, the 12th pass and the 10th pass) shall be held bi-annually. NRA shall enhance the frequency of the CET at each level in a planned manner so as to reach a stage where it shall afford opportunity to a candidate to book and take the test on the date and time requested by him. NRA would conduct the CET in examination centres with robust infrastructure across the country in adequately secured conditions for preventing possible malpractices and fraud during the conduct of the online examinations. NRA will be accountable for conducting CETs in a swift, efficient, uniform and transparent manner. It will also be accountable for conducting quality screening tests for the participating agencies.


4.         There shall be no restriction on the number of attempts to be taken by a candidate to appear in the CET. Relaxation in the upper age limit shall be given to candidates of SC/ST/OBC and other categories as per the extant policy of the Government. Based on the screening done at the CET score level, final selection for recruitment shall be made through separate specialised Tests/examinations, to be conducted by the respective recruitment agencies. Mere act of having appeared in the CET and having obtained score shall not guarantee a job to a candidate. The candidates will have to necessarily appear and qualify in the specific examination to be conducted by the individual recruitment agencies and will also have to meet the other criteria laid down by the recruitment agency in all respects.


5.         NRA would be registered as a Society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 with its HQ in Delhi NCR. However, the processes within the organization and the accounting formalities shall be as rigorous as mentioned in the Companies Act.

6.         NRA will have the following structure:


(a)        Governing Body: There shall be a Governing Body at the Apex Level to give strategic direction to the NRA. The composition of the Governing Body will be as follows:  


  1. Chairman, NRA                                                                      -President
  2. Secretary, DoP&T or his representative                                -Member
  3. Representative of Ministry of Railways                                  -Member
  4. Representative of D/o Financial Services                              -Member
  5. Chairman, Staff Selection Commission                                 -Member
  6. Chairman, Railway Recruitment Board                                 -Member
  7. Chairman, Institute of Banking Personnel Selection             -Member
  8. Two experts from the field of academics                               -Member
  9. Secretary and Controller of Examinations, NRA                   -Member


     (a)  Chairman of the NRA will be of the rank of Secretary to the Government of India to be appointed by the Govt.

    (b)  Secretary and Controller of Examinations shall be of the level of Joint Secretary to the Government of India, to be appointed on deputation basis.

  (c)  NRA HQ: There will be 7 functional verticals/Divisions, namely Controller of Examination; Strategic Directions; IC; IT Solutions; Administration; Finance, and Research & Content Development, each headed by a Director/Deputy Secretary level officer of Govt. of India. Besides, there will be a dedicated legal cell headed by an officer of Director level. The manpower for all 7 verticals, as also for the Legal Cell and Regional Offices, will be drawn on deputation. The NRA will have flexibility to hire consultants and other support staff required for discharge of its day to day functions and operational requirement on contract basis, as per need, restricting the administrative expenses to 10% of the total operational cost.

     (d) Regional Offices: The NRA will have six Regional Offices in the North, East, West, South, Central & North East, each headed by a Director/Deputy Secretary level officer.


7.         Government of India shall give directions to the NRA and the Governing Body in respect of its policies and the NRA shall be bound to comply with such directions.


8.         An estimated expenditure of Rs. 1517.57 crore will be incurred on setting up of NRA and conduct of CETs by the NRA in the first three years.

(Sign of Authority)

Kabindra Joshi

Director (E.II)


Copy to:


1.    Prime Minister's Office (Ms Meera Mohanty, Director)

2.    Cabinet Secretariat (Shri S.G.P. Verghese, Director) w.r.t. their O.M.

No.22/CM/2020(i) dated 21.8.2020.

3.    Secretaries of all Ministries/Departments of the Government of India.

4.    Chairman, Railway Board

5.    Chairman, RRB.

6.    Chairman, Staff Selection Commission.

7.    Chairman, IBPS

8.    JD(OL) - For Hindi Version