A Common Eligibility Test (CET) will be conducted online across the country from next year to screen and shortlist candidates for recruitment to select central government jobs, Union Minister Jitendra Singh said on Monday.
He said the test will be a major boon for youths seeking government employment.
"The National Recruitment Agency (NRA) for conducting Common Eligibility Test has been constituted with the approval of the Union Cabinet," said Singh, the Minister of State for Personnel.
"The NRA will be a multi-agency body which will conduct the common test to screen and shortlist candidates for Group-B and C (non-technical) posts," he said.
"The most significant feature of this reform is that every district in the country will have at least one examination centre which would greatly enhance access to the candidates living in far-flung areas," Singh told PTI.
"One of the important objectives of this historic reform is to provide a level-playing field to every candidate so that none of the job aspirants is at disadvantage and has an equal opportunity regardless of his or her background or socio-economic status," he said.
"This will also be a huge benefit to women and divyang candidates as well as those who find it financially unaffordable to appear for multiple tests by travelling to multiple centres," the minister said.
Singh said the first Common Eligibility Test to be conducted by the NRA is likely to be scheduled around the second half of 2021.
He also pointed out that NRA will be an independent autonomous organisation responsible for shortlisting candidates for certain categories the recruitment for which is carried through Staff Selection Commission (SSC), State Selection Boards (RRBs) and Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS).
"However, the existing central recruiting agencies like SSC, RRBs and IBPS would continue to conduct specific recruitments as per their requirements and the Common Eligibility Test will only be the test for preliminary screening of candidates for the jobs," he added.