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The National Recruitment Agency will conduct a Common Eligibility Test online to screen and shortlist candidates for the Group B and C (non-technical) posts. This test will replace the current multiple tests for various government departments.
The test will replace the first level test by the Staff Selection Commission, the Railway Recruitment Boards and the Institute of Banking Service Personnel.
The Common Eligibility Test will be an online exam which can be taken by graduates and those who passed the secondary and higher secondary board exams. It can be taken from anywhere in the country and would thus help rural candidates who have to travel a long way to take any exam.
The NRA also will have its 24x7 helpline, a grievance redressal system and hold mock tests to help rural candidates.
Candidates who pass the Common Eligibility Test will go onto the higher level tests, which can be taken at examination centres that will be opened in every district.
The government said there will be special focus on creating examination infrastructure in the 117 Aspirational Districts, which would go a long way towards affording access to candidates at a place close to where they live.
"It is one of the most landmark reforms in history of independent India. It will bring in ease of recruitment, selection, job placement and ease of living particularly for certain sections of society which are at a disadvantage on one account or the other," Union Minister Jitendra Singh was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
The CET score of a candidate will be valid for three years and the best of the valid scores shall be considered. There will be no bar on the number of attempts, but the upper age limit will apply.
Relaxation in the upper age limit shall be given to candidates belonging to Scheduled castes and Tribes, other Backward Classes and other categories according to current policy, the government said.
The exam will be held for different educational levels and it will be held in a number of regional languages.