India's first ever Common Eligibility Test for govt, public sector bank jobs delayed again

This is the second time the CET—an ambitious project of the Narendra Modi government—has been delayed due to the pandemic. It was first slated to be held in September-October last year.

Amrita Nayak Dutta January 20, 2022 15:35:23 IST
India's first ever Common Eligibility Test for govt, public sector bank jobs delayed again

Representational image. Firstpost

India’s first-ever Common Eligibility Test (CET) — aimed at screening candidates for jobs in the central government and public sector banks — is likely to be delayed again, in the backdrop of the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the country, News18.com has learnt.

The screening test to select candidates for Group B (non-gazetted), Group C (non-technical) posts in the central government and public sector banks was earlier scheduled to be held by March this year.

A senior official in the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) told News18.com that a thorough assessment will be carried out by the government to examine the feasibility of conducting the examination and decide on the next course of action and the next possible timeframe.

“Looking at the current situation, it is unlikely to be held by March,” the official said.

This is the second time the CET—an ambitious project of the Narendra Modi government—has been delayed due to the pandemic. It was first slated to be held in September-October last year.

In 2020, the government established the National Recruitment Agency—a central recruiting agency — for the purpose of conducting the preliminary examination for the nearly 4 crore candidates who apply for around 1.25 lakh central government jobs every year.

The NRA through the CET would carry out the initial screening and shortlisting of candidates for government jobs which are currently held by the Staff Selection Commission (SSC), and Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS) and Railway Recruitment Board (RRB).

These agencies, however, will continue carrying out the mains for the final selection of the candidates shortlisted on the basis of scores they secured in CET.

The official quoted above said the scope of the examination will be expanded to cover other government jobs in the coming years.

At present recruitment to non-gazetted posts in the central government takes place at the levels of class 10, class 12, and upon graduation.

Appointment to these jobs involves a two-level examination—comprising a preliminary test and the mains. An interview too was held earlier, but it was eliminated by the Modi government in 2016.

The CET, which was in cards, from 2016-2017 was aimed at saving time, resources and efforts of the crores candidates who have to fill up separate forms for each exam and travel to far-flung centres to appear in them.

It was also directed at saving resources for the individual recruiting agencies as they will have to make arrangements only for the filtered candidates which would be much lesser than the original number of applicants.

Massive administrative arrangements

As part of the massive administrative arrangements for the CET, hundreds of examination centres will be set up across the country for the examination.

“The idea is to have one centre in every district, or even more in bigger districts," said the government official. Last year, union minister Dr Jitendra Singh had said the union territory of Ladakh will have two examination centres—in Leh and Kargil.

As per sources in the government, a minimum one-month notice has to be given to prospective candidates for filling up application forms. Candidates from far-flung areas can be given two additional weeks.

Following this, other administrative arrangements such as eligibility checks, issuing of roll numbers, allotment of examination centres and ensuring connectivity will have to be done, a second government official explained.

“The arrangements could take up to 120 days from when the first notice is out. The declaration of results could take another three to four months,” the official said.

 

Updated Date:

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