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Public sector recruitment: Govt mulls common exam

The Centre is mulling a proposal to conduct public sector recruitment for Group B and C posts through a specialised agency and a single exam

New Delhi: In a major move, the Centre is mulling a proposal to conduct public sector recruitment for Group B and C posts through a specialised agency and a single examination — the Common Eligibility Test (CET). As of now, public sector recruitment to Group B (gazetted) services and posts is done by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) and the Staff Selection Commission (SSC). “It is proposed to set up a specialised agency to conduct a Common Eligibility Test (CET) to shortlist candidates for appointment to Group ‘B’ non-gazetted posts, certain Group ‘B’ gazetted posts, Group ‘C’ posts in the government and equivalent posts in instrumentalities of the government,” the Personnel Ministry said.

Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh said that the proposed move would ensure a level playing field for all, regardless of the candidates’ background. It would also be cost-effective both for those appearing in the examination and the government agencies conducting it, Singh said. “It is one of the many innovative steps taken by the government under the direction of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to bring in ease of governance aLevel playing field in public sector recruitmentnd thereby ease of living,” Singh said. The ministry said that the move will reduce the time taken in the selection process and will “facilitate employment generation.” There shall be common registration of candidates through an online portal, the ministry said giving details of the proposal.

Ministry seeks response from states, ministries, public

The ministry has sought a response on the matter from ministries/departments of government of India, state governments/Union territories administrations and public/ stakeholders, “particularly candidates aspiring to join government/public sector jobs” within one month.

The selection process

The proposal says that the score obtained by a candidate in the CET will be made available to them and to the individual recruitment agency. The score will be valid for a period of three years from the date of the declaration of result, it said. “Each candidate will have two additional chances to improve his score, and the best of all available scores shall be deemed to be the current score of the candidate,” the proposal said. The final selection will be made through separate specialised examinations which will be conducted by the respective recruitment agencies, it said.

The backdrop

Currently, candidates have to appear in multiple separate exams for public sector recruitment. These examinations comprise of multiple layers, such as tier-1, tier-2, tier-3, skill tests and others. Every year, around 2.5 crore candidates appear in such recruitment examinations for around 1.25 lakh government vacancies. The recruitment is currently carried out via SSC, the Railway Recruitment Boards (RRBs) and the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS).