Common exams for central govt jobs deferred over Covid-19
The first-ever common eligibility test (CET), which was to be held by the newly constituted National Recruitment Agency (NRA) by the end of this year, has been delayed due to the pandemic, Union minister for personnel, pensions, and grievances Jitendra Singh said on Tuesday.
The test is to select candidates for non-gazetted posts in the central government and public sector banks, which is at present being done through separate examinations conducted by the Staff Selection Commission (SSC), Railway Recruitment Boards (RRBs) and Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS).
“This unique initiative undertaken with the personal intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to screen and shortlist candidates for recruitment to central government jobs was scheduled to take off with the first such test before the end of this year but is likely to get delayed on account of the Covid pandemic,” Singh said at the launch of an e-book, Civil List-2021 of IAS officers. He, however, didn’t specify a date for the exam.
He added that CET would bring “ease of recruitment” to young job aspirants and be a “great boon” to those who live in remote areas. “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,” Singh 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.”
The minister also highlighted the bureaucratic reforms undertaken by the government since 2014, such as the decision to do away with the age-old practice of getting documents attested by a gazetted officer and replacing it with self-attestation and three-month central government stint as assistant secretaries for IAS officers at the beginning of their career.
The government has also launched mission Karamyogi to help streamline the training and competence building of civil servants. At the apex of the scheme will be the Prime Minister’s HR Council that will consist of select Union ministers, chief ministers, international leaders, and civil servants. The council will determine the “right person for the right role” and decide assignments accordingly, the minister informed.
It is a major transition for the bureaucracy, as civil servants’ training will now become a “continuous process”. A dashboard will also monitor and audit the capacity building scheme, and a report will be submitted annually to ascertain its success, the department of personnel and training had said while announcing the scheme last year.