RRB, IBPS, and SSC 2021 – Common Eligibility Test from Sept 2021

From September 2021 onwards, the NRA (National Recruitment Agency) would be conducting the Common Eligibility Test or CET for RRB (Railway Recruitment Boards), IBPS (Institute of Banking Personnel Selection), and SSC (Staff Selection Commission). The Common Eligibility Test is one singular exam which will be conducted for these select categories of government jobs in order to avoid conducting several tests. The CET will act as first-level screening for candidates followed by domain-specific exams/tests which will be conducted by respective agencies such as SSC, RRBs and IBPS. 

The Government of India has set up the NRA as an independent, professional, specialist organization for conducting CET. The main objective behind the introduction of CET is to eliminate the multiple tests format to select candidates for non-gazetted posts in the central government and public sector banks.

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Common Eligibility Test 2021 – Development till Now

The Minister of State for Personnel, Jitendra Singh, stated on Wednesday, 4th February 2021, β€œThe mandate of the National Recruitment Agency (NRA) is to conduct first-level screening of candidates through the CET at the graduate, higher secondary and matriculate levels for the Staff Selection Commission (SSC), Railway Recruitment Boards (RRBs) and the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS).”

Singh clarified that NRA will conduct ONLY the preliminary screening of candidates. For this purpose, the NRA would identify language experts to translate the question bank/paper in all regional languages included in the 8th schedule of the Constitution. 

Besides the above statement, in a written reply to Lok Sabha, Mr. Singh stated, β€œBased on the screening done at the CET, the final selection will be made. This final recruitment will be done through domain-specific examinations/tests and will be conducted by respective recruitment agencies.”

Common Eligibility Test 2021 – Important Things to Note

  1. The State Government may use the marks obtained by candidates in CET for recruitment, on the basis of a memorandum of understanding entered into with NRA. 
  2. The score of a candidate will be valid for 3 years from the date of declaration of result.
  3. Candidates have been given the provision to take the exam as many times as they please, subject to upper age limit criteria. 
  4. The curriculum and standard for the Common Eligibility Test would be common for all. This will ease the burden of candidates as they won’t have to prepare separately for the curriculum of RRB, SSC, and IBPS.

CET Guidelines for RRB, IBPS, and SSC 2021

  1. The NRA will set up examination centres in every district of the country.
  2. There will be a separate CET for the levels of graduate, higher secondary (12th pass), and the matriculate (10th pass) candidates.
  3. The National Recruitment Agency will conduct the preliminary examinations for Group-B (non-gazetted), Group-C (non-technical) and clerical posts (Government) together with various equivalent recruitment in public sector banks.
  4. Candidates would have the facility of registering on a common portal that would provide a choice of exam centres. However, they would be allotted centres on the basis of availability. 
  5. Final selection for recruitment will be made via separate specialised tiers (II, III etc.) of examination, which will be conducted by the respective recruitment agencies viz RRBs, IBPS and SSC.


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