CHENNAI: The Union Cabinet has decided to set up a National Recruitment Agency (NRA) to conduct a common eligibility test (CET) for filling non-gazetted posts in the Central government and public-sector banks. The move has also caused apprehensions whether it would reduce the jurisdiction of the State governments in recruitments and eventually lead to fewer opportunities for job aspirants from the state.
On Wednesday, the Centre said the CET will be conducted for shortlisting candidates for Central government and banks jobs. It also confirmed its plans to extend the usage of marks scored in CET to fill the non-gazetted posts in State governments and its undertakings and private companies.
While group B and C posts in the State government are being filled through examinations conducted by Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission (TNPSC), centralising the recruitment process would lead to phasing out the TNPSC thereby reducing the job opportunities for locals, say job aspirants.
MDMK Chief Vaiko said the national level test will bring more non-Tamils into the State government jobs as it did in banks, railways and public sector undertakings of the Central government.
“On the face of it, the Centre’s proposal appears like it simplifies the recruitment process for Central government jobs, but it has conspired to create ‘one recruiting agency for one nation’. How come examinations for filling Revenue Inspector posts in the State can be conducted in Bihar or Uttar Pradesh,” asked Vaiko.
In its proposal sent in December last, the Department of Personnel and Training under the MInistry of Personnel had suggested that the State governments can sign a MOU with NRA to use the CET score for filling posts in the State governments.
The Centre announced that initially CET will be conducted for screening for Group B and C posts which are being conducted by Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS), Railways Recruitment Board (SSC) and Staff Selection Commission (SSC). It also announced that there is no maximum limit for taking up CET as against the proposal sent by the DoPT which limited the number of attempts at three.
Job aspirants pointed out if the recruitment process is nationalised through NRA, candidates from the State will have to compete with highly educated unemployed candidates from across India, and thus it will soon turn to become another UPSC civil service exams.
“Barring Group IV posts, minimum qualification for all other examinations conducted by TNPSC is graduation. For group C posts, candidates studied in Tamil medium from a rural pocket will be forced to compete with highly qualified unemployed candidates across India,” said S Sankaran Narayanan, a job aspirant.
He recalled that many trackmen and gang-women posts in railways which were group IV posts were filled by IIM graduates in the last few years. "Many M.Tech and Ph.D. passed outs from IITs also joined as technical assistants in many States including Tamil Nadu. The CET for group C posts will increase the qualification for no reasons."
A group one officer said while there is no dearth of qualified candidates in the State the necessity for accepting NRA does not arise. "Basic history of Tamil literature and Tamil language are part of the syllabus for all TNPSC exams. If the NRA is accepted, government employees will find it difficult to understand the local sensibilities."