Daily Current Affairs for UPSC Civil Services Exam – 20 August 2020

In Today’s News:

  1. The Government of India approves setting up National Recruitment Agency.
  2. GST Council to meet on 27th August 2020.

1. The Government of India approves setting up National Recruitment Agency.

News Summary

A National Recruitment Agency(NRA) will be set up by the Government of India for conducting a Common Eligibility Test(CET) for various government jobs. The Union Cabinet approved the decision of setting up a National Recruitment Agency which will benefit the crores of young people who apply for jobs every year.

Prelims GS – Governance

National Recruitment Agency (NRA):
  • National Recruitment Agency will be a Society registered under the Societies Registration Act.
  • It will be headed by a Chairman of the rank of the Secretary to the Government of India.
  • It will have representatives of the Ministry of Railways, Ministry of Finance/Department of Financial Services, the SSC, RRB & IBPS.
  • The Government has sanctioned a sum of Rs. 1517.57 crore for the National Recruitment Agency (NRA).
  • The expenditure will be undertaken over a period of three years.
  • It is envisioned that the NRA would be a specialist body bringing state-of-the-art technology and best practices to the field of Central Government recruitment.

Mini Insights

Mains GS2 – Governance

National Recruitment Agency(NRA) and Benefits:
  • The NRA will conduct the Common Eligibility Test (CET) for recruitment to non-gazetted posts in government and public sector banks.
  • This test aims to replace multiple examinations conducted by different recruiting agencies for selection to government jobs advertised each year, with a single online test.
  • The Common Eligibility Test will be held twice a year.
  • There will be different CETs for graduate level,  12th Pass level and 10th pass level to facilitate recruitment to vacancies at various levels.
  • The CET will be conducted in 12 major Indian languages. This is a major change, as hitherto examinations for recruitment to Central Government jobs were held only in English and Hindi.
  • CET will cover recruitments made by three agencies: Staff Selection Commission, Railway Recruitment Board, and the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection initially in the beginning.  This will be expanded in a phased manner.
  • CET will be held in 1,000 centers across India with an examination center in every district of the country.  There will be a special thrust on creating examination infrastructure in the 117 aspirational districts.
  • CET will be a first level test to shortlist candidates and the score will be valid for three years.
  • There shall be no restriction on the number of attempts to be taken by a candidate to appear in the CET subject to the upper age limit. Age relaxation for SC/ST and OBC candidates as per existing rules will apply.

Benefits for students

  • Removes the hassle of appearing in multiple examinations and saves precious time of youth of the country.
  • Single examination fees would reduce the financial burden that multiple exams imposed.
  • Since exams will be held in every district, it would save travel and lodging costs for the candidates.
  • Examination in their own district would encourage more and more women candidates also to apply for government jobs.
  • No need of worrying about the clashing of examination dates.

Click here to view the official Press Release.

2. GST Council to meet on 27th August 2020

News Summary

41st GST Council will likely to be held over Video Conferencing on 27th August 2020. This meeting will likely discuss the compensation payout to states and the methods to overcome the shortfall crisis by bringing in more items under the Compensation cess, rationalizing GST rates, etc.

Prelims GS – Economic Development/Polity

GST and GST Council:

Refer to the Prelims content of GST and GST Council on 13th June 2020.

Mini Insights

Mains GS3 – Economic Development

GST Councils role in this GST regime:

Refer to the Mains content of the role of GST Council on 13th June 2020.

For more information on GST Council, visit the official website


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