The government on Wednesday approved the proposal to create a National Recruitment Agency (NRA) to conduct a joint examination for jobs in government and public banks. This “historic decision”, said Minister of Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar, was taken at a Union Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

This common eligibility test will help “the country’s young people to easily find a job,” Javadekar said, explaining that it will take the hassle out of multiple tests for various government jobs and make the process smoother and simpler. “Applicants for government jobs show up for multiple exams. And pay a recurring fee. The NRA will remove these pain points with a common test for multiple government jobs.”
Minister of State in Prime Minister’s Office Jitendra Singh called it “revolutionary reform”.

The NRA will run online exams for unpublished government positions and each district will have at least one exam center. The score on these exams would be valid for three years and the candidate would have the opportunity to retake the exam to improve his score. The best of the three scores would be used during the selection process.

In another major development, the Cabinet decided to lease three airports – Jaipur, Thiruvanthapuram and Guwahati – for development, operation and maintenance on a public-private partnership (PPP) model for 50 years.

In a relief for the sugar cane producers, the Cabinet decided to raise the fair and remunerative price to be paid by the sweets to Rs 285 per quintal for the 2020-21 season. The move would benefit 10 million sugarcane producers, Javadekar said.

In view of the coronavirus pandemic and the economic stress due to it, it was decided that Power Finance Corporation (PFC) and Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) would grant, in one go, loans to discoms above the cap. 25% of the working capital of the turnover of the previous year.

The Cabinet also approved the proposal to allow all banks and non-bank financial corporations to offer loans to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) at reduced rates. However, there would be a mechanism in place to ensure that there is a double discount.

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