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CSIR or the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) is the apex national Research and Development (R&D) organization of India. It is one of the world’s largest publicly funded Research and Development organizations. The CSIR HRDG -Human Resource Development Group offers various Grants, Research Fellowship schemes for individuals to pursue their research interests in various areas of Science & Technology.

This article is for all those individuals looking for detailed and updated information on CSIR NET, the admission process, eligibility, CSIR fellowships and more.

An Important Update: The National Testing Agency (NTA) has announced the re-opening of the online portal to submit an online application form or to complete the online application form for CSIR-UGC NET June 2020.

What is CSIR NET?

The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research National Eligibility Test or the CSIR NET is conducted to test the eligibility ‘for Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) and for Lectureship/Assistant Professor’ in Indian universities and colleges. CSIR and University Grants Commission (UGC) provide Research Fellowships for training in methods of research under the guidance of faculty members or scientists working in University Department/ National Laboratories and Institutions in various fields of Science.

The online applications for CSIR NET are invited twice a year pan India through Press Notification of CSIR-UGC-NET for Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) and Lectureship/Assistant Professor (LS/AP).

The CSIR NTA conducts the examination for Junior Research Fellowship and Eligibility for Lectureship (LS)/ Assistant Professor for the following five subjects:

  1. Life Sciences
  2. Physical Sciences
  3. Chemical Sciences
  4. Earth, Atmospheric, Ocean and Planetary Sciences
  5. Mathematical Sciences

CSIR NET Exam

  • CSIR-UGC (NET) Exam for Award of Junior Research Fellowship and Eligibility for Lectureship is a Single Paper Test with Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs).
  • The MCQ test will be of a total of 200 marks and will be conducted for each subject.
  • The total duration of CSIR NET shall be of 3 hours.
  • The question paper for each subject shall be divided in to three parts i.e. Part A, Part B, and Part C.
  • Take a look at the image below to under the CSIR NET Exam pattern:
CSIR NET Exam Pattern
CSIR NET Exam Pattern

CSIR UGC NET Exam Pattern

As you have read an overview of the CSIR NET Exam above, let us now take a deeper dive into the CSIR Exam Pattern now and understand the exam pattern of all the five subjects we earlier talked about:

Chemical Sciences

Category Part APart B Part C
Number of Questions 20 questions40 Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) 60 
Questions to be attempted 1535 25
The breakup of total marks per question (200) 3070100
  • The question paper is divided in three parts: Part A, Part B, and Part C.
  • Part A consists of total 20 questions out of which candidates are to attempt 15 questions of two marks each.
  • Part B consists of a total of 40 MCQ questions out of which candidates are to attempt 35 questions comprising of 2 marks each.
  • Part C consists of a total of 60 questions out of which candidates are to attempt 25 of four marks each.
  • Candidates must note that there will be negative marking @ 25% for each wrong answer.

Earth, Atmospheric, Ocean and Planetary Sciences

Category Part A Part B Part C
Number of Questions 20 questions50 Multiple Choice Questions(MCQs) 80 questions
Questions to be attempted 1535 25
Breakup of total marks per question (200)30 (200)70 (200)100 (200)
  • The question paper is divided in three parts: Part A, Part B, and Part C.
  • Part A consists of total 20 questions out of which candidates are to attempt 15 questions of two marks each. 
  • Part B consists of a total of 50 MCQ questions out of which candidates are to attempt 35 questions comprising of two marks each.
  • Part C consists of a total of 80 questions out of which candidates are to attempt 25 of four marks each.
  • Candidates must make note that for Part ‘A’ and ‘B’ there will be Negative marking @25% for each wrong answer. The Negative marking for Part ‘C’ will be @ 33% for each wrong answer.

Life Sciences

CategoryPart APart BPart C
Number of Questions20 questions50 Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)75 questions
Questions to be attempted153525
The breakup of total marks per question (200)30 (200)70 (200)100 (200)
  • The question paper is divided in three parts: Part A, Part B, and Part C.
  • Part A consists of total 20 questions out of which candidates are to attempt 15 questions of two marks each. 
  • Part B consists of a total of 50 MCQ questions out of which candidates are to attempt 35 questions comprising of two marks each.
  • Part C consists of a total of 75 questions out of which candidates are to attempt 25 of four marks each.
  • Candidates must note that there will be negative marking of 25% for each wrong answer.

Mathematical Sciences

CategoryPart APart BPart C
Number of Questions20 questions40 Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)60 questions
Questions to be attempted152520
The breakup of total marks per question (200)30 (200)75 (200)95 (200)
  • The question paper is divided in three parts: Part A, Part B, and Part C.
  • Part A consists of total 20 questions out of which candidates are to attempt 15 questions of two marks each. 
  • Part B consists of a total of 40 MCQ questions out of which candidates are to attempt 25 questions comprising of three marks each.
  • Part C consists of a total of 60 questions out of which candidates are to attempt 20 of 4.75 marks each.
  • Candidates must note that for Part ‘A’ and ‘B’ there will be Negative marking of 25% for each wrong answer and no negative marking for Part ‘C’.

Physical Sciences

CategoryPart APart BPart C
Number of Questions20 questions25 Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)30 questions
Questions to be attempted152020
The breakup of total marks per question (200)30 (200)70 (200)100 (200)
  • The question paper is divided in three parts: Part A, Part B, and Part C.
  • Part A consists of total 20 questions out of which candidates are to attempt 15 questions of two marks each.  
  • Part B consists of a total of 25 MCQs questions out of which candidates are to attempt 20 questions comprising of 3.5 marks each.
  • Part C consists of a total of 30 questions out of which candidates are to attempt 20 of 5 marks each.
  • Candidates must note that will be negative marking of 25% for every wrong answer.

CSIR NET NTA: Overview of Programs & Fellowships

CSIR HRDG contributes significantly in the Research and Development in the areas of Science and Technology (S&T). To identify and determine the eligibility of talented individuals having the aptitude to work for the innovation and creation of advancement of knowledge and technology, CSIR HRDG indulges in various activities and fellowship programs.

To understand the various schemes and programs offered by the CSIR HRDG, the CSIR NET Eligibility section is divided in five sections:

CSIR Programs and Schemes
CSIR Programs and Schemes
  1. Doctoral and Postdoctoral Fellowships
  2. Extramural Research* Schemes
  3. Grants for promoting knowledge sharing
  4. Promotion and Recognition of Excellence through Awards
  5. Internships

*Extramural, in an educational context, refers to the studies taken by a student away from the physical campus or a university but are provisional students of the university or institution. It can also be referred to as distance learning.

However, in this article, we will discuss only the Doctoral and Postdoctoral fellowships and understand the various fellowship schemes and programs offered by the CSIR NTA.

CSIR NET NTA: Eligibility, stipend & rewards + duration of program

Doctoral and Postdoctoral Fellowships

Name of ProgramEligibilityAmount/ Stipend/ awardTenure
Junior Research Fellowship (JRF- NET)· Bachelors in Science (4 years)/ BE/ B. Tech/ B.Pharma/ MBBS/ Integrated BS-MS/ M.Sc. or Equivalent degree/ B.Sc. (Hons) or equivalent degree; or
· Students enrolled in integrated MS-PhD program with at least 55%; or
· Candidates enrolled for M.Sc. or having completed 10+2+3 years of the above qualifying examination are eligible for this program.
Age Limit- 28 years
· Rs. 31000 per month with an annual contingency grant of Rs. 20,000.

·House rent allowance (HRA) according to the rules of the organization where placed, is admissible
5 years, upgraded to SRF after 2 years
JRF-GATE· BE/B. Tech degree holders in engineering discipline with valid GATE score; or  
· Candidates with B.Pharm. degree and having qualified GPAT.
Age Limit- 28 years
Rs. 31000 per month   with annual contingency grant of Rs. 20,000.5 years, upgraded to SRF after 2 years
Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee (SPMF) Fellowship· Top 14 candidates each in Chemical and Life Sciences, and 7 candidates each in Earth, Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences in’ unreserved category will be taken from combined merit list of General/OBC/SC/ST/PWD.

· The selected candidates will then be evaluated on the basis of interview.
Rs.36000/- + HRA per month during the first two years of the fellowship and a Contingency grant of Rs.70000/- p.a.Initially for 2 years. Extendable as per normal rules for CSIR JRF (NET) scheme. Total of 5 years. Later upgraded as SRF.
Senior Research Fellowship (SRF)·M.Sc. / BE/ B.Tech. or equivalent degree with at least 55% marks and one publication in SCI Journal and should have completed at least two years of post M.Sc./BE/B.Tech. research experience;
OR  
·M.Tech/ ME or equivalent degree in engineering/ technology with at least 60% marks;  
OR  
·BE/B.Tech. or equivalent degree with at least 60% marks and two years research experience as on the last date of application;   OR  
·MBBS/ BDS or equivalent with at least 60% marks and one year internship;  
OR  
·B.Pharm/ BVSc/ B.Sc.(Ag) or equivalent degree with at least 55% marks and one publication in SCI Journal and should have completed at least three years research experience;  
OR  
·MPharm/ MVSc/ MSc (Ag) or equivalent degree with at least 55% marks and one publication in SCI Journal and should have at least one year research experience.
·The stipend for SRF has been discontinued.

·The fellowship grant money will be payable on a monthly basis to the candidates respective institution.

·An annual contingent grant of Rs.20,000/- per fellow is provided to the University/Institution.
3 years;  
Total JRF + SRF tenure: 5 years
*Research Associateship (RA)·Ph.D. (in a science or engineering subject) or MD/MS/ MDS (in medical science subject)
or
ME/ MTech/ MPharm/ MVSc with three years R&D experience as on the last date of application, evidenced from RAship or associateship or from date of registration of PhD.

·The candidate applying for Research Associateship must have at least one research publication in standard refereed journal as listed in Journal Citation Reports (JCR).

·Candidates who have PhD (Science/ engineering) thesis submitted are also eligible for RA’ship.
·Rs.47000/-pm or
·Rs. 49000/-pm or
·Rs. 54000/-pm with annual contingency grant of Rs. 20,000/- for all
3 Years
Nehru Science Postdoctoral research Fellowship (PDF)·PhD degree holders within three years of award of the PhD degree;
or
·Candidates who have submitted PhD thesis;
or
·Applicants who are about to submit thesis are also eligible (admission will be conditional in such cases)
Rs. 65000 per month or with annual contingency grant of Rs. 3.0 Lakh2 years

*Research Associateship- is offered to a certain number of Young research workers who have a potential in original research and propose to work in science, engineering, medicine or technology on specific projects.

CSIR-UGC NET Fellowships are acceptable in Universities/IITs/Post Graduate Colleges/ Government Research Establishments including those of the CSIR, Research & Development establishments of recognized public or private sector industrial firms and other recognized institutions. Take a look at some of the CSIR Laboratories down below:

List of 35+ CSIR Laboratories

  1. Advanced Materials and Processes Research Institute (AMPRI),Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh
  2. Central Building Research Institute (CBRI),Roorkee, Uttarakhand
  3. Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad, Telangana
  4. Central Drug Research Institute (CDRI), Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
  5. Central Electrochemical Research Institute (CECRI), Karaikudi, Tamil Nadu
  6. Central Electronics and Engineering Research Institute (CEERI), Pilani, Rajasthan
  7. Central Food and Technological Research Institute (CFTRI), Mysore, Karnataka
  8. Central Glass & Ceramics Research Institute (CGCRI), Kolkata, West Bengal
  9. Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP), Uttar Pradesh
  10. Central Institute for Mining & Research (CIMFR), Jharkhand
  11. Central Leather Research Institute (CLRI), Chennai, Tamil Nadu
  12. Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute (CMERI), Durgapur, West Bengal
  13. Central Road Research Institute (CRRI), Delhi
  14. Central Scientific Instruments Organization (CSIO), Chandigarh
  15. Central Salt and Marine Chemical Research Institute (CSMCRI), Gujarat
  16. Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB), Delhi
  17. Indian Institute of Chemical Biology (IICB), Kolkata, West Bengal
  18. Institute of Himalayan Bioresources Technology (IHBT), Himachal Pradesh
  19. Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT), Hyderabad,  Telangana
  20. Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine (IIIM), Jammu, J&K
  21. Indian Institute of Petroleum (IIP), Dehradun, Uttarakhand
  22. Indian Institute of Toxicological Research (IITR), Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
  23. Institute of Minerals & Materials Technology (IMMT), Bhubaneswar, Orissa
  24. Institute of Microbial Technology (IMTECH), Chandigarh
  25. National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), Goa
  26. National Aerospace Laboratory (NAL), Bangalore, Karnataka
  27. National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI), Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
  28. National Chemical Laboratory (NCL), Pune, Maharashtra
  29. National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), Nagpur, Maharashtra
  30. North-East Institute of Science and Technology (NEIST), Jorhat, Assam
  31. National Geographical Research Institute (NGRI), Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh
  32. National Institute of Interdisciplinary Science & Technology (NIIST), Thiruvanthapuram, Kerala
  33. National Institute of Science Communication and Information Resources(NISCAIR), Delhi
  34. National Institute of Science and Technology Development Studies (NISTADS), Delhi
  35. National Metallurgical Laboratory (NML), Jamshedpur, Jharkhand
  36. National Physical Laboratory (NPL), Delhi
  37. Structural Engineering Research Centre (SERC), Chennai, Tamil Nadu
  38. CCSIR Fourth Paradigm Institute, Bangalore, Karnataka

CSIR NET Syllabus

Complete detailed syllabus for CSIR NET Exam for different subjects is given below:

CSIR NET 2020 Syllabus for Chemical Sciences

Inorganic ChemistryPhysical Chemistry
Chemical periodicityBasic principles of quantum mechanics
Structure and bonding in homo- and heteronuclear moleculesApproximate methods of quantum mechanics
Concepts of acids and basesAtomic structure and spectroscopy
Main group elements and their compoundsChemical bonding in diatomics
Transition elements and coordination compoundsChemical applications of group theory
Inner transition elementsMolecular spectroscopy
Organometallic compoundsChemical thermodynamics
Cages and metal clustersStatistical thermodynamics
Analytical chemistryElectrochemistry
Bioinorganic chemistryChemical kinetics
Characterization of inorganic compoundsColloids and surfaces
Nuclear chemistryPolymer chemistry
Organic Chemistry
IUPAC nomenclature of organic molecules
Principles of stereochemistry
Aromaticity
Organic reactive intermediates
Organic reaction mechanisms
Common named reactions and rearrangements
Organic transformations and reagents
Concepts in organic synthesis
Asymmetric synthesis
Pericyclic reactions
Synthesis and reactivity of common heterocyclic compounds
Chemistry of natural products
Structure determination of organic compounds
Other interdisciplinary topics to cover
Chemistry in nanoscience and technology
Catalysis and green chemistry
Medicinal chemistry
Supramolecular chemistry
Environmental chemistry

CSIR NET 2020 Syllabus for Earth, Atmospheric, Ocean and Planetary Sciences

Part A & B
The Earth and the Solar System
Earth Materials, Surface Features and Processes
Interior of the Earth, Deformation and Tectonics
Oceans and Atmosphere
Environmental Earth Sciences
GeologyPhysical Geology
Mineralogy and Petrology   Geomorphology
Structural Geology and Geotectonics Climatology
Paleontology and Its Applications Bio-geography
Sedimentology and Stratigraphy Environmental Geography
Marine Geology and Paleoceanography Geography of India
Geochemistry
Economic Geology Geophysics
Precambrian Geology and Crustal Evolution Metereogoloy
Quaternary Geology Ocean Sciences
Applied Geology (Engineering, Mineral Exploration, Hydrogeology)
Part C

CSIR NET 2020 Syllabus for Physical Sciences

Molecules and their Interaction Relevant to Biology
Cellular Organization
Cell Communication and Cell Signaling
Fundamental Processes
Developmental Biology
System Physiology – Plant
System Physiology – Animal
Inheritance Biology
Diversity of Life Forms
Ecological Principles
Evolution and Behavior
Applied Biology
Methods in Biology

CSIR NET 2020 Syllabus for Mathematical Sciences

Unit-I & IIUnit-III
Analysis: Elementary set theory, finite, countable and uncountable sets, etcOrdinary Differential Equations (ODEs)
Linear AlgebraPartial Differential Equations (PDEs)
Complex AnalysisNumerical Analysis
AlgebraCalculus of Variations
TopologyLinear Integral Equations
Descriptive statistics, exploratory data analysis Classical Mechanics

CSIR NET 2020 Syllabus for Physical Sciences

PART – A (Core)Part B (Advanced)
Mathematical Methods of PhysicsMathematical Methods of Physics
Classical MechanicsClassical Mechanics
Quantum MechanicsQuantum Mechanics
Electromagnetic TheoryCondensed Matter Physics
Thermodynamics and Statistical PhysicsNuclear and Particle Physics
Electronics and Experimental MethodsAtomic & Molecular Physics

In Conclusion

In this article we discussed CSIR NET Exam, eligibility criteria, CSIR NET exam pattern and syllabus. As understanding the operations of an entire R&D organization is complex, getting into one is no doubt a huge feat. We hope you got some clarity about CSIR NET exam and are soon planning to sit for this exam.

Although preparing for CSIR NET Exam in itself means you are already sure what you are going to do, in case you wish to take second opinion from some expert counsellors, you may avail iDreamCareer’s professional services.

For detailed guidance, you can take help of our professional services which include:

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