Importance of Rank in CSIR NET & GATE National Level Exams

Importance of Rank in CSIR NET & GATE Exams

As soon as one completes their post-graduation, they choose to work in the industry or continue with their higher education. The field of biotechnology is highly competitive, thus in order to stand out among the crowd and get noticed by a recruiter or come in the eyes of prestigious institutions for a Ph.D. degree, one must try to qualify competitive exams such as CSIR & GATE with a good rank.

For some, getting a Ph.D. is a dream or may even arise due to peer or family pressure. For others, getting a stable career is more important. Whatever be the case, getting a national level certificate is important to withstand the cut-throat competition. For the students of science, CSIR/GATE/DBT/ICMR/ICAR are some of the many exams to choose from. Every year, lakhs of aspirants undergo rigorous training & mentoring to clear these exams. Some are lucky enough to get these exams cleared in the first attempt itself, while others need more luck and hard work. Whatever the case may be, aspirants are often confused with the importance of rank in these exams and how they can make use of it. Let us

discuss a few aspects which highlight the importance of a good rank in these exams.

Importance of obtaining a good rank in CSIR NET & GATE Exam:

Below we have discussed a few points highlighting the importance of rank (importance of good ranks) in National level exams like CSIR NET & GATE.

  • Monthly Stipend:

 – Shortlisted candidates who qualify the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering – GATE Exam are offered a research fellowship to work as researchers leading to Ph.D. This fellowship is only acceptable at CSIR laboratories. Qualified candidates will get INR 25000 per month plus HRA in addition along with a contingency grant of INR 20,000 per annum. Under the CSIR-UGC JRF scheme, the tenure of fellowship is initially for three years. The stipend of a JRF selected candidates through CSIR NET Exam will be INR 31,000 per month plus HRA continuously for two years. After successful completion of three years JRF the upgraded fellowship to SRF will be increased to INR 35,000 per month. This can be used at any institute or university throughout the country.

With top ranks in these exams, one is allowed to be interviewed for better stipend opportunities like the SPM (Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee) Fellowship. Top 14 candidates each in Life Sciences, in an unreserved category, will be taken from the combined merit list of General/OBC/SC/ST/PWD. Top 8 candidates will be taken from the OBC category. Top 5 candidates will be taken from SC category. Top 2 candidates will be taken from ST category. Top 1 candidate will be taken from the PWD category. As a stipend, they would be given Rs.36000/- + HRA per month during the first two years of the fellowship and a Contingency grant of Rs.70000/- p.a. This may be raised to Rs.42000/- + HRA per month from third year onwards on the basis of assessment through interview. It may also be reverted to JRF (NET) if student performance is not found satisfactory. The fellowship is initially for 2 years and can be extended as per normal rules for CSIR JRF (NET) scheme. The maximum tenure of the SPM Fellowship is up to 5 years.

Another such benefit is CSIR’s JRF-GATE. Candidates with B.Tech in Biotechnology with valid GATE score and a minimum of 85.00 percentile in GATE are eligible to apply for the same along with BE/B.Tech Engineering students with a GATE score. The stipend of a JRF-GATE will be Rs 31,000/ p.m for the first two years. In addition, an annual contingency grant of Rs. The 20,000/-per fellow will be provided to the University / Institution. On completion of two years as JRF-GATE, the fellowship will be upgraded to SRF (GATE) and the stipend will be increased to Rs. 35,000/- p.m for the 3rd and subsequent years.

  • Admission in top institutes:

Candidates who qualify GATE exam with good rank are eligible to get admission in top institutes in India for pursuing M.Tech/ME/MS. For example, if you wish to study Biotechnology in the IITs you will require to have a rank within Top 50-70. Council of Scientific and Industrial Research National Eligibility Test – CSIR Exam is a gateway for all those aspirants who wish to start their career as Lecturers in India’s reputed institutes, universities, and colleges.

When facing an interview in reputable institutes, your selection depends upon 3 factors. First, the presence of a National Level Exam qualification certificate. Second, is your performance in the interview. And the third is your rank if your performance is comparable to your fellow contenders. The interviewing panel may choose to select the candidate with a better rank in case the first two factors are judged and found to be equal.

  • Job requisite:

Various Public Sector Unit jobs are also offered to the CSIR NET qualified candidates. PSUs have also started recruiting through GATE score. Candidates who qualify this exam can get stable jobs with good salary packages, being able to support a good living standard. Candidates can enjoy the opportunity to get a job in top organizations like DRDO, BARC, ISRO, etc. If you want to get a job in foreign companies, the GATE scorecard is also considered in foreign firms. Above all, it certainly gives you a huge technical edge over others in all your interviews and career planning.

For each of these positions, the notification mentions the corresponding cut off ranks. Hence, to be eligible to apply you must secure a good rank. The second level of scrutiny would happen based on the rank you secure, followed by your interview performance and other educational credentials.

  • Knowledge:

What if you did not clear the exam? Well, knowledge never goes in vain. The knowledge that you gain while preparing for these exams will also give you a fair idea how entrance exams are prepared for, how one should study objectively, what kind of topics are important from exam or interview point of view. You can always use your knowledge to clear your interviews, educate others and also clear the exams on subsequent tries with top ranks.

  • Foreign education:

You may be surprised to know that those who qualify this test are eligible for doing a Master’s degree at NUS, (National University of Singapore), Singapore. Easy entry into Foreign Labs for Ph.D. or Post Doc is also possible as all Foreign PI’s are aware of CSIR NET & its competitive nature. The higher your rank is, the better your performance is, and the more convincing it appears to the scientists.

  • Weightage addition to your resume:

Qualifying a National Level Exam with a top rank is something that will always shine on your resume. It shows your level of knowledge, determination, confidence and skill set.

No doubt there is an importance of rank in these national exams which comes with its own perks. Now let us glance through the factors that often become a hindrance for aspirants in the way of securing a good rank in these exams.


Factors Affecting Good Rank in CSIR or GATE Exams

– Competition: Lakhs of aspirants take these exams on a bi-yearly or yearly basis. Thus the competition has increased over the years. With the ever-evolving question difficulty and the increase in the number of aspirants, the cutoff for qualifying these exams, increases. This also significantly affects the chance to secure the top ranks. One must put in more effort into their preparation.

– Level of difficulty: The exams include knowledge about almost everything from the Science field. Be it research papers, review articles or the new techniques. Every updated technique and its application must be known to the students. Hence, the amount of effort added behind preparations must be proportionately increased.

– A limited number of fellowships: Top ranks, secure higher stipend. The CSIR and UGC body decides on the number of fellowships released each year. Based on average performance, the cut off is decided. Hence, it directly affects the score required for securing top ranks. A limited number of fellowships may mean enhanced competition for these golden opportunities.

– Preparation: It is not enough to get your form filled, know the syllabus and show up in the exams. As the difficulty level keeps getting upgraded, one needs proper guidance and should give at least 6 hours to self-studies per day. The more you read and practice, the better your preparations will be. Well written reference books, high impact research journals, memory improving tabular contents, flow charts, diagrams, etc will help through the journey.

– Incorrect approach: Some students start preparing without knowing the pattern of the exam. It is necessary to know that while GATE questions are memory and numerical based, CSIR has analytical questions as well, which needs more time to prepare as well as a different type of study material and practice papers. The approach utilized for each of these categories of questions must be different. For numerical category, you must be precise in your answer and confident about your method, as there is no displayed option to choose from.

Whatever be the exam, it is just a stepping stone for your career. Some of the students do not understand the consequences of not having a strong CV or enhanced knowledge, and they do not try to indulge in these areas or studies. Others secure professional help but lack the motivation. Only a few of the students are actually able to grab these prestigious positions and are ready to give their heart and soul throughout the process.

Author: The above article on: “Importance of Rank in CSIR NET & GATE National Level Exams” has been penned & curated by Dr. Preeti Saini & Mrs. Rashmi Sanyal – two of the most dynamic members of Biotecnika with an experience of over 5 years in counseling students for CSIR NET & GATE Exam.

Shekhar Suman is the Co-founder of BioTecNika Info Labs Pvt. Ltd. He is an Entrepreneur, Writer, Public Speaker, and a Motivational Coach. In his career, he has mentored more than 100,000+ students toward success in the Biopharma Industry. He heads the BioTecNika Group, which comprises,, and An avid reader and listener who is passionate about BioSciences. Today Biotecnika is India's largest Biotech Career portal, with over 5 Million subscribers from academia & Industry. It's ranked among the top 50 websites worldwide in the Biology category.


  1. Thankyou this article was really helpful.
    I have a doubt about CSIR net JRF . If one gets a really good rank in CSIR he/she can get the prescribed stipend only in CSIR institutes is it? Or any other institute of his/her interest.

  2. If a particular person has secured the JRF rank in CSIR net, he/she can join any institute or university besed on his/her preference and he/she will be able to get the prescribed stipened. Interview may be taken by the respective research guide to select JRFs.

  3. Sir i have a doubt that right now iam doing mtech in a university, and if I clear gate Or csir then will i get the fellowship, while being studying in that university itself.?

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