Difference Between CSIR NET & UGC NET
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Difference Between CSIR NET & UGC NET Exams

Confused about CSIR NET and UGC NET? Who can write CSIR NET & who is eligible for UGC NET Exam? You’re not alone; most aspirants who start planning to prepare for these exams have this confusion. Both are national-level exams in India conducted by NTA, but they cater to different academic aspirations. Now the question comes: Which exam should you write, and for which exam are you eligible? Let’s find the answers to these questions in this article. We have broken down the key differences between CSIR NET & UGC NET to help you choose the right career path!

What is the Difference Between CSIR NET & UGC NET?

Both the exams are conducted every year. By clearing both exams, one can become eligible for a lecturership at an Indian university or college. Both exams are conducted at the national level and are organized by the National Testing Agency (NTA). This article covers major differences and similarities between the UGC and CSIR NET exams to help aspirants understand both exams. Go through the details below and apply accordingly for the exam.

The major differences in the UGC NET and CSIR UGC NET exams are in terms of exam subjects, eligibility criteria, exam pattern, and other aspects. Check these differences in detail below.

Subject Wise Difference between CSIR NET & UGC NET

Number of Subjects 83 5
Name of Subjects Check the List of UGC NET subjects here Chemical Sciences, Earth, Atmospheric, Ocean and Planetary Sciences, Life Sciences, Mathematical Sciences, Physical Sciences

Eligibility Criteria

Academic Qualification:

Minimum Degree Master’s in relevant subject Master’s in relevant science subject
Minimum Marks 55% for the General category, 50% for SC/ST/OBC-NCL/PWD 60% for the General category, 55% for SC/ST/OBC-NCL/PWD
Research Experience Not mandatory Not mandatory, but preferred

Age Limit:

Age Limit For JRF, a maximum of 30 years of age. There is no upper age limit for lectureship. For JRF = maximum of 28 years of age.
There is no upper age limit for lectureship.
Age Criteria differs with reservation categories.

Additional Points:

  • If you’re in your final year of Master’s, you can apply for both exams provisionally, but you must complete your degree before the results are declared.
  • For CSIR NET, candidates with B.Tech/B.E./B.Pharma./MBBS degrees with minimum marks can also apply, but they receive the JRF award only after completing their Master’s within two years.


  • These are general eligibility criteria. Always check the official notification for the latest and most accurate information.
  • Specific details regarding reserved category relaxations and other exceptions may vary between the exams.

Differnce in Exam pattern of CSIR NET & UGC NET

UGC NET exam pattern: UGC NET is an online exam that consists of two papers containing objective-type questions. Paper 1 contains 50 questions of 100 marks, and paper 2 contains 100 questions of 200 marks. Both papers are conducted in a single duration of three hours.

CSIR NET exam pattern: CSIR NET is an online exam containing objective-type questions of 200 marks. The question paper is divided into three parts – A, B, and C. Each part contains a different number of questions. The total number of questions in the CSIR UGC NET exam also varies depending on the subject for which the candidate is appearing. The total duration to complete the exam is three hours.

What are the Similarities between UGC NET & CSIR NET?

Exam Purpose Both exams aim to shortlist Lectureship and Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) candidates.
Frequency of Exams Both exams are conducted biannually in the months of June and December.
Level of Exams Both are national-level exams held across multiple states and cities in India.
Exam Conducted By Both exams are conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA).
Assessment Criteria In both, candidates are evaluated based on their general aptitude and subject knowledge.
Qualifying Criteria The top six percent of qualifying candidates in both exams are eligible for lectureship, and about two to three percent are shortlisted for both JRF and lectureship.


UGC NET Vs. CSIR NET: Career Scope

CSIR NET primarily leads to research-oriented careers in laboratories and institutions, while UGC NET is commonly associated with teaching positions in universities and colleges under UGC.

So, which one is right for you?


  • Both exams are highly competitive, requiring dedicated preparation.
  • Choose the exam that aligns with your subject expertise and career aspirations.
  • Thoroughly research the eligibility criteria, syllabus, and exam pattern before applying.

If you have a passion for research and exploring the scientific world, CSIR NET might be your gateway. If your heart lies in teaching non-science subjects at the university level, UGC NET could be your stepping stone.

Remember, choosing the path that fuels your academic ambitions is important!


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