What is the Difference between CSIR NET and UGC NET?

CSIR NET and UGC NET are both examinations to determine eligibility for college and university lectureships and to award Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) to Indian nationals for pursuing their Ph.D. program or research. Aspirants often apply for both exams and prepare for them in parallel.

Before starting with the exam preparation, it is important to understand the difference between UGC NET and CSIR NET exams. In this article, we have summarized the differences between CSIR NET and UGC-NET exams. For easier comparison and understanding, the differences have been categorized into various sub-headings such as Exam Body, Exam Mode, Career Scope, etc.

CSIR NET vs. UGC NET

The significant difference between the UGC NET and CSIR NET exams is based on the following parameters:

  • Exam Convener Body
  • Exam Subjects
  • Exam Pattern
  • Mode of Examination
  • Eligibility Criteria
  • Career Scope

CSIR NET vs. UGC NET: The Exam Conducting Body

Exam Name Exam Conducting Body
CSIR NET Exam Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR)
UGC NET Exam National Testing University (NTA)

CSIR NET vs. UGC NET: Exam Subjects

One of the main differences between the CSIR NET exam and the UGC NET exam is the number of subjects conducted. CSIR NET exam is conducted in 5 subjects, while UGC NET is conducted in 84 subjects other than the science stream.

CSIR NET is conducted for 5 different subjects of the science stream. These are:

  1.  Chemical Science
  2.  Earth Science
  3.  Life Science
  4.  Physical Science
  5.  Mathematical Science

UGC NET vs. CSIR NET: Exam Pattern

You need to understand the pattern of both the exams in a very clear way. Preparation for each exam will depend on the exam pattern. There is a big difference between UGC NET and the CSIR NET exam patterns. Below you will find the complete pattern of both exams:

UGC NET Exam Pattern

Paper Subject Marks (2 marks each) Number of questions
I General Aptitude (common for all) 100 50
II The candidate chooses the subject. 200 100

CSIR NET Exam Pattern

Section Subject Total Marks No. of questions Marks for each correct question Negative marking Maximum no. of questions to be attempted
Part A General Aptitude 30 20 (for every subject) 2 (For every subject) 0.5 (for every subject) 15 (for every subject)
Part B Subject Paper 70 25-50 (subject-wise) 2-3.5 (subject wise) 0.5-0.875 (subject wise) 20-35 (Subject-wise)
Part C Scientific Concepts 100 30-75 (subject-wise) 4-5 (subject wise) 1-1.32 (subject wise) 20-25 (Subject-wise)

UGC NET vs. CSIR NET: Mode of Examination

  • CSIR NET is conducted offline, i.e., pen/pencil –paper mode.
  • UGC NET exam will be conducted online as a computer-based test (CBT) for the first time. Earlier, it was also conducted in offline mode.

CSIR NET vs. UGC NET: Eligibility Criteria

UGC NET Eligibility Criteria CSIR NET Eligibility Criteria
  • Candidates who have obtained a minimum of 55% marks (General category) and 50% (SC/ST/PwD) in master’s degree or equivalent examination from universities/institutions recognized by UGC in the list of subjects at the Post-graduation level are eligible for this Test.
  • Candidates who are currently in their master’s degree course or equivalent course or candidates who have appeared for their master’s degree (final year) examination and whose result is still awaited may also apply for this Test.
  • Upper Age Limit is 30 years (For JRF).
  • Relaxation of upto 5 years for sc/st/obc-ncl/women/armed forces personnel’s /pwd/ transgender/ researchers, 3 years for L.L.M degree holder.
  • No upper age limit is set for applying for Assistant Professor.
  • The candidates who have secured at least 55% marks (General category) and 50% (SC/ST/PwD) (without rounding off) in M.Sc. / BS-4 Years / Integrated BS-M, BE/B-Tech / MBBS /B-Pharma.
  • Candidates pursuing their master’s degree or equivalent course or candidates who have appeared for their master’s degree (final year) examination and whose result is still awaited may also apply for this Test.
  • Upper Age Limit is 28 years (for JRF).
  • Relaxation of up to 5 years in sc/st/PWD/women and 3 years for OBC-NCl.
  • No upper age limit is set for applying for Assistant Professor.

CSIR NET vs. UGC NET: Career Scope

There is a difference in the scope of career opportunities after the UGC NET and CSIR NET exams.

  • Candidates qualified for UGC NET are eligible to work with UGC Coordinating Institutes.
  • CSIR NET qualified candidates are eligible to work with CSIR Research Laboratories.

We have seen significant differences between CSIR NET and UGC NET exams. But there are many similarities between these tests as well. Let's look at some of the common characteristics of these two examinations.

Similarities between UGC NET and CSIR NET Exams

  • Purpose: As said earlier, both the exams are conducted to recruit Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) and Assistant Professors.
  • Qualification Procedure: The qualification procedure for both exams is similar. Candidates are selected based on their performance in tests. The top 6% of candidates are considered qualified for Assistant Professor, and the top 2-3% are considered qualified for JRF and Assistantship.
  • Frequency of Exams: Both exams are held twice a year, usually in June/July and November/December.
  • Assessment: Candidates are assessed on their general and subject knowledge in both examinations.