Get caught in the NET

 NET exam
12 October 2011, Wednesday

Candidates are busy preparing for the NET exam scheduled for December. The key to success in this exam is a comprehensive study of the subjects. SANGEETA YADAV talks to experts who tell you how to prepare for this test which will mark your foray into the teaching profession

With the National Eligibility Test (NET) just two months away, aspirants are preparing intensively to get into the teaching profession. Experts say that the key to success in this exam lies in a thorough study of the syllabus. 

Professor Ved Prakash, chairman, UGC, says: “The aspirants should do a comprehensive study of the syllabus and take mock exams. The students need to have a mature understanding of the subject through critical analysis.”
He says that the first half of the exam is the most important. “On the basis of the first half, you will move to paper III. While writing descriptive answers, the students should give try to gauge the viewpoint of the examiners. The language option which is there in paper III has to be carefully dealt with. When they take a mock exam, they should set a time limit to see how fast they can complete 200 questions,” says Prakash.

The National Educational Testing Bureau of University Grants Commission (UGC) conducts NET exam to ascertain the eligibility for lectureship and award Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) to Indian nationals. It is conducted for postgraduate candidates who wish to qualify for admission in PhD research or university level teaching jobs. For humanities students, it is administered by UGC and is referred to as UGC NET. For the science and engineering students, it is jointly conducted by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and UGC and is referred to as CSIR-UGC NET.
The UGC NET exam is carried out in 78 subjects at 74 selected university centres spread across the country. It is conducted twice a year, in the months of June and December.
Besides conducting the NET exam, the role of the NET Bureau is to assess and accredit state identified agencies to conduct State Eligibility Test (SET).
The SET assessment is done by evaluating the performance of the state agency designated by the state government. The certification of accreditation is given to the state for a stipulated period of time.


“Teaching and learning is the best way to progress in life and also stay connected with your field of interest. After clearing NET exam, one can opt for lectureship in any university, college along with pursing PhD,” says Udit Mittal, CEO, Unison International.
Candidates who qualify for Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) are eligible to pursue research in the subject of their post-graduation or in a related subject. The universities, institutions, IITs and other national organisations may select the JRF awardees for whole time research work. The qualified candidates will also be eligible for lectureship. However, the candidates qualifying exclusively for lectureship will not be considered for award of JRF.
After two years of successful research work, the candidate will be judged by the committee panel on his/her performance. On recommendation from the committee, another two-year term with an increment in fellowship known as Senior Research Fellowship (SRF) will be awarded to the candidate. The remuneration of fellowship under JRF is `16,000 and SRF is `20,000. The tenure of the JRF and SRF can not be extended by more than five years.

Candidates who are waiting for their Masters degree results or who have successfully qualified for their Masters degree course from a recognised university with an aggregate of 55 per cent (50 per cent in case of SC/ST/PH/VH category candidates) or above are eligible for taking the test. The candidates whose results are awaited or who have secured 55 per cent or above in their Post Graduation from a recognised university, can apply for the test.
The PhD degree holders whose Master’s level examination has been completed by a particular time/year as declared by the UGC shall be eligible for a relaxation of 5 per cent in aggregate marks (from 55 per cent to 50 per cent) for appearing in NET.
The age limit for JRF is 28 years with a five years relaxation for SC/ST/OBC/PH and women applicants. There is no upper age limit for lectureship. A relaxation of three years in age will be permissible to the candidates possessing LLM degree.
For visually handicapped candidates, 30 minutes extra time shall be provided separately for paper-I and paper-II. For paper-III, 45 minutes extra time shall be provided. They will also be provided the services of a scribe who would be a graduate in a subject other than that of the candidate.
Physically handicapped (PH) candidates who are not in a position to write in their own handwriting can also avail these services by making a prior request (at least one week before the date of UGC-NET) in writing to the coordinator of the test centre. Extra time and facility of scribe would not be provided to other physically handicapped candidates.


  • Last date for applying online: October 25, 2011
  • Last date for receiving the printout of online along with the required documents: October 31, 2011
  • Date of exam: December 24, 2011

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