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CSIR NET is a national-level examination which is conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA). The main purpose of this examination is to select candidates for JRF (Junior Research Fellowship) and as Lecturers/Assistant Professors across various academic institutions, research labs, IITs, etc. It is considered one of the prestigious competitive exams for those who want to establish a career in Research or Academics. This blog will comprehensively take you through the CSIR NET exam and its related components. 

Here is a list of National-level Exams conducted by NTA!

What is the CSIR NET Exam? 

Known as the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, CSIR is a country-level examination that is conducted by the NTA for students who are eligible to be awarded the JRF as well as appointing them as lecturers in universities. It is conducted twice a year.

Exam Name CSIR  NET (Council of Scientific and Industrial Research- National Eligibility Test)
Conducting Body National Testing Agency (NTA)
Exam Level National
Exam Frequency Twice a year
Exam Mode Online only
Exam Duration 180 minutes
Exam Purpose  Selection of candidates for the award of JRF or determining eligibility for appointment as lecturers
Exam Helpdesk No. 0120-6895200
Official Website https://csirnet.nta.nic.in/webinfo/public/home.aspx

CSIR Notification 2021

  • For the year 2021, CSIR NET is supposed to be held in December.
  • The joint CSIR NET result for 2020 is available on the official website for candidates who appeared in the exam can check the results using their application number and date of birth. 

Subject Codes:

CSIR NET Subjects Codes
Chemical Sciences 701
Earth, Atmospheric, Ocean and Planetary Sciences 702
Life Sciences 703
Mathematical Sciences 704
Physical Sciences 705

CSIR NET Exam Date 2021

Application form November 2021
Last date for submission of the application fee November 2021
Application correction window To be announced
Correction in choice of exam cities To be announced
Admit card December 2021
CSIR NET exam date December 2021
Provisional answer key To be announced
Final answer key To be announced
Result January 2022

CSIR NET Eligibility Criteria

It is important to keep in mind the eligibility criteria before appearing for any examination. Failing to meet any requirements may result in the rejection of the application. So, to know who can apply for the CSIR NET exam, go through the following points. 

Educational Qualification

In order to apply for the CSIR NET examination, candidates must have one of the following degrees under their belt:

  • MSc, Integrated BS-MS,  BS-4 Years, BE/BTech, BPharma, MBBS Or an Equivalent Degree.
  • For General and OBC candidates, 55% marks are required and for ST/SC/PWD candidates, a minimum of 50% marks are required. 

Age Limit 

For Junior Research Fellowship candidates, the maximum age should be 28 years as of 1st January 2021. 5 years age relaxation is given to SC/ST/OBC/ PwD/Female Applicants & 3 years in case of OBC (non-creamy layer). While as for lectureship posts through CSIR NET, there is no bar in terms of the age limit. 

Post  Upper Age Limit Relaxation in Upper Age Limit
Junior Research Fellowship 28 years OBC Candidates – 3 years
SC/ST Candidates – 5 years
PwD Candidates – 5 years 
Lectureship/Assistant Professor None  None

CSIR NET Examination Pattern 

CSIR NET exam is conducted for 5 main subjects namely, Physical, Chemical, Mathematical, Earth, and Life Sciences. You have to select any one of them based on your expertise and choice. Furthermore, for every subject, there will be 3 parts-A, B, C. While Part A, which is the General Aptitude section, is common to all, Part B and C are subject-oriented. Here is the subject wise examination pattern of the CSIR NET exam. 

Physical Science
Sections  Number of Questions Marks  Negative Marking Duration
Part A 20 30 0.5 3 Hours
Part B 25 70 0.875 3 Hours
Part C 30 100 1.25 3 Hours
Chemical Science
Sections Number of Questions Marks Negative Marking Duration
Part A 30 30 0.5 3 Hours
Part B 40 70 0.5 3 Hours
Part C 60 100 1.0 3 Hours
Life Science Paper
Sections Number of Questions Marks Negative Marking Duration 
Part A 20 30 0.5 3 Hours
Part B 50  70 0.5 3 Hours
Part C 75 100 1.0 3 Hours
For Mathematical Science 
Section Number of Question Marks Negative Marking Duration
Part A 20 30 0.5 3 Hours
Part B 40 75 0.75 3 Hours
Part C 60 95 0 3 Hours
Earth Sciences
Section Number of Questions Marks Negative Marking Duration
Part A 20 30 0.5 3 Hours
Part B 50 70 0.5 3 Hours
Part C 80 100 1.32 3 Hours

CSIR NET Application Process

By following the below-mentioned simple steps, you can register for the CSIR NET exam 2021-

  • Visit the official site of CSIR NET
  • Click on the Application Link.
  • Click on the New Registration button.
  • Go through the instructions carefully and then click on the ‘Click here to Proceed’ button.
  • A page with the registration form will open up.
  • Create a password, a security question, and a security answer for the same.
  • Enter the security pin that will display on the screen and click on the submit button.
  • Upload the photo, signature.
  • Click on the ‘Final Submit’ button.

CSIR NET Application Fee 

Category CSIR NET Application Fee
General Rs. 1000
General-EW Rs. 1000
OBC-NCL Rs. 500
SC/ST Rs. 250
PwD None

CSIR NET Syllabus 

Here is the detailed syllabus of the CSIR NET exam you need to take into consideration while preparing.  

CSIR NET Papers Topics 
General Aptitude Logical Reasoning, Graphical Analysis, Analytical and Numerical Ability,
Quantitative Comparisons, Series Formation. Puzzles, Mensuration, Series Completion, Time and distance, Series Formation & Coding-Decoding, Data Interpretation, 
Life Sciences Molecules and their Interaction Relevant to Biology, Cellular Organization, Fundamental Processes, Cell Communication and Cell Signaling, Developmental Biology, System Physiology – Plant, System Physiology – Animal, Inheritance
Biology, Diversity of Life Forms,  Ecological Principles, Evolution and Behavior,
Applied Biology, Methods in Biology
Chemical Science Inorganic Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Physical Chemistry, Interdisciplinary topics,  Properties of individual atoms, Atoms forming chemical bonds to create chemical compounds,  Main Group Elements, Transition Metals & Coordination Compounds, Organometallic Compounds, Quantum Chemistry, Chemical Kinetics, Thermodynamics & Thermochemistry, Molecular Spectroscopy. 
Mathematics Science Linear Algebra, Real Analysis, Ordinary and Partial differential equation,
Modern Algebra, Complex Analysis. 
Earth Sciences Geology, Physical Geography, Geophysics, Meteorology, Ocean Sciences,
Managing energy, mineral resources, and water, Mineralogy and Petrology,
Structural Geology and Geotectonic, Paleontology and its applications,
Sedimentology and Stratigraphy, Marine Geology and Paleoceanography, Geochemistry, Economic Geology, etc.
Physical Science Mathematical Physics, Quantum Physics, Electromagnetic Theory, Classical Mechanics, Electronics, etc. 

Note: The above-mentioned syllabus is for indicative purposes.

Important Books for CSIR NET Exam 2021

You can refer to the below-mentioned books for the following subjects-

Chemical Science Books

  • Physical Chemistry by Samuel Glasstone
  • Infrared and Raman spectra of inorganic and coordination compounds by Nakamoto
  • Physical Chemistry by Mortimer
  • Biological inorganic chemistry: structure and reactivity by Ivano Bertini
  • Pearson Guide to UGC-CSIR-Chemical Sciences by Sanjay Singh Rawal
  • Chemistry of the Elements by N.N Greenwood and A. Earnshaw
  • Inorganic Chemistry by Gary Wulfsberg

Physical Science Books

  • CSIR-UGC NET/JRF/SET Physical Sciences by Dr. Surekha Tomar
  • UGC CSIR JRF/NET Physical Sciences by Sunil Kushwaha
  • UGC-CSIR NET (JRF & LS) Physical Science by W.Malemnganba Chenglei
  • UGC CSIR JRF/NET Physical Sciences bu GKP

Mathematical Science

  • Mathematical Sciences for UGC-CSIR Junior Research Fellowship & Eligibility for Lectureship by Prasad
  • Mathematical Science Manual CSIR UGC/NET/SLET & Lectureship – Jupiter by Renu Sharma, Awadhesh Kumar Mishra
  • NET Mathematical Sciences – Vol. 2 UGC CSIR by Satya Prakashan
  • UGC-CSIR NET (JRF & LS) Mathematical Science by Pawan Sharma, Anshuman, Suraj Singh

CSIR NET Previous Year Question Papers

Let us now go through some of the previous years’ question papers to understand the exam pattern in detail

How to Prepare for CSIR NET?

Courtesy: Bansal Biology

CSIR NET 2021 Time Schedule

For the upcoming CSIR NET exam 2021, the following schedule will be followed in terms of exam timings-

CSIR NET Exam Day Events First Shift Timings Second Shift Timings
Timing of Exam 9:30 AM-12:30 PM 2:30-5:30 PM
Duration 3 hours without break 3 hours without break
Entry into the Exam Centre 7:30-8:30 AM 12:30-1:30 PM
Entry in the Exam Hall/Room 8:45-9:00 AM 1:45-2:00 PM
Checking of Admit Cards by the Invigilator 9:00-9:15 AM 2:00-2:15 PM
Seating Begins 9:15 AM 2:15 PM
Instructions by the Invigilators 9:15-9:25 AM 2:15-2:25 PM
Exam Commences 9:30 AM 2:30 PM
Exam Concludes 12:30 PM 5:30 PM

Exam Day Guidelines 

All candidates must carry essential documents and are supposed to follow certain rules and regulations such as 

  • Admit Card
  • Passport size photos
  • Government ID proof
  • PWD certificate (if required)
  • Wear Masks inside the Exam Hall
  • No study material, stationery or electronics are allowed inside the exam hall

Do’s and Don’ts on CSIR NET 


  • Try reaching the exam centre at least two hours before the commencement of the paper
  • Don’t forget to carry your admit card to the centre and read the instructions mentioned on it carefully.
  • Make sure that the paper displayed on the computer is of the subject indicated on the admit card
  • Reach out to the invigilator or technical assistant for any glitch or technical assistance 


  • It is advised to not leave the examination hall until the duration of the paper is over
  • Chewing gum, Smoking etc are prohibited in the examination hall
  • One shall avoid indulging in unfair means during the exam

CSIR NET Answey Key

The Final Answer Key for June 2021 CSIR NET exam is available on the website. Click here to get the official answer key for the exam.

CSIR NET Exam 2020: Exam Analysis

Courtesy: J Chemistry

CSIR NET Cut-off 2020

The result for the December 2020 CSIR NET exam has been declared on 5th February 2021. As per it, below are the estimated cut offs-

Junior Research Fellowship

Subject Unreserved EWS OBC SC ST PwD
Chemical Sciences 50.50 % 44.50 % 43.25 % 33.25 % 25.50 % 25.00 %
Earth Sciences 59.86 % 54.31 % 52.79 % 44.22 % 40.90 % 29.33 %
Life Sciences* 98.94 % 96.57 % 96.04 % 89.68 % 83.10 % 74.75 %
Mathematical Sciences 57.00 % 51.38 % 50.75 % 40.25 % 30.88 % 28.75 %
Physical Sciences 46.25 % 40.68 % 39.68 % 31.56 % 26.87 % 25.00 %


Subject Unreserved EWS OBC SC ST PwD
Chemical Sciences 45.45 % 40.05 % 38.92 % 29.92 % 25.00 % 25.00 %
Earth Sciences 53.87 % 48.87 % 47.51 % 39.79 % 36.81 % 26.39 %
Life Sciences* 97.18 % 94.00 % 93.21 % 85.38 % 77.51 % 74.75 %
Mathematical Sciences 51.30 % 46.23 % 45.67 % 36.22 % 27.78 % 25.87 %
Physical Sciences 41.62 % 36.61 % 35.71 % 28.40 % 25.00 % 25.00 %

(*) The raw marks obtained have been normalized into NTA score/percentile and results have been declared based on percentile cut-off as indicated.

CSIR NET Merit List 2021

  • Two separate merit lists will be made for candidates qualifying for Junior Research Fellowship (JRF-NET) and Lectureship (LS-NET).
  • Details like roll number, rank obtained, marks secured, etc are mentioned in the list 
  • Merit list will be prepared on the basis of performance of candidates in the entrance test.
  • Candidates qualifying for JRF will also be eligible for lectureship if they abide by the eligibility criteria.
  • Candidates qualifying for Lectureship will be eligible to be considered for recruitment as Junior Research Fellowship if suitable. Though they will not be eligible for regular JRF-NET Fellowship.
  • Candidates qualifying for JRF (NET) will receive fellowship either from CSIR or UGC as per their associated assignment.

Exam Centres 

You are eligible to take your CSIR NET exam in the following cities across India- 

Amaravati Imphal
Itanagar Shillong
Dispur Aizawl
Patna Kohima
Naya Raipur Bhubaneswar
Panaji Chandigarh
Gandhinagar Jaipur
Chandigarh Gangtok
Shimla Chennai
Ranchi Hyderabad
Bengaluru Agartala
Thiruvananthapuram Lucknow
Bhopal Dehradun
Mumbai Kolkata

CSIR NET 2021 Vacancy

For the year 2021, total number of vacancies have not been released yet. However, below mentioned are the fields offering vacancies-

Categories  Fields
Junior Research Fellowship -Life Sciences-Physical Sciences-Chemical Sciences-Earth, Atmospheric, Ocean and Planetary Sciences-Mathematical Sciences
Lectureship/Assistant Professor -Life Sciences-Physical Sciences-Chemical Sciences-Earth, Atmospheric, Ocean and Planetary Sciences-Mathematical Science

Difference between UGC NET and CSIR NET

When it comes to differentiating between UGC NET and CSIR NET, one must know that the former is conducted for a wide range of subjects like Public Administration, Economics, Forensic Science, Commerce, Indian Literature, Political Science, etc. On the contrary, the latter is conducted only for subjects related to the Science stream. Furthermore, the UGC exam has 2 papers, whereas the CSIR National Eligibility Test only has 1 paper.

CSIR NET Career Scope

CSIR NET is conducted twice a year for the selection of qualified researchers and lecturers in the field of sciences. The exam is conducted by the National Testing Agency and used by various public and private academic and non-academic institutions to offer positions like PhD fellowships, scientists, assistant professors and researchers. Here are some amazing jobs opportunities after qualifying CSIR NET Lectureship-

PhD fellowship

Many candidates who qualify for CSIR NET- JRF apply for PhD programmes at the top Indian Scientific Research Institutions and even to foreign universities. In the case of top Indian universities and research institutes like Indian Agricultural Research Institute, Sri Venkateswara College, TIFR, HBNI, NIPER, IIT etc, it is mandatory to qualify for the exam to appear for an interview or written exam.   


CSIR NET is the gateway to lectureship and professorship in India. In order to teach in prestigious Indian universities, candidates must qualify for the exam and seek positions as assistant professors in private or public institutes. Candidates start off as assistant professors and can advance in the field to permanent employees in government colleges/universities as Associate Professors and Readers. Candidates who have completed their PhDs and have some research experience are given preference in this line of work. The lectureship is a noble as well as a lucrative field in India. 

Research Labs

Candidates who qualify CSIR NET JRF are eligible to work at research institutes like Defence Research and Development Organisation, Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), Bhabha Atomic Research Center (BARC), Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), National Institute of Biomedical Genomics (NIBMG), Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Laser and more.

Public Sector Undertakings

PSUs like Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), National Thermal Power Corporation Limited (NTPC), Indian Oil Corporation, Power Finance Corporation (PFC), MECON Limited consider qualified candidates who have cleared CSIR NET.

Private Sector

Qualified candidates can find plenty of opportunities in the private sector after qualifying for CSIR NET Lectureship. They can apply for teaching positions at private universities/colleges/coaching centres/private tutoring. Candidates with an entrepreneurial spirit can invest and start their own research-based company. Candidates have the option with top biotech, live sciences and pharmaceutical companies in India like Biocon, Panacea Biotech, Serum Institute of India, Lupin, Thermo Fisher Scientific etc.

CSIR NET 2021 Salary 

For those who qualify for the exam and take up the job as below mentioned profiles, their average salaries would be around-

  • Candidates will be given INR 31,000 for the JRF along with house allowance for the initial 3 years of PhD whereas INR 35,000 will be given for the Senior Research fellowship along with 2 years of house allowance. 
  • INR 40,000- 60,000 per month is offered for the post of Assistant Professors by different universities 
  • The DRDO offers lucrative salaries to candidates to work as scientists. Here is the category wise salary structure-
Category Salary
Scientist ‘B’ INR 15,600-39,100
Scientist ‘C’ INR 15,600-39,100
Scientist ‘D’ INR 15,600-39,100
Scientist ‘E’ INR 37,400-67,000
Scientist ‘F’ INR 37,400-67,000
Scientist ‘G’ INR 37,400-67,000
Scientist ‘H’ INR 67000-79,000
Distinguished Scientist INR 75,500-80,000
Secretary DRDO, DG R&D, and Scientific Adviser to Raksha Mantri (SA to RM) INR 80,000

CSIR NET Statistics 2020

Following are the statistics of the CSIR NET exam 2020- 

CSIR NET Exam Stats Numbers
Total Candidates Registered 262692
Total Candidates Appeared 171273
Candidates Qualified for CSIR NET JRF 2135
Candidates Qualified for JRF NET Only 112
Candidates Qualified for JRF (NET) UGC 1638
Candidates Qualified for Lectureship-NET 4394
Exam Cities 225

Note: The NTA is yet to release the same data for 2021 exam.


What is the CSIR NET exam for?

CSIR NET is conducted by NTA for the position of assistant professorship and awarding junior research fellowship across India for subjects like Earth, Atmospheric, Ocean and Planetary Sciences, Chemical, Physical, Maths and Life Sciences.

What is difference between UGC NET and CSIR NET?

UGC NET and CSIR NET are conducted by NTA for the position of assistant professorship and JRF. The difference is that UGC NET is for all subjects while CSIR NET is for science subjects only.

Who are eligible for CSIR NET exam?

Candidates with an MSc or Integrated BS-MS,  BS-4 Years, BE/BTech, B-Pharma, MBBS Or an Equivalent Degree are eligible to appear for the exam.

Is CSIR NET difficult?

CSIR NET is a difficult exam but with proper preparation and strategy candidates can score well and get fellowship for research at top Indian universities and labs.

Hence, CSIR NET is a golden opportunity for those who want to establish a career in Research or Academics. Apprehensive about choosing the right career? Reach out to our experts at Leverage Edu through an E-meeting who will provide assistance in not only choosing a course that aligns with your professional goals but will also guide you throughout the admission process!

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