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. 

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 the lectures in universities. It is conducted twice a year.

Subject Codes:

CSIR NET Subjects

Chemical Sciences701
Earth, Atmospheric, Ocean and Planetary Sciences702
Life Sciences703
Mathematical Sciences704
Physical Sciences705


Exam NameCSIR  NET (Council of Scientific and Industrial Research- National Eligibility Test)
Conducting BodyNational Testing Agency (NTA)
Exam LevelNational
Exam FrequencyTwice a year
Exam ModeOnline only
Exam Duration180 minutes
Exam Purpose Selection of candidates for the award of JRF or determining eligibility for appointment as lecturers
Exam Helpdesk No.0120-6895200
Official Websitehttps://csirnet.nta.nic.in/webinfo/public/home.aspx

Important Dates for 2021

Application formApril, 2021
Last date for submission of the application feeMay, 2021
Application correction windowMay, 2021
Correction in choice of exam citiesMay, 2021
Admit cardJune, 2021
CSIR NET exam dateJune, 2021
Provisional answer keyJuly, 2021
Final answer keyAugust, 2021
ResultAugust, 2021

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 rejection of the application. So, to know who can apply for CSIR NET exam, go through the following points. 

Educational Qualification

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

  • MSc, Integrated BS-MS,  BS-4 Years, BE/BTech, B-Pharma, 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 on 1st January 2020. 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. 

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 QuestionsMarks Negative MarkingDuration
Part A20300.53 Hours
Part B25700.8753 Hours
Part C301001.253 Hours
Chemical Science
SectionsNumber of QuestionsMarksNegative MarkingDuration
Part A30300.53 Hours
Part B40700.53 Hours
Part C601001.03 Hours
Life Science Paper
SectionsNumber of QuestionsMarksNegative MarkingDuration 
Part A20300.53 Hours
Part B50 700.53 Hours
Part C751001.03 Hours
For Mathematical Science 
SectionNumber of QuestionMarksNegative MarkingDuration
Part A20300.53 Hours
Part B40750.753 Hours
Part C609503 Hours
Earth Sciences
SectionNumber of QuestionsMarksNegative MarkingDuration
Part A20300.53 Hours
Part B50700.53 Hours
Part C801001.323 Hours

CSIR NET Syllabus 

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

CSIR NET PapersTopics 
General AptitudeLogical 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 SciencesMolecules 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 ScienceInorganic 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 ScienceLinear Algebra, Real Analysis, Ordinary and Partial differential equation,
Modern Algebra, Complex Analysis. 
Earth SciencesGeology, 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 ScienceMathematical Physics, Quantum Physics, Electromagnetic Theory, Classical Mechanics, Electronics, etc. 

Note: To check the syllabus in detail, you can visit the official website.

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 Exam 2020: Exam Analysis

Courtesy: J Chemistry

Cut Off and Result 

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

Chemical Sciences50.50 %44.50 %43.25 %33.25 %25.50 %25.00 %
Earth Sciences59.86 %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 Sciences57.00 %51.38 %50.75 %40.25 %30.88 %28.75 %
Physical Sciences46.25 %40.68 %39.68 %31.56 %26.87 %25.00 %


Chemical Sciences45.45 %40.05 %38.92 %29.92 %25.00 %25.00 %
Earth Sciences53.87 %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 Sciences51.30 %46.23 %45.67 %36.22 %27.78 %25.87 %
Physical Sciences41.62 %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.

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, CSIR NET 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.

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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