UGC NET Vs CSIR NET: Eligibility, Exam Pattern, Career Scope

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Every year, the UGC NET and CSIR NET exams are conducted to evaluate individuals’ capability to teach in Indian colleges and universities. Both of the national tests are planned and executed by the National Testing Agency (NTA). The objectives of the CSIR NET and UGC NET exams are similar, despite certain differences. We have mentioned every difference between UGC NET and CSIR NET to ensure that candidates have a thorough understanding of both tests.

There are differences between the CSIR UGC NET and UGC NET exams in terms of application, substance, eligibility requirements, format, and other elements. Look more closely at these variants below. Let’s look at the tests first before learning about the differences between CSIR Net and UGC Net.

UGC Net vs CSIR Net: Comparison Table

There are some differences between the CSIR and UGC tests, but we should remember that ultimately both exams share similar objectives. 

Conducting BodyCouncil of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)National Testing Agency (NTA)
Target SubjectsScience, Engineering& Technology
(5 major subjects)
Humanities, Social Sciences, Commerce, Education, Management & Professional courses (84+ subjects)
Job EligibilityLecturer/Assistant Professor in Universities & CollegesAssistant Professor in Universities & Colleges
Number of Subjects5 (Chemical Sciences, Earth Sciences, Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, Mathematical Sciences)95
FrequencyTwice a year (June & December)Twice a year (June & December)
Competitive RatioHigherLower
FocusResearch & Teaching in Science fieldsTeaching & Research in diverse fields

UGC NET vs. CSIR NET: Mode of Examination 

There is a difference in the examination mode between CSIR NET and UGC NET. Candidates need to understand the distinctions between the two tests to be eligible for any of them. The CSIR NET is administered offline, using pen and paper. The OMR sheets containing the answers must be marked by the candidates. While the UGC NET exam will be administered online using a computer-based testing environment (CBT).

UGC NET vs. CSIR NET: Eligibility Requirements

There are distinctions between the UGC NET and CSIR UGC NET exams in terms of content, eligibility requirements, format, and possible career paths. We’ve listed these variants in the section below. The eligibility differences between CSIR NET and UGC NET are as follows:

ParametersUGC NET EligibilityCSIR NET Eligibility
Age limitFor JRF, candidates should be a maximum of 30 years of age. There is no upper age limit for a lectureship.For JRF, candidates should be a maximum of 28 years of age. There is no upper age limit for a lectureship.
Educational QualificationPost-graduation in relevant streams such as Humanities, Social Science, Electronic Science, Computer Science & Applications, etc. with at least 55% aggregateBTech/BE/BPharma/MBBS/BS(4 years)ORIntegrated BS-MS/MSc with a minimum 55% aggregate

Must Read: UGC NET Eligibility Criteria and CSIR NET Eligibility Criteria

UGC NET vs CSIR NET: Subjects

One of the important differences between the CSIR NET and the UGC NET is the number of subjects covered in each exam. There are 95 topics in total from various areas that are covered in the UGC NET test. Only subjects associated with the faculty of Science and Technology are eligible to take the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research National Eligibility Test (CSIR NET). Exam subject differences between CSIR NET and UGC NET are listed below:

Number of Subjects955
Names of Subjects81 subjects, excluding the
science field. 
Chemical Sciences
Earth, Atmospheric, Ocean, and Planetary Sciences
Life Sciences
Mathematical Sciences
Physical Sciences

Must Read: CSIR NET Exam Subjects 

UGC NET vs CSIR NET: Exam Pattern

You need to be extremely aware of both exam types. How you prepare for an exam will depend on its pattern. Exam patterns for the CSIR NET and UGC NET differ significantly. In terms of Exam Patterns, UGC NET, and CSIR NET differ in the following ways:

UGC NET 2024 Exam Pattern

UGC NET PaperTotal QuestionsTotal MarksDuration
I50 1003 Hours
II (Subject Specialisation)100200
Total150 3003 Hours

Must Read: UGC NET Exam Pattern 

CSIR NET 2024 Exam Pattern

SectionSubject Total MarksNo. of QuesNegative marking
Part AGeneral Aptitude30 (2 For every subject)20
(for every subject)
(for every subject)
Part BSubject Paper70 (2-3.5 (subject wise)25-50
Part CScientific Concepts100 (4-5 (subject wise)30-75
1-1.32 (subject wise)

Must Read: CSIR NET Exam Pattern


Applicants can find the 2024 UGC NET and CSIR NET cutoff here. The predicted cut-off for both tests in 2024 is listed below.

UGC NET 2024 Cut-off

General40-50 (40%)Vary Subject-wise
ST/SC/PWD/OBC/transgender35-45 (35%)Vary Subject-wise

Must Read: UGC NET Cut-Off

CSIR NET 2024 Cut-off

Chemical Science55.25 %50.50 %47.50 %39.75 %29.50 %25.00 %
Earth Science64.29 %60.77 %57.38 %48.95 %44.31 %29.35 %
Life Science54.50 %46.75 %45.25 %38.25 %33.25 %25.00 %
Mathematical Science53.63 %48.13 %46.25 %35.13 %27.50 %25.00 %
Physical Science51.06 %44.94 %44.38 %33.06 %27.81 %25.00 %

Must Read: CSIR NET Cut-Off 

CSIR NET Vs. UGC NET: Career Scope

Following the UGC NET and CSIR NET exams, there are differences in the job options available. Candidates who meet the requirements for the UGC NET are qualified to work in UGC-affiliated institutions. Candidates can work with the CSIR research laboratories if they meet the requirements to sit for the CSIR NET test. 

The CSIR NET exam is used to pick applicants in the domains of science, engineering, and technology, while the UGC NET exam is used to select candidates in the arts, commerce, and humanities. This is the primary difference between the two exams. Below we have listed the differences in professional scope between CSIR NET and UGC NET:

Working atColleges, academic research institutesScientific Government Laboratories, academic research entities in Science
Areas of functioningHumanities, Education, History, and more Science & Mathematics
Appointment Academic institutes across India Research institutes across India 
Posts JRF (Junior Research Fellow), SRF (Senior Research Fellow),
PF (Project Fellow), SPF (Senior Project Fellow), PA (Project Assistant/Associate), SPA (Senior Project Assistant/Associate), Author Senior Author, Project Manager Project Head
Scientist B, Scientist C, Scientist D, Scientist E, Scientist F, Scientist G, Scientist H, Distinguished Scientist, Secretary DRDO, DG R&D and Scientific Adviser to Raksha Mantri (SA to RM)
Also work as Junior Research Fellow, Senior Research Fellow, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, Professor

Must Read: UGC NET Syllabus 

UGC NET Vs CSIR NET: Number of Test Takers

Thousands of students apply for the CSIR NET and UGC NET each year. Still, only a few succeed. There are much more people taking the UGC NET exam than the CSIR NET exam. 5,44,485 of the 10,45,664 applicants who submitted forms for the UGC NET in 2022 took the test. In the same year, however, 1,62,084 candidates took the CSIR NET exam out of 2,03,256 who completed the application. 

Determinant UGC NET Numbers CSIR NET Numbers 
Number of Forms Filled10, 45,6642,03,256
Actual Test Takers 5,44,485 1,62,084

CSIR NET and UGC NET: Similarities 

Apart from the differences between CSIR NET and UGC NET, there are a lot of similarities between the two exams. These similarities are listed below. 

  • Qualification Process: The qualifying process for both exams is the same. The selection of candidates is based on their test scores. For Assistant Professor, the top 6% of applications are considered qualified, while for JRF and Assistant Professor, the top 2%–3% of candidates are considered competent.
  • Exam Frequency: Exams are typically administered twice a year, in November/December and June/July.
  • Evaluation: Both tests measure an applicant’s general aptitude knowledge as well as their topic knowledge. Candidates are assessed on both their general ability and topic knowledge in both tests.
  • Scope: Candidates for assistant professor and JRF jobs are chosen based on their results on both tests.
  • Exam Level: Both exams are administered nationally in many Indian states and cities
  • Conducting Authority: Both tests are administered by NTA.


As mentioned earlier, the CSIR NET and UGC NET tests differ in a few ways. But also there are a few similarities between them. We hope that this article has helped you make a decision on which exam to take to progress your career by helping you understand the differences between CSIR and UGC NET. When choosing between applying for the CSIR NET and the UGC NET, all of these criteria need to be taken into account! 


Which is better UGC NET or CSIR NET?

CSIR NET is better for Chemistry. CSIR conducts exams for the physical sciences, mathematical sciences, Chemical sciences, and life sciences. While UGC NET is better  for Humanities and other professional courses

What is the scope after qualifying CSIR NET exam?

The students are qualified for both lectureship and research fellowship opportunities after clearing the CSIR-NET exam. In case you are eligible for the CSIR-NET, you can also apply for a teaching job after CSIR-NET in colleges and universities, such as assistant professor posts.

Can I get a government job after CSIR NET?

Yes, various government organizations, including research agencies, laboratories, and ministries, recruit CSIR NET JRF-qualified candidates for scientific positions. 

This was all about UGC Net vs CSIR Net . For more such informative blogs, check out our Indian exams page.

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