The NET (National Eligibility Test) is a national level exam conducted to determine the eligibility of candidates applying for posts of Assistant Professors and for JRF (Junior Research Fellowship). The objective of the fellowship scheme is to provide opportunities to qualified candidates to undertake advanced studies and research leading to higher degrees such as M.Phil/Ph.D. in the areas of Humanities and/or Social Sciences including Languages and Sciences. UGC NET is conducted annually by the NTA (National Testing Agency) on behalf of the UGC (University Grants Commission). The exam is for subjects across various streams. It requires the candidate to hold a post-graduation degree in any of the UGC NET subjects with at least 50% of marks. The age limit for the exam is 30 years though for the post of Assistant Professor there is no age limit. The exam is conducted, usually in the month of June.
Scope of UGC NET
Aspirants put so much time and effort to prepare and take the examination. For people who are not very aware of why the examination holds so much importance, it is important to note that qualifying National Eligibility Test (NET) opens many doors of growth and opportunities. The importance and state of competition of the exam can be interpreted by the fact that every year approximately ten lakh candidates appear for the exam and only the top six percent of candidates are able to make it to the final selection round.
Some of the career options through the exam are:
- Assistant Professor – It is one of the most common options for candidates. Top institutes/universities have made it mandatory to be qualified in NET to be eligible to apply for the post.
- Junior Research Fellowship – It is for the candidates who wish to make a career in the field of research along with some paid fellowship. Qualifying UGC NET helps candidates to take advanced studies under qualified guides/mentors and can also move on to higher-level degrees such as MPhil and Ph.D. The fellowship amount for the initial two years is typically in the range of ₹25,000 per month.
- Senior Research Fellowship – After completing the initial tenure of two years as a junior research fellowship, the candidate’s work in the tenure will be assessed and if found satisfactory, there will be an extension of tenure for the next three years. Along with the extension of tenure, the candidate will also get raise in the fellowship.
- Jobs in PSU – During the past few years, using the study reports and recommendations from the evaluations in the Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs), authorities have started considering NET Result for recruiting candidates on various posts. For example, in 2019, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC) has announced that to apply for Executives at E1 level, UGC NET 2019 scores will be considered and will be given preference.
Something for the Science-Lovers
If you are more into the field of science, then look no further than the CSIR NET. The CSIR (Council of Scientific and Industrial Research) was established in the year 1942 by the Government of India, which evolved into being the largest research and development organization in the country. The exam is conducted in the month of June each year with five major science subjects in the focus namely Life Sciences, Chemical Sciences, Physical Sciences, Mathematical Sciences, and Earth Atmospheric Ocean & Planetary Sciences. It is regarded as the toughest exam for qualifying for a junior research fellowship.
Scope of CSIR NET
The opportunities through this exam are mostly similar to that of the NET by UGC. As this is more curated towards a science aspirant, the career focus will not be generalized and will be more inclined to the science field.
Institutes are nowadays looking at NET qualification as criteria along with experience while appointing highly responsible profiles like Head of Department, Principal, Vice-Chancellor, etc.
Science as a Career After NET
Excluding the CSIR Research Laboratories, qualified candidates will get fantastic job opportunities in the DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organization) as NET rank holders. DRDO considers NET scorecard for the selection in posts such as scientists and research trainers in various labs namely ADE (Aeronautical Development Establishment) Bangalore, ANURAG (Advanced Numerical Research & Analysis Group) Hyderabad, ADRDE (Aerial Delivery Research & Development Establishment) Agra, ARDE (Armament Research & Development Establishment) Pune, etc.