In order to encourage research among graduates, the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research has opened the gates of CSIR-UGC National Eligibility Test for Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) to the engineering graduates. For this, the Council has introduced the sixth paper in engineering sciences, which will be common to all areas of engineering disciplines. BSc (Hons) graduates or equivalent degree holders will also be able to take the test.

Welcoming the move, Prof Sudhir Panwar from the department of zoology, Lucknow Universitysaid, “From various surveys, it has been found that the young generation is losing interest in research. CSIR-NET being extended to engineering graduates will help tap students towards research.”

The CSIR till now used to conduct NET in five subjects – Life Sciences, Mathematical Sciences, Chemical Sciences, Earth, Atmospheric, Ocean and Planetary Sciences, and Physical Sciences. But now, Engineering Sciences has been included. Unlike before where an MSc or an equivalent degree was the educational qualification for appearing in the CSIR NET, this time candidates who are enrolled in MSc are also eligible. A candidate holding BS (a four-year programme), BE, BTech, BPharma, MBBS, integrated BS-MS/MSc or equivalent degree can also take the test. All general and OBC candidates should have 55% marks, while SC/ST candidates should have scored 50% marks in graduation to become eligible for the test.

The Council has also slightly modified the general studies paper. The test is conducted in three parts. Part A which is common to all contains questions pertaining to general science, quantitative reasoning and analysis and research aptitude. This time, the general aptitude will emphasise on logical reasoning, graphical analysis, analytical and numerical ability, quantitative comparison, series formation, and puzzles. Part B will be related to conventional multiple choice questions (MCQs), generally covering the topics given in the syllabus. Part C will comprise of higher value questions that may test candidate’s knowledge of scientific concepts and/or application of scientific concepts. The total paper will carry 200 marks. There will be negative marking for the wrong answers.

The changes will be applicable in the exam scheduled on December 23. The exam will be conducted at 26 centres across the country. The candidates will be given the question booklet 15 minutes before the exam begins, so as to help them go through the questions. The question booklet will be in Hindi and English except for engineering sciences where it will be only in English.

CSIR-UGC research fellowship is provided to bright young men and women for training in methods of research under expert guidance of faculty members/scientists working in university departments or national laboratories and institutions in various fields of science and technology. Besides, the CSIR UGC NET determines the eligibility of candidates for lectureship positions in universities and colleges. Those who qualify for JRF are eligible for lectureship also, subject to fulfilling the eligibility criteria laid down by UGC.