UGC NET Eligibility 2020: Age Limit, Qualification Requirement, Exemption and Reservation

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Aug 27, 2020

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Nikkil Visha

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University Grants Commission determines the eligibility criteria for candidates. UGC NET 2020 Eligibility criteria is different for JRF and Assistant Professorship. During the time of online application form filling, candidates have to specify in the application form whether they want to apply only for “Assistant Professor” or both “Junior Research Fellowship and Assistant Professor”. 

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Highlights of UGC NET 2020 Eligibility

  • Master’s Degree holders with a minimum of 55% marks (50% for reserved candidates) can register for the exam.  Apply Now
  • Students in the final year of the master’s program or waiting for its result can also apply for the exam. 
  • Ph.D. degree holders who completed their master’s degree before September 19, 1991 will be given a relaxation of 5% in aggregate marks.
  • Applicants must not be more than 30 years of age as on June 1, 2020 to apply for Junior Research Fellowship.
  • SC, ST, OBC, PWD, Transgender and Women candidates are given an age relaxation of up to 5 years.
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UGC NET Eligibility Criteria

UGC NET Eligibility Criteria 2020

Before applying for UGC NET 2020, candidates must ensure that they fulfill the eligibility for the test. 

  • Candidates do not have to send any certificates/ documents to the National Testing Agency in support of their eligibility. 
  • NTA does not verify the details provided by the candidates in the application form and hence their candidature will be purely provisional subject to the fulfillment of eligibility criteria.
  • In case, NTA or UGC detect any ineligibility at any stage, the candidature will be canceled and legal action may be taken against the candidates.

UGC NET 2020 eligibility criteria in terms of academic requirement, age limit, and reservation are explained below: 

UGC NET Educational Qualification Requirements 2020

Candidates securing at least 55% marks in their Master’s Degree or equivalent from recognized universities in Humanities (including languages), Social Science, Computer Science and Applications, Electronic Science, etc. are eligible for this test.

  • However, candidates belonging to non-creamy layer of other backward classes (OBC-NC), scheduled caste (SC), scheduled tribe (ST), persons with disability (PwD) and transgender category have to score at least 50% marks. 
  • Candidates who are pursuing their Master’s degree or are waiting for their result or whose qualifying examinations have been delayed can apply for the test.
  • However, such candidates will be admitted provisionally and will be considered for award of JRF or recruitment as Assistant Professor only when they will pass their Master’s Degree with at least 55% marks (50% marks for reserved category).
  • Such candidates will also have to complete their Master degree within two years from the date of UGC NET 2020 Result with the required percentage of marks, failing which they will be treated as disqualified. 
  • Candidates with Ph.D. degree whose Master’s level examination was completed before September 19, 1991 (irrespective of date of declaration of result) will be eligible for a relaxation of 5% in aggregate marks (i.e. from 55% to 50%) for appearing in UGC NET 2020.
  • Transgender candidates will be provided the same relaxation in fee, age and qualifying criteria for NET (i.e. JRF and Assistant Professor) as are available to SC/ ST/ PwD categories. The subject wise cutoffs for the transgender category will be the lowest among those for SC/ ST/ PwD/ OBC–NCL categories in the respective subject.
  • Candidates are suggested to choose the same NET subject for Paper 2 as their specialization in Post Graduation. However, if your post-graduation subject is not covered in the list of 81 NET subjects, you can appear in a related subject. Read UGC NET Syllabus
  • Candidates possessing Post Graduation Diploma/ Certificate awarded by Indian University/ Institute or foreign degree/ diploma/ certificate awarded by a foreign University/ institute should in their own interest, ascertain the equivalence of their diploma/ degree/ certificate with Master’s degree of recognized Indian universities from Association of Indian Universities (AIU), New Delhi.

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UGC NET Age Criteria

UGC NET 2020 Age Limit and Relaxation

UGC NET 2020 Age Limit and Relaxation for Junior Research Fellowship and Assistant Professorship are given below:

  • Junior Research Fellow: Candidates should not be more than 30 years as on June 1, 2020.
  • Candidates belonging to OBC-NC, SC, ST, PwD categories, Transgenders and women applicants are provided a relaxation of up to 5 years.
  • Candidates with research experience will also be provided age relaxation equivalent to the years/ period spent on research in the respective subject or Post Graduation Degree.
  • Relaxation to researchers can be of up to 5 years and will only be provided on production of a certificate from the appropriate authority.
  • Candidates with L.L.M. Degree will be permitted an upper age relaxation of 3 years.
  • Candidates who have served in the armed forces will be provided the benefit of relaxation of up to 5 years subject to the length of service in the armed forces up to June 1, 2020.
  • Total age relaxation on the above ground(s) shall not exceed five years under any circumstances.
  • Assistant Professor: There is no upper age limit to apply for Assistant Professor.

UGC NET Exemptions

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UGC NET Exemptions for Assistant Professor

NET/ SET/ SLET is the minimum eligibility condition for recruitment and appointment of Assistant Professorship in Indian Universities and Colleges. However, certain exemptions from NET/ SET/ SLET will be governed by UGC regulations and amendments notified in the Gazette of India from time to time.

  • Candidates who have passed UGC/ CSIR/ JRF examination before 1989 are exempted from appearing in NET.
  • Candidates who have cleared States Eligibility Test (SET) accredited by UGC for Assistant Professor held before June 1, 2002, are exempted from appearing in NET, and are eligible to apply for Assistant Professor anywhere in India.
  • However, candidates qualified in SET held after June 1, 2002, are eligible to apply for the post of Assistant Professor only in the universities and colleges situated in the respective states. Check UGC NET Exam Pattern

Frequently Asked Questions

UGC NET 2020 Eligibility FAQs

Ques. What is the minimum qualification for appearing in UGC NET 2020 for candidates of unreserved category?

Ans. Candidates who have secured at least 55% marks (without rounding off) in Master’s Degree OR equivalent examination from universities/ institutions recognized by UGC in Humanities (including languages) and Social Science, Computer Science & Applications, Electronic Science, etc. are eligible for this exam.

Ques. What is the minimum qualification for appearing in the National Eligibility Test for candidates of reserved category/ PWD candidates?

Ans. Candidates belonging to OBC non-creamy layer/ Scheduled Caste (SC)/ Scheduled Tribe (ST)/ persons with disability (PwD) category have to obtain at least 50% marks (without rounding off) in Master’s degree or equivalent examination to be eligible for this exam. 

Ques.  Are candidates who have appeared in their qualifying exam but waiting for the result eligible for UGC NET 2020? 

Ans. Yes, candidates who are waiting for the final result or whose exam is postponed or final year students are eligible for the exam. After the conclusion of the exam or during the time of admission candidates have to show the proof of their qualifying exam’s final result, not doing so could lead to the cancellation of their candidature.

Ques.  Can applicants appear in a subject other than the one in which they specialized in post-graduation?

Ans. No, candidates are advised to appear in the same or related subject of their post-graduation only. The exam is conducted for 81 subjects or specializations. Candidates can check the list of the subjects and can apply according to that. Read UGC NET Syllabus

Ques.  Are B.Tech graduates eligible for the UGC NET Exam?

Ans. B.Tech. graduates are eligible for CSIR NET and not UGC NET. They can apply only for JRF though and must have 55% minimum in their final results.

Ques.  What is the age limit to apply for the NET exam?

Ans. There is no age limit for applying for NET exam if you are applying for assistant professor only. For JRF, the candidate can be maximum of 30 years. Check the entire eligibility criteria here.

Ques.  Is an LLB pass-out student eligible for the UGC NET?

Ans. LLB pass-outs are not eligible for the UGC NET as LLB is a bachelor’s degree. The minimum qualification required is post-graduation in the subject for appearing in this exam.

Ques.  How many attempts are there for UGC net and Jrf?

Ans. For JRF, the candidate can have 3 attempts. However there is no age or number of attempts limit for UGC NET assistant professor posts.

Ques.  Is a master's from IGNOU eligible for the NET exam?

Ans. Yes, a master’s from IGNOU is also eligible for the NET exam provided they have 55% in their aggregate as this is a central government approved university.

Ques.  Can an arts student apply for the JRF NET?

Ans. Yes, students belonging to any art stream for which JRF recruitment is done through NET can apply for the exam.

Ques.  What is the difference between JRF and NET?

Ans. JRF is a Junior Research Fellowship which is awarded to research scholars who are recruited through the NET exam or National Eligibility Test.

Ques.  Am I eligible for UGC even after getting a compartment?

Ans. No, you will not be eligible for UGC NET after getting a compartment as the minimum required marks to be considered is 55% aggregate at post-graduation level.

Ques.  What subject should I select for UGC CBSE NET?

Ans. The subject you completed your post-graduation in is the one that should be selected for UGC CBSE NET.

Ques.  How many times can we attempt the UGC NET exams?

Ans. There is no limit to the number of times you can attempt the UGC NET exam for assistant professor posting. But for JRF, you can attempt only three times.

Ques.  What happens after you clear UGC NET & JRF?

Ans. Once you clear NET and JRF, you have 2 years validity of the score for applying to colleges for research fellowship. The score has lifelong validity if you want to apply as an assistant professor. When you have JRF ranking, you can directly apply for fellowship and research at colleges and do not have to sit for the written test.

Ques.  Can science students appear in the CBSE UGC-NET?

Ans. No, science students cannot appear for CBSE UGC NET which is only for humanities subjects. For science students, there is a separate NET which is the CSIR NET. You can learn more about it here.

Ques.  Is the CTET compulsory after the UGC NET exam?

Ans. CTET and NET are two different exams and mutually exclusive of each other. While CTET/TET is conducted for recruiting teachers for classes 1-8, NET is for recruiting assistant professors in college and JRF candidates. If you want to apply for school teacher jobs at government schools after qualifying Net, you have to appear for the CTET /TET exam too. Your NET score holds no value for school service recruitment. You can learn more about CTET here.

*The article might have information for the previous academic years, please refer the official website of the exam.


shaik kabeer
Am I eligible to apply for the UGC NET exam with a distance learning degree? Is there a specific list of colleges from which we can do distance learning degree that are accepted by UGC NET?
kavita rani

Hi Shaik. The minimum qualification for appearing for the UGC NET exam is Post Graduation with at least 55% in the respective subjects. In case the name of your university is not mentioned in the list, you can choose 'others' option in the list of Universities. But make sure that your university is UGC recognized.

mizna harmain
I am yet to complete my first year of my post graduation. can I appear in NET (national eligibility test)?
kavita rani

Hi Mizna. You can appear in the NET exams only after completing one year of your PG course, that is during the second year.

What is the success rate of giving the UGC NET exam?
kavita rani

HI Devisingh. UGC NET is considered as one of the challenging and highly competitive exams in India, with success ratio of just 6%.

tanishka shah
Do people get a job after clearing NET computer science?
kavita rani

HI Tanishka. Post Qualifying the National Eligibility Test (NET), candidates are eligible to apply for the position of Lecturer/Assistant Professor in different universities and colleges across the country. Also, qualifying National Eligibility Test makes them eligible for Junior Research Fellowship (JRF)) but for the same, they need to meet the maximum age limit criteria as well.

ankur jain
Are we eligible for NET exam when we change stream in PG?
kavita rani

HI Ankur. Yes, you are eligible to do that. You need to give the NET exam in the subject which you studied while doing a PG course. But in that case, whatever you studied in your graduation will become irrelevant.

riya gupta
Which N.C.E.R.T. books should I study for the CBSE NET exam in commerce?
kavita rani

Hi Riya. Some of the books that can be referred include Fundamentals Of Corporate Accounting by J.R.Monga, Cost Accounting: Theory & Problems by Maheshwari & Mittal, among others.

anuj singh chauhan
Could anyone tell me when the CBSE UGC-NET application forms for the 2021 exam cycle will be available?
kavita rani

Hi Anuj. The CBSE UGC-NET application forms for 2021 exam cycle is expected to be made available in October 2020.

anuj singh chauhan
For what subjects of CBSE UGC Net is a CS (company secretary) qualified person eligible?
kavita rani

Hi Anuj. Candidates with recognize CS equivalent to a PG degree can appear in the UGC-NET. Company Law, Tax Laws, etc. are some of the subjects of CBSE UGC Net in which a CS (company secretary) qualified person is eligible.

nafisa khatoon
What is the validity period for UGC NET Exam for lectureship and junior research fellow (JRF)?
kavita rani

Hi Hafisa. Candidates who have been qualified for the award of Junior Research Fellowship will get fellowship of UGC under various schemes. The validity period for the UGC NET exam is two years, valid from the date of issue of JRF Award Letter.

uma goenka
I have done my graduation in theology and PG in English. Can I appear for UGC NET English?
kavita rani

Hi Uma. To apply for the NET Exam, candidates need to have at least 55% aggregate Marks in Master’s Degree. In case you meet this eligibility criteria, you can apply for the UGC NET English.