Changes Introduced in UGC NET Exam by NTA

Updated On -

Jun 18, 2019

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Swati Mishra

Content Curator

The National Testing Agency or NTA is the new regulating body of UGC NET exam since December 2018 session. CBSE will no longer conduct the examination. This major change has brought few major and minor changes in UGC NET.

One of the major changes brought in UGC NET examination was merging Paper 3 with Paper 2. Now, the exam consists of only 2 papers.

Latest: Currently, June 2019 session is scheduled from June 20, 2019 – June 28, 2019. The Commission has revised the entire syllabus for all the NET subjects. Check detailed UGC NET Syllabus

Listed below are changes introduced in UGC NET after the introduction of National Testing Agency. Read on!

Change 1: Conducting Body

Up till recently, CBSE was responsible to conduct UGC NET on behalf of University Grants Commission. But with the commissioning of the autonomous National Testing Agency (NTA) under the aegis of Ministry of HRD, Govt. of India, the test will be delivered by the latter. In fact, UGC NET December 2018 is going to be the first national examination to be convened by the agency.

Change 2: Mode of Examination

Earlier, UGC NET was conducted in offline i.e. pen-paper based mode. However, now the exam is conducted only in online mode (computerized mode). NTA will hold NET in 263 selected cities with 81 subjects across the country.

Check UGC NET Exam Pattern

Change 3: Category of Candidates

A new category of candidates has been introduced from December 2018 session onwards, i.e. Transgender. Candidates from this category will get same relaxation and benefits as of SC/ST/PwD in terms of examination fees, eligibility and age limit. The subject wise cut-offs for this category will also be least like SC/ST/PwD/OBC–NCL categories in the corresponding subject.

Check UGC NET Eligibility

Change 4: Age Limit & Relaxation

As opposed to the previous age limit of 28 years for JRF applicants, the same has been raised to 30 years as on December 1, 2018. A relaxation of up to 5 years is allowed to all reserved categories and women candidates. Candidates with LLM degree are allowed a relaxation for up to 3 years while armed force personnel are allowed for 5 years (conditions applied). However total age relaxation cannot exceed 5 years.

Note: There is no upper age limit for Assistant Professors.

Change 5: Exam Pattern

The exam pattern of UGC NET has been changed as well. Earlier, the candidates used to attempt 175 questions in 3 separate papers on a single day, within 5 hours. Now, candidates will be given 150 questions in 2 papers in 2 consecutive sessions on a single day, with a total time span of 3 hours. The type of questions asked in UGC NET would be of objective type and carry 2 marks each. There is no provision for negative marking in the exam.

Download Free UGC NET Sample Papers

Change 6: Examination Fees

NTA has cut down the examination fees for each category of candidates applying for UGC NET. The previous and current fees are presented below:

Category Previous Fee Current Fee*
General INR 1000 INR 800
OBC - Non-Creamy Layer INR 500 INR 400
SC/ST/PwD/Transgender INR 250 INR 200

*GST and other Processing charges as applicable are to be borne by the candidate.

Change 7: Document Specifications

There are certain minor changes in the specifications of the scanned images of documents that are required to be uploaded along with the UGC NET Application.

Item Previous Specifications Current Specification
Applicant’s recent, color, passport-size photograph

Image dimensions: 3.5cm X 4.5cm

File size: 4KB - 40KB

File Size:  10 KB – 200 KB
Applicant’s specimen signature

Image dimensions: 1.5cm X 3.5cm

File size: 1KB - 30KB

File Size: 4 KB – 30 KB

Change 8: Clarification regarding Aadhar Number

Regarding the confusion about Aadhaar Number being mandatory for UGC NET application, NTA has clarified vide a notification dated September 11, 2018, that Aadhar number is only one of the acceptable types of identification and it is not compulsory for candidates to provide the same for application purpose. Passport number, Ration Card number, Bank Account number or any other valid identity number issued by the Government is acceptable in place of Aadhaar number.

Conclusion: UGC NET is held to ascertain the eligibility for lectureship and also the award of Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) to Indian nationals. The test is a means to maintain high standards in research as well as the teaching profession at Indian Universities and Colleges. UGC NET is conducted in Humanities (including languages), Social Sciences, Forensic Science, Environmental Sciences, Computer Science and Applications, and Electronic Science.

For the December 2018/ June 2019 edition of the exam, the online registration will be done through Since the test format has been changed from paper-based to computer-based, NTA, under the directive of the MHRD has also established a network of 2,697 Test Practice Centers where candidates can register for the free practice of simulated computerized tests in the model of UGC NET.

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