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Home CV Talks Is UGC-NET Mandatory for Professorship Jobs in India?

Is UGC-NET Mandatory for Professorship Jobs in India?

Dec 11, 2023 1.6K Reads

If you are a resident of India, you must know that becoming a Professor here in the country is not an easy task. The students undergo various barriers and hurdles to become a professor. They accomplish all the academic qualifications, and degrees, and have to appear in the examination that are essential for lectureship in India. You May Interested | Doctorate Courses for working Professionals!

UGC-NET is one of these examinations. After pursuing a master's degree, students can appear for this examination. 

But it is always a topic of dilemma whether one requires UGC-NET to become a professor in India or not! Well, as per the latest revised updates by UGC, that says that UGC-NET/SLET is required before applying to the post of Assistant Professor in the Universities and Institutes of India. UGC NET Dec 2023 examination is about to be conducted in December. Here are some of its latest updates.

Examination Conducted by 

NTA (National Testing Agency)


UGC NET Dec 2023

Also known as

University Grants Commission(NET)

Level of Competition  

National Level Examination


Twice a year

Mode of examination

Computer Based Test

Duration of Exam

3 hours


Hindi & English


83 Subjects 

Cities of Examination


Official Website


University Grants Commission- NET is a standardized test that is a national-level competitive examination. UGC-NET examination is done twice a year and happens once in June and December. The examination is a national-level examination and requires lots of hard work. If you want to become a professor in India, qualifying UGC-NET or SLET is a prerequisite. Let’s find out more about it. 

What is UGC-NET?

University Grants Commission- National Eligibility Test (UGC-NET) is a national-level standardised test that is conducted twice a year in June and December cycles. The examination consists of two papers, paper 1, is a general aptitude test and same for all students of different subject fields. Paper 2 of the UGC-NET examination is based on the subject chosen by the student. It solely has questions based on the subject knowledge of the students. Also Read | Failed In UGC-NET DEC 2023? - What to Do, Alternatives

Qualifying for UGC-NET is mandatory for getting the position of Assistant Professor, and Junoir Research Fellowship & Assistant Professor for Indian institutes and Universities. Not just this, you can apply for various other job roles like working in Public Sector Undertakings, you can use the academic portal of UGC and search for jobs on the UGC portal, you can be appointed as the guest faculty, and many more. 

Eligibility Criteria to Appear in the UGC-NET Examination?

There are certain eligibility criteria to get admission in the UGC-NET Examination:-

  • Must have a master's degree or equivalent
  • At least 50% marks overall (percentage may vary for different sections) from a recognised board.

UGC-NET Syllabus and Pattern

UGC-NET 2023 will be conducted by the National Testing Agency. The examination consists of two papers- paper 1 and paper 2. Both papers are essential to be qualified individually. The exam is conducted as a computer-based test and is comprised of Multiple Choice Questions. In total, there are 150 questions in both paper 1 and paper 2. 

Here is the detailed analysis of Paper 1 and Paper 2:-

Parameters of UGC-NET 

Paper 1 of UGC-NET

Paper 2 of UGC-NET

Mode of Examination

Computer-Based Test

Computer-Based Test


3 hours 

3 hours


Same for all Candidates

Questions specific to the subject

Question type

Multiple Choice Questions

Multiple Choice Questions

Number of Questions

50 Questions

100 Questions


100 Marks

200 Marks

Marking scheme

+2 will be awarded for each correct answer.

+2 will be awarded for each correct answer.

Negative Marking

No negative Marking 

No Negative Marking

Syllabus for paper 1 of UGC-NET

There are 10 units in paper 1 of the UGC-NET examination. The students have to cover these units properly to get as many marks as possible. Here is the detailed list of the syllabus for paper 1 of the UGC-NET examination. Note that this syllabus is the same for all candidates irrespective of the subject chosen by the candidate. The final examination is also the same for all the candidates.

UGC-NET PAPER 1 Syllabus

Unit 1

Teaching Aptitude 

Unit 2 

Research Aptitude

Unit 3


Unit 4


Unit 5 

Mathematical Reasoning and Aptitude

Unit 6 

Logical Reasoning 

Unit 7 

Data Interpretation

Unit 8

Information and Communication Technology

Unit 9

People, Development and Environment 

Unit 10

Higher Education System 

What is the importance of UGC-NET?

There are various benefits to qualifying for the UGC-NET examination in India as it brings vast opportunities for students. Apart from getting the eligibility to teach in universities and institutions as an Assistant professor or professor. 

Here are some other benefits after qualifying UGC-NET examination:-

  • Better Academic Recognition- UGC-NET is a well-reputed examination and qualifying it not only gives knowledge to the individual but also it enhances the academic recognition with the award of the subject expertise to the student. 
  • Research Funding and Fellowship- The candidates after qualifying for UGC-NET are eligible for various funding and fellowship awards. The students can also get the JRF(Junior Research Fellowship) and other grants for research.
  • Eligible for Lectureship in India- The candidates after qualifying for the UGC-NET examination are eligible to work as a lecturer or an assistant professor in any top institute. The students can also enrol in some research work along with a lectureship at an Indian University or Institute.
  • Abundant Career Opportunities- After qualifying for UGC-NET, students get plenty of job and career opportunities. They can get jobs in the top MNCs as well with a good salary package. Also, the students can pursue a career in teaching or the private corporate world or they can also get employed in government offices and colleges as well. 
  • Scholarships- Scholarships are offered to students who have qualified UGC-NET examination. They can use the scholarships for further studies and their research projects. The students work on some research under the guidance of some expert faculty and the funding for the same is offered to the student by the government.

Professorship jobs In India through UGC-NET

It is mandatory to qualify UGC-NET for to acquire the position of professor in an Institute. As per the new guidelines of UGC, if a candidate has not qualified UGC-NET examination or SLET, they will not be eligible for the role of professor or assistant professor in any Indian Institute or University. Professorship in India is quite interesting and a very promising career, but at the same time, it takes a lot of hard work and qualifications.

The first and foremost requirement is qualifying master's with a minimum of 55% marks from a recognised board and later qualifying UGC-NET examination. The job prospects after qualifying for UGC-NET are abundant. But students can also apply for the examinations that are valid for employment as a professor in an Indian Institute or University through the State-level Eligibility Test that is also known as SLET or Council of Scientific and Industrial Research(CSIR) NET. 

However, this CSIR NET is only valid for science streams and other related subjects. After qualifying for any of these examinations, you can pursue your doctorate from a recognised university or institute. After enrolling in the doctorate programs, the candidate works on research publications in the related field. They work on academic blogs, magazines, websites, and many more. 

Competitive Edge with UGC-NET

In the era of tough competition and stiff job requirements, candidates qualified for UGC-NET find it easy to get a job in the market. The UGC-NET-qualified students can get themselves ahead in the competitive market. Also, employers take this qualification into great consideration while enrolling candidates in the job role. 

UGC-NET and Permanent Professorship

To get a permanent professorship in any University or Institute, you must qualify for the UGC-NET examination. Without this examination, getting a permanent professorship in India would be nearly impossible. But this is the basic eligibility criteria, as different university have their own set of rules and additional eligibility criteria. The students must complete all the qualifications and details before applying for a permanent professorship in India. 

Role of UGC-NET in Central Universities

There are central universities like JNU(Jawaharlal Nehru University), IITs, and many others that have mandated the UGC-NET as the essential requirement to get the professorship and other benefits. They offer research fellowships, guidance from expert faculty and experience in hand at the universities. So if you are planning to pursue your doctorate from any central university or institute, make sure to qualify UGC-NET examination. 

Alternative Pathways to Professorship

When it is clear that a student must have qualified for the UGC-NET examination will only be eligible for the professorship. However, this examination is extremely competitive and out of around 6 lakh students, only 6% of students qualify for the examination.

This means out of 100 candidates only 6 can qualify for this exam. Only 0.5% of students qualify for the Junior Research Fellowship exam. So, you can identify the stiffness and the competition in the field of professorship. But UGC-NET is not the last step. 

  • Students who have not qualified for the UGC-NET examination can enrol in the doctorate program of their respective fields. 
  • They can appear for other state-level examinations like State Level Entrance Test (SLET). 
  • Students can do an online skill certificate course or program that can help in land a job in a related field. 
  • The students can also work to gain hands-on experience in their subject field which can later help them gain better job prospects and opportunities.
  • Apply for the post of Guest Lecturer and Ad-Hoc in the Universities and Institutes. 
  • Students can enrol in the doctorate programs that are offered by Upgrad-associated Universities without any UGC. These are offered in online mode by the top abroad Universities and institutes.
  • Courses offered by Upgrad-associated Universities are DBA(Doctorate of Business Administration), Executive Doctor of Business Administration, Executive Doctor of Business Administration, Doctor of Juridical Science and many more.
  • Students can also enrol in part-time doctorate programs that are offered by the universities. These institutes do not ask for UGC-NET scores but require students to take a university entrance examination and an interview.

We can conclude that the students can only get into a professorship career by clearing the UGC-NET examination. It is mandatory to qualify for the NET examination to become a professor in any Indian University or Institute.

However, different institutes have certain different levels of eligibility criteria for offering the job posts of professors and lecturers. There are some alternatives to UGC-NET that we mentioned earlier. But again we will suggest you qualify for the NET examination for the abundant job opportunities in your respective subject fields.

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FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

No, you have to qualify UGC-NET examination before applying to any university or any institution as it is mandatory.

Yes, you can pass the UGC-NET examination but not qualify for the lectureship. As the passing mark in UGC-NET is 40%, and the candidate in the top 6% of the total candidate who appeared and passed in both paper 1 and paper 2 will be awarded with the lectureship. 

Yes, you can pursue PhD even without qualifying UGC-NET examination. Many central Universities or institutes ask for the UGC-NET but not every university demands the same. They have entrance tests that help them shortlist students for admission. 

Candidate must have passed a master's degree from a recognised university with at least 55% marks. The students in the final year of their postgraduation are also eligible to apply for this examination. 

UGC-NET is the minimum eligibility criteria to apply for the post of assistant professor or lecturer in the university or institute, while a PhD is done to pursue a career in research work. However, it is important to note that the candidate must have qualified for the UGC-NET to earn the status of professorship in the institute.

Both the exams are competitive at their places. The NET examination is a national-level competitive exam, while SET is conducted at the state level.

If you don’t qualify for UGC-NET, you can enrol in a Doctorate program or you can also take admission to an Abroad university to pursue a Doctorate program.

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