#CareerBytes: All you need to know about GATE and UGC-NET
The Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) and the UGC National Eligibility Test (NET) are two of the most popular entrance exams in India. Both GATE and UGC-NET are national-level exams conducted for admission of candidates to specific programs. While they are conducted for different purposes, there are several similarities between the two. Here's all you need to know about GATE and UGC-NET.
The GATE entrance exam is held for graduate engineers
GATE is conducted jointly by the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore and the seven old IITs annually on a rotational basis. It's mainly held for admission of graduate engineers to postgraduate courses in engineering/technology (ME, MTech, PhD) at premier educational institutions, including IITs and NITs. Many other top universities/colleges, including foreign universities, accept GATE scores. GATE scores are also used for PSU recruitment.
UGC-NET is conducted for postgraduate students
UGC-NET is an all-India exam conducted to determine the eligibility of postgraduate candidates for the post of "Assistant Professor" or both "Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) and Assistant Professor" in Indian universities and colleges. The National Testing Agency (NTA) conducts the exam on behalf of the University Grants Commission (UGC). Also, unlike GATE, UGC-NET is conducted twice a year: June and December.
Number of papers, eligibility criteria for GATE and UGC-NET
GATE is conducted for 25 engineering disciplines while UGC-NET is held for over 80 subjects. Students who at least hold a bachelor's degree in engineering/technology can appear for GATE. Candidates who have secured at least 55% marks in master's degree are eligible for UGC-NET. Under UGC-NET, the age limit for JRF is 30 years while there's no age limit to apply for Assistant Professor.
What options do candidates have after cracking GATE or UGC-NET?
Through GATE, engineering graduates are admitted to postgraduate courses and PhD programs in top Indian educational institutions and four foreign universities. Candidates with a good GATE score are eligible for the award of JRF in CSIR laboratories. On the other hand, candidates UGC-NET are eligible for research programs i.e., JRF and lectureship in Indian universities and colleges, including IITs and NITs.
Qualified candidates pursuing postgraduation, research are eligible for stipend
GATE-qualified students are eligible for a stipend of Rs. 12,400/month while doing MTech (two years). For students pursuing PhD through GATE, the monthly stipend is Rs. 25,000 for the first two years after which it's increased to Rs. 28,000 for the remaining years. Under UGC-NET, the monthly stipend for JRF candidates is Rs. 25,000 for two years and Rs. 28,000 for their remaining tenure.
PSUs recruit candidates based on GATE and UGC-NET too
GATE scores are accepted by a number of Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) for recruiting graduate engineers to various engineering-related posts at the entry-level. PSUs generally shortlist candidates for recruitment based on their GATE scores. Meanwhile, PSUs also recruit candidates who have successfully cleared UGC-NET for the posts of executives in science and R&D, management, corporate communications, human resources, and finance.
About the validity of GATE scores and UGC-NET certificates
The GATE score of a candidate is valid for up to three years for admission to postgraduate programs but PSUs consider only the recent GATE scores for recruitment. The UGC-NET Certificate for the award of JRF is also valid for three years. However, the Certificate for Lectureship or Assistant Professor has no such limit on its validity as it is valid for lifetime.