UGC-NET or Ph.D., Which one is Required for Assistant Professorship?

Are you aspiring to be an assistant professor in college or in university then this article is for you. University grant commission has issued in their notification that from 1st July 2021 onwards Ph.D. would be the minimum eligibility criteria required for the direct recruitment for the post of assistant professorship in the Universities. Till now, the minimum eligibility criteria was UGC-NET.

As per the UGC latest update – ‘Ph.D. degree shall be a mandatory requirement for Direct Recruitment to the post of Assistant professors in university with the effect from 1st July, 2021. However, Master’s degree with NET or Ph.D. will continue to be the minimum eligibility requirement for Direct Recruitment to the post of Assistant Professors in colleges.

As per latest UGC guidelines Ph.D will be the minimum eligibility criteria for the direct recruitment to post of assistant professor in any university. Earlier the eligibility criteria in was UGC NET, but from 1st July 2021 it has been revised to PhD. however, for colleges UGC NET will continue to be the minimum criteria for the of assistant professor, Although for the promotion from assistant professor to associate professor, PhD will be must in both colleges and universities.

What options you have at this stage?

If we assume that you have just completed your masters and you are confused weather you should do PhD or UGC NET.  In such case the most important point to mention here is that you should identify your goal. For instance, you can either go for research or in a job of assistant professorship. Here also, you have two options. First is a job of assistant professorship in a college and second is in a university. If you want to join in a college then you need to qualify UGC-NET as PhD is not required for assistant professor job in a college. But here too, PhD will be minimum eligibility for promotion from assistant professor to associate professor.

What you should do Ph.D. or UGC-NET?

Assume, there are two candidates, and both are planning for the job of assistant professorship. One of them passed PhD entrance test and started pursuing PhD and another one started preparation for UGC NET. After two attempts he cleared UGC NET with JRF and started his PhD with fellowship (JRF).

Over here, 1st candidate is not eligible for job either in college or in university at this stage. He will be eligible for the same after 4-5 years, once he completes his PhD. Furthermore, he is not availing any scholarship while pursuing his PhD unless he is given any project fellowship by his guide (which is not so common). So, during all this PhD duration of 5 years (that too without fellowship) he is trying to become eligible for assistant professor job in any Indian university.

The 2nd candidate who qualifies UGC NET/JRF, and currently pursuing PhD and receiving fellowship, is eligible for the assistant professor, even now, in colleges as Ph.D. is mandatory in colleges.

So, if opportunity strikes before completion of their PhD, in that case, the candidate who qualifies UGC NET will be eligible for the job in colleges. We strongly recommend to first qualify UGC NET so that your eligibility for job in college is fulfilled. After that you can start your Ph.D.

After 5 years, when both will complete their PhDs, both will be eligible for assistant professor job both in colleges and universities.

So over here, you can understand with following three situations:

  1. You are only UGC NET qualified but not PhD.: Here you are eligible for assistant professorship in colleges only (not in universities).
  2. You have done PhD only but have not qualified UGC NET: Here you are eligible for both colleges and universities.
  3. You have done PhD and also qualified UGC-NET: In this case also you are eligible for both colleges and universities.

Which is better UGC or Ph.D.

University Grant commission has made PhD mandatory for direct recruitment in universities from 1ST July 2021. Earlier UGC NET was the minimum criteria for that. Any candidate with PhD will be given preference over UGC NET, as the new eligibility criteria for university has become Ph.D. So, you should consider Ph.D. in your to do list along with UGC NET.  The students who are inclined towards research should qualify UGC NET with JRF so that hey can receive scholarship while pursing PhD. If we make comparison of these two, PhD, definitely have advantage over UGC NET.

Is Ph.D. necessary after clearing UGC NET

Yes, PhD is necessary to become assistant professor in universities, even if you have qualified UGC NET. but if you are considering assistant professor job in colleges then UGC NET is still minimum eligibility criteria over there. PhD is essential for the promotion from assistant professor to associate professor both in colleges and universities. 

Is it important to clear NET for Ph.D.?

No, it’s not necessary. If you want to do PhD without qualifying UGC NET then you need to clear Ph.D. entrance test held by the university from where you want to do Ph.D. If you want to avail scholarship while pursuing PhD then you should qualify UGC-NET/JRF, with which you can get junior research fellowship for 5 years. But for that your age should be in below the prescribed limit.

Is PhD necessary to become Assistant professor in India?

Yes, from 1st July 2021, Ph.D. has become mandatory for direct recruitment of assistant professors in university. But for colleges, UGC NET is still the minimum eligibility criteria for assistant professorship.

Can I be assistant professor without Ph.D.?

Yes, off course you can become assistant professor without PhD by qualifying UGC NET. After qualifying UGC NET, you will be eligible for the job of assistant professor in colleges.  For the job of assistant professor in any Indian university you must have completed your Ph.D. 

In nutshell, as per the new policy, PhD has become mandatory for the direct recruitment for the post of assistant professor in Indian universities. Any candidate who has been awarded a PhD degree as per the regulations of UGC, will be exempted from eligibility condition of qualifying UGC-NET/SET.

7-Key Strategies to Crack NTA-UGC-NET in 1st Attempt

ugc net exam preparation strategy

What is UGC-NET Exam?

Annually more than 10 Lakhs students attempt UGC-NET Exam. Students who are willing to do a Ph.D. or want to become an assistant professor in any university or college need to clear this exam. This exam is mandatory for the students willing to Start their research career.

UGC-NET exam is conducted by National Testing Agency (NTA) twice in a year on the behalf of University Grant Commission (UGC).

UGC-NET exam is conducted by National Testing Agency (NTA) twice in a year on the behalf of University Grant Commission (UGC).

Students who qualify this exam are eligible for lectureship in colleges or universities and students who are topper in their respective subjects in UGC NET, receive Junior research fellowship (JRF) while pursuing Ph.D. or research.

The student can avail this fellowship amount Rs.31000/- he/she join Ph.D or research project.

This fellowship is given for 5 years in total. After 2 years as JRF the student is promoted as a senior research fellow where he/she receives a stipend of RS.35000/- while pursuing Ph.D/research.

Now July 2021 onwards, Ph.D. has become mandatory for the university academic positions.

Earlier either UGC NET or Ph.D. only was the criteria to become an assistant professor.

UGC-NET June 2021 Postponed 

Earlier, NTA-UGC NET June 2020 was postponed due to covid and was later held in November 2020. Similarly, UGC-NET June 2021 has also been postponed. The exact date of the UGC-NET June 2021 exam is yet not clear.

Students should consider this as ‘blessings in disguise’ and should take its benefit for the revision of the syllabus.

UGC-NET 2021 Exam Pattern  

The examination is conducted as a computer-based test (CBT). There are two papers in NTA-UGC-NET Exam. Both papers have multiple-choice questions (Objective) without any negative marking.

The duration of the test is 3hrs. Paper 1 is teaching and research aptitude which is general in nature. It evaluates student’s reasoning ability, divergent thinking, and general awareness of the student.There are 10 units in paper-1. Out of them, 5 questions of 2 Marks each are asked from each unit.

So total 50 Questions (Total 100Marks) are there in Paper-1.

There are 100 questions with 2 marks each in paper 2. Total marks for paper-2 are 200. Paper-II is the subject selected by the student. It is generally the subject in which he/she has done his/her masters.

Student should score 40% marks each in Paper-1 and Paper-2 as a minimum eligibility criterion for consideration into merit list that is prepared subjectwise.

The exam is conducted in two shifts. The morning shift is from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm. The evening shift is from 2:30 pm to 5:30 pm. There is no break between paper-1 and paper-2. Both are held in a single stretch of 3hrs.

Paper Marks No of Questions MCQs Time duration
I 100 50 Teaching and Research Aptitude. Both exams will be conducted within 3hrs without any break.
II 200 100 The subject selected by the candidate.
UGC-NET Exam Pattern

What is the Strategy to quality NTA-UGC-NET June 2021 exam in 1st Attempt

If you want to know ‘How to crack UGC NET in 1st attempt‘ then just go through the following 7 key tips:

UGC-NET Preparation tip-1: Analyse your Syllabus

Go through your syllabus and identify your weaker and strong areas. You have to identify the topics in which you are strong and the topics which you find difficult. You have to plan your different strategies according to your strength and weakness. Give more time to your weakness and make a habit of revision of all such topics.

UGC-NET Preparation tip-2: Analyse Previous Year Question Papers

Going through previous years question papers will help you to analyze the pattern of questions that are asked in the actual UGC-NET exam and about their difficulty level. You have to check the frequency of concepts and questions that are repeated in the exams. You should be extra careful about such repetitive content of the syllabus. This is very important step of your UGC-NET preparation.

UGC-NET Preparation tip-3: Make Unit-wise preparation strategy

Once you have identified your strength and weakness in the syllabus and have gone through the previous year’s question papers, your next step is to make a unit-wise preparation strategy. You need to invest more time on important units having higher weightage in UGC-NET exam. The units which are less important should be covered later.

UGC-NET Preparation tip-4: Make Notes

When you start your unit-wise preparation with important topics, then you should make a habit of making notes right from the beginning. This will be of great help during the revision of the syllabus. All of your syllabi will be there in notes with which you can easily revise the topics even during traveling or during doing some other work.

UGC-NET Preparation tip-5: Attempt maximum practice questions

Your conceptual study should be evaluated with practice questions. When you study any theoretical concepts, you should always solve practice questions related to this topic. This will give you more ideas about the concept. You can know about the types of questions that are asked from the topic. This habit will increase your confidence and will also help you to solve questions in minimum time during the exam. Test series will also help you to learn time management skills.

UGC-NET Preparation tip-6: Revise your topics

When you start your preparation, you should revise the topic once in the same week. The next revision should be next week and the third revision should be next month. Last revision should be before the final UGC-NET exam. So you should complete your syllabus well in advance to spare time for revision. If you do not manage time for syllabus revision, it will definitely hamper your UGC-NET preparation. NOT REVISED MEANS NOT PREPARED.

UGC-NET Preparation tip-7: Dont Panic

You should be relaxed and confident during UGC-NET Exam preparation. This will help to learn and understand things faster. You will be able to memorize the concepts for a longer time if you stay calm and cool. Unnecessary tension will only increase your time to understand the concepts and will hamper your UGC-NET preparation. If you stay relaxed during all of your preparation time, there are more chances of being relaxed in the main exam too. Which can definitely give positive results in the UGC NET exam. So if you want to remain focused during UGC-NET exam preparation you should not panic at all.

So, in nutshell, if you want to crack UGC NET in 1st attempt, first, check your syllabus and then go through previous year’s question papers. Then make unit-wise notes, attempt maximum questions, and manage time to revise all the topics which you have prepared. Last but no least, don’t panic.

Time to devote daily for UGC-NET preparation

Ideally, the hours of study totally depend on the student’s capacity to learn. Each student has different capacity so initially, you should start with basic concepts to make a habit to sit for 10-12 hrs. on daily basis.

You should manage your time is such a manner that you get ample time in the last for the revision.

How to set a daily timetable for exam (NET) preparation.

  • Divide your syllabus into small sections and set a weekly target for it.
  • Must devote 2hr for Paper-1 revision.
  • Must attempt 1 previous year’s paper of Paper-1 each day.
  • 5–6 hours for revision for Paper-.2
  • Must analyze Previous Year Papers for Paper-2 as well.

Can I Crack Net in first attempt

Yes, anyone can crack UGC-NET exam in very first attempt. You should stay focused with the right preparation strategy if you want to crack this exam. You are advised to stick to the above-mentioned 7-tips, by following these 7 strategies you can easily qualify UGC-NET exam.

Is it Difficult to clear NET Exam

You are the best person to answer this. If you want to crack UGC-NET, then you can definitely crack it. But if you are not sincere with your efforts and are just giving it a try then you can not do this. So it all starts with your attitude only. Your efforts will define your success.

Can we Clear NET Exam without coaching?

Yes, anyone can qualify for this exam without coaching. For this, you must pinpoint your strategies, strength and weaknesses, regular practice of previous year’s questions, etc.

If you can do all this at your own then you need not join a coaching program. But, in exam preparation, ‘time’ is a valuable asset. So for optimum use of ‘time’ students generally go for the coaching program.

As the competition level is increasing day by day with the increasing number of applicants for the UGC NET Exam, it is very important for the candidates to prepare and revise the syllabus in time. Coaching can provide you smart work with hard work.

NTA also conductes CSIR-UGC-NET which is for science stream students. The main difference between these two is that, UGC NET is conducted for students of arts, humanities and languages discipline and there are more than 100 subjects in this.

How long is NET score valid

JRF (Juniour Research fellow) is valid for 3 years. You should join Ph.D. or any research project within 3 years of the date of your JRF result. If you qualified UGC-NET (without JRF) then your eligibility for lecturership is life long. Limit is only for JRF (to avail fellowship) and not for lecturership.

What is difference between UGC-NET and CSIR-UGC-NET?

Both these exams are conducted by National Testing Agency (NTA). UGC-NET is held for arts, humanities, and languages. There are more than 100 subjects in this. These subjects are linked to UGC-NET English, UGC-NET Commerce, UGC-NET Management, UGC-NET Economics, etc. CSIR-UGC-NET is conducted for science subjects. There are total of 5 subjects that lie under CSIR-NET. These are CSIR-UGC-NET Life sciences, CSIR -UGC-NET Physics, CSIR-UGC-NET Chemistry, CSIR-GC-NET maths, and CSIR-UGC-NET Earth sciences.

There is no shortcut to success. There is no substitute to hard work. So, study hard and achieve your goals.