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NET/SET Mandatory For Admission in PhD

Last Updated - June 09, 2017

UGC (University Grants Commission) has drafted a new set of regulations on its website according to which, getting admission to PhD will now be quite difficult. One shall now have to qualify NET/SET for getting enrolled in PhD programs. Feedback regarding the amendments by the public and stakeholders is expected till June 15, 2017.

What do the new regulations mandate?

The new set of draft regulations carried out by UGC suggest that the institutions which come under 'Category III Institution' would only enroll candidates who have qualified NET (National Eligibility Test) or SLET/SET (State Level Eligibility Test) examinations for their PhD courses only.

  • Category 1 Institution: According to UGC, a university comes under ‘Category 1 Institution’ if it is accredited with a score of 3.5 or above or if it has achieved a ranking among the top 50 universities of the NIRF ranking for two years continuously.
  • Category 2 Institution: According to UGC, a university comes under ‘Category 2 Institution’ if if it is accredited with a score between 3.01 and 3.49 by NAAC or if it has achieved a ranking from 51 to 100 in the NIRF ranking in the category of universities for two years continuously.

Category 3 Institution: According to UGC, a university comes under ‘Category 3 Institution’ which does not fit under the above-mentioned category 1 and category 2 institutions.

Read More About UGC NET

Introduction of New Guidelines

Earlier, candidates who have completed masters’ degree or M. Phil in the relevant discipline can directly apply for admission to PhD programs or appear for entrance test conducted by the concerned university. In certain cases, candidates who have qualified NET/SLET were exempted from taking the examination and were directly admitted in the PhD program.

However, after the new mandate issued by UGC, candidates who have qualified NET/SET are only eligible to appear for the exam in institutions classified in category III as per UGC guidelines. Candidates can check details related to both NET/SET in the article below.


Both NET and SLET are entrance tests meant to obtain for Assistant Professor and Junior Research Fellowship. NET is conducted separately by CBSE and CSIR (Council of Scientific & Industrial Research) for different academic disciplines.

  • UGC NET is conducted by CBSE and is a qualifying exam for the posts of Assistant Professor or Junior Research Fellowship or both.
  • UGC NET also serves as eligibility criteria for admission to PhD degree program as many universities exempt NET qualified candidates from appearing in written test and call such candidates directly for the interview.
  • The test is conducted twice in a year specifically in the months of June and December.
  • The concept of SET, i.e., State Eligibility Test for Lectureship Eligibility was born when the state governments and union territories were, therefore, given the option of conducting their own test for eligibility for Lectureship at the state level.
  • It is conducted both in English and the vernacular.
  • This state level Test is based on the pattern of the National Eligibility Test (NET) conducted by UGC for Humanities, Social Science and UGC/CSIR for Science subjects.
  • Presently, SET is being conducted in the following states-
  1. Maharashtra & Goa
  2. Tamil Nadu
  3. Madhya Pradesh
  4. Andhra Pradesh
  5. Himachal Pradesh
  6. Jammu & Kashmir
  7. Rajasthan
  8. West Bengal
  9. NE-SLET (For North Eastern States and Sikkim)
  10. Karnataka

UGC NET 2017 Result

The result for CBSE UGC NET January session is expected to be declared soon by CBSE while the exam for July session is tentatively scheduled in the second week of July. Aspirants planning to apply for admission to PhD program can check the section below for more details.

  • CBSE has announced UGC NET 2017 Result for the January session.
  • The exam was conducted successfully on January 22 in multiple sessions and the exam for the second session will be conducted on July 09, 2017.
  • Candidates can view the result on the official portal of CBSE.
  • UGC-NET exam is conducted in offline mode.
  • There are 3 papers which are objective in nature. While paper I deals with general aptitude questions, paper II and paper III consist of subject-specific questions.



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