UGC NET Eligibility Criteria 2021: Know Age Limit, Educational Qualifications, And More

UGC NET Eligibility Criteria

UGC NET Eligibility Criteria: UGC NET eligibility is prescribed by NTA to filter out the suitable applicants for the post of JRF and Assistant professor. It is important that you should fulfill the UGC NET eligibility criteria before applying for the exam. The eligibility criteria include factors like age limit, educational qualification, etc.

You can check the complete guide on UGC NET eligibility criteria 2021 from this article.

Must-Read UGC NET Eligibility Criteria 2021

You should know that UGC NET is a national-level exam conducted in order to select candidates for only Assistant Professor or both Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) and Assistant Professor in Indian universities and colleges.

You should fulfill certain UGC NET Eligibility Criteria as prescribed by NTA to fill the online application form. Any applicant not meeting the NTA UGC NET exam eligibility 2021 can be disqualified at a later stage of the examination. Scroll down to find complete details of NET exam eligibility.

UGC NET Educational Qualifications 2021

You must have educational qualifications as given below before applying for UGC NET:

UGC NET Eligibility Criteria For General Candidates:

  • You must have scored a minimum of 55% marks in post-graduation (master’s degree) in the concerned subject or any equivalent exam from UGC recognized institute or university.

UGC NET Eligibility Criteria For Other Category Candidates:

A Candidate belongs to:
(a) Non-creamy layer, or,
(b) Scheduled Caste (SC), or,
(c) Scheduled Tribe (ST), or,
(d) Persons with disability (PwD)
and who have scored a minimum of 50% marks in post-graduation (master’s degree) in the concerned subject or any equivalent exam from UGC recognized institute or university can appear for this exam.

UGC NET Eligibility Criteria For Final Year Students:

  • Candidates who are pursuing their post-graduation course or who have appeared for the exam of their qualifying PG course & are awaiting the result are eligible to apply for this exam.
  • However, only provisional allotment will be granted to such candidates and eligibility for Assistant Professor or the JRF will be granted to such candidates only when they have completed their post-graduation course with the required eligibility criteria.
  • The course must be completed within a time duration of 2 years from the NET result date.

UGC NET Eligibility Criteria For the Transgender category:

  • Candidates would be eligible to draw the same relaxation in fee, age, and qualifying criteria for NET (for both Junior Research Fellowship and Assistant Professor) as available to SC/ST/PwD categories.
  • The subject-wise cut-offs for this category should be the lowest among SC/ST/PwD/OBC–NCL categories in their relevant subject.

UGC NET Eligibility Criteria For Ph.D. Degree holders:

  • Ph.D. degree holders whose Master’s level examination has been completed by 19th September 1991 (irrespective of the date of declaration of result) are eligible for a relaxation of 5% in aggregate marks (i.e. from 55% to 50% for General Candidates).

UGC NET Eligibility Criteria For Foreign Students:

Candidates having the following degree/certificates:

  • Post-graduate diploma
  • Certificate awarded by Indian University
  • Institute or foreign degree/diploma/certificate awarded by the foreign University

ascertain the equivalence of their diploma/degree/ with Master’s degree of recognized Indian universities from Association of Indian Universities (AIU), New Delhi.

Important Note:

  • No hard copies or proof of any certificates/ documents are required to submit to the National Testing Agency in support of eligibility. 
  • The NTA does not verify applications submitted by the candidates. Therefore, the candidature will be completely provisional with respect to the eligibility criteria.
  • NTA or UGC may declare the candidature null at any stage of the eligibility criteria is not met, and legal actions might be taken against the applicants.

UGC NET Age Limit 2021

You should be within 30 years to qualify for the Junior Research Fellowship registration of the exam on May 2nd, 2021, as per the UGC NET Eligibility Criteria. You can check the age limit for the NTA UGC NET exam 2021 below.  

Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) Age Limit

  • Students from OBC-NC, SC, ST, PwD categories, Transgenders, and jrf age limit for general female applicants is up to 5 years in age limit.
  • Candidates who are still pursuing their research are also given an age relaxation equivalent to the time spent on the research work in their respective post of Master’s Degree. 
  • Researchers are given a relaxation of up to 5 years only on the submission of a certificate from the respective authority.
  • L.L.M. Degree holders will be allowed an upper age limit extension of 3 years. 
  • Armed forces candidates will be given the advantage of 5 years of relaxation with respect to their duration of service in the armed forces up to 1st May 2021. 
  • In all, the total age relaxation on the criteria mentioned above shall not go beyond five years under any circumstances. 
  • Total age relaxation on the above ground(s) shall not exceed five years under any circumstances.

Assistant Professor Age Limit:

  • However, for the post of Assistant Professor, there is no upper age limit for the applicants.

UGC NET Eligibility Criteria: Age Relaxation


Age Relaxation (in years)



Females of all categories


Candidates holding LLM degree


Candidates in armed forces


UGC NET Reservation Criteria

Marks for General Candidates: At least 40% in Paper I, 40% in Paper-II & 50% in Paper III

Marks for OBC/PWD/SC/ST Candidates: A minimum of 35% in Paper I, 35% in Paper-II & 40% in Paper III.

  • No. of seats required for each category as per reservation: 
  • 15% of the total seats which is equal to 480 seats are reserved for the SC students 
  • 7.5% of the total seats which is equal to 240 are reserved for the ST students 
  • 27% seats which are equal to 864 seats are reserved for the OBC students 
  • 3% which is equal to 960 seats are reserved for persons with disability PWD category while 47.5% which is equal to 1520 seats are available for the General category students.

Exemption for Assistant Professor

Here you can check the special exemption for Assistant Professor Post:


NET/SET/SLET shall remain the minimum eligibility condition for recruitment and appointment of Assistant Professors in Universities/Colleges/ Institutions.

In this regard, exemption from NET/SET/SLET will be governed by UGC regulations and amendments notified in the Gazette of India from time to time.

If you have passed the UGC/CSIR/JRF examination prior to 1989 are also exempted from appearing in NET.


If you have cleared the State Eligibility Test (SET) accredited by UGC for eligibility for Assistant Professor held prior to 1st December 2002, are exempted from appearing in NET for Assistant Professor anywhere in India.

For SET held from 1st December 2002 onwards, the qualified candidates are eligible to apply for the post of Assistant Professor only in the universities/ colleges situated in the state from where they have cleared their SET.

Other Important Study Materials For UGC NET Exam

You should have the following study materials to boost your exam preparation for the NTA UGC NET exam.

Click on the link to access other study materials related to the UGC NET exam.

Important Instructions Related To UGC NET Eligibility Criteria

Here you can check the important instructions for the candidates of various categories.

Economically Weaker Section (EWS)

According to the NTA, candidates with the EWS category are issued an EWS certificate for UGC NET by the Competent Authority.

This action has been taken regarding the implementation of reservation for admission in Central Educational Institutions.

Candidates are required to mention their category in the form, but they don’t have to upload the EWS Category Certificate, but it is necessary to have it at the time of admission/appointment.


Ascribe will be identified by the Centre Superintendent on the request that is received from the candidate.

You will be allowed to meet the scribe a day before the examination to verify its suitability.

All Category

You are neither required to send any certificates/documents in support of their eligibility nor print out of their UGC NET Application Form (Confirmation Page) to NTA.

Important: UGC NET 2021 Application Form

The NTA has successfully completed the UGC NET application process for 2021. Candidates were allowed to apply for the UGC NET online until March 9, 2021.

FAQs of UGC NET Eligibility Criteria

Here you can check the important Frequently Asked Questions related to UGC NET Eligibility Criteria

What is the minimum qualification for unreserved category candidates in UGC-NET 2021?

You have to secure a minimum of 55% aggregate marks in a master’s degree or an equivalent examination can appear in the UGC NET exam.

Are B.Tech graduates eligible for the UGC NET Exam?

B.Tech graduate candidates can appear in CSIR NET Exam. To appear in UGC NET Exam, candidates must have a master’s degree or equivalent from a recognized university.

What is the age limit/relaxation criteria for candidates appearing in the UGC-NET December 2020 Session?

There is no age limit for the post of Assistant Professor in NTA NET. But if you are applying for JRF, then the maximum age limit is 30 years.

Is there any exemption available for the eligibility for Assistant Professor?

Qualifying in NET/SET/LSET is the minimum eligibility condition to be appointed as an Assistant Professor. Officials will notify you regarding the exemption of these exams that will be governed by UGC Regulations.

Is there any negative marking for wrong answers in UGC NET Exam? 

According to answer key no, negative marking for an incorrect answer, also +2 marks for each correct answer.

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