CSIR stands for Council of Scientific & Industrial Research. This is a prestigious and premium national organization that is funded by the Ministry of Science and Technology. The aim of CISR is research and development.

The organization conducts a national level with help of the conducting body National Testing Agency (NTA) in the various fields including Physical Sciences, Chemical Sciences, Life Sciences, Mathematical Sciences, and Earth Atmospheric Ocean and Planetary Sciences.

The name of the examination, as many individuals are aware, is called CSIR NET, also referred to as CSIR UGC NET. If any candidate is interested to take the CSIR NET must have certain qualifications. They must have a master’s degree with 55% and above with completion of a course from some UGC recognized institution.

The examination takes place across the nation twice a year- once in June and the other in December. If candidates are able to clear CSIR NET then they qualify to conduct their research or become lecturers in educational institutes.

If you are able to have the required UGC NET score then you can land the opportunity to take admission for JRF or can apply for a lectureship at universities and colleges in India.

Hence, there are two options after clearing the entrance examination- Junior Research Fellowship and Assistant Professorship Jobs.

There exists a tremendous amount of scope after you clear CSIR NET. These two are the most common career choices after clearing the entrance but there are more options to avail.

Overview of CSIR NET

Name Of The Examination Council of Scientific and Industrial Research National Eligibility Test (CSIR NET)
Conducting Body National Testing Agency (NTA)
Mode of Examination Online
Frequency Twice a Year
Examination level National
Examination fee General category- INR 1000 OBC category- INR 500 SC/ST category- INR 250
Language/Medium English and Hindi
Total number of questions 150
Question type Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ)
Question paper pattern Part A- 20 questions Part B- 25 questions Part C- 30 questions
Time to complete the test 180 minutes
Marking Scheme +2 for each correct answer -0.25 for each wrong answer
Subjects included Physical Sciences Chemical Sciences Life Sciences Mathematical Sciences Earth Atmospheric Ocean Planetary Sciences
Number of cities 225
Examination timing Shift 1- 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Shift 2- 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Purpose of exam Junior Research Fellowship and Assistant Professorship Jobs
Official site nta.ac.in or csirnet.nta.nic.in
Helpline number 0120-6895200

Exam Pattern of CSIR NET 2022- Life Sciences

The question paper is divided into 3 parts- Part A, B, and C. The three parts have 20, 50 and 75 questions respectively. Candidates taking the test need to answer 15, 35, and 25 questions each from the three parts respectively.

  • Every question comes with four alternative choices.
  • Every question in Part A, B, and C havea weightage of 2, 2 and 4 each
  • Negative marking consists of 25% in total

Eligibility Criteria for CSIR NET

An individual who wants to take the CSIR NET, must be of Indian Nationality.

There is an age limit for the examination. However, it is different for both Lectureship and Junior Research Fellowship.

As of July 2021, the maximum age limit for applying for Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) is 28 years. For the OBC category, there is an age relaxation of 3 years. And for SC/ST and PWD, the relaxation goes up to 5 years.

However, for Lecturership, there is no such imposed age limit.

Educational Qualification

Individuals need to meet certain educational qualifications before they are eligible to take the CSIR NET-

  • The candidate who wants to take the exam must have an Integrated BS-MS/ MSc or equivalent degree/ BS-4 years/ B. Pharma/ B.Tech/ BE/ MBBS degree or B.Sc (Hons) or some other equivalent degree.
  • Candidates who want to sit for the entrance can also be enrolled in the Integrated MS-PhD program and must have an aggregate mark of 55% for General and OBC categories and an aggregate of 50% for SC/ ST/ PwD candidates.
  • Candidates can be eligible for getting a Fellowship after enrolling for a Ph.D. or Integrated Ph.D. program if they have a Bachelor’s Degree beforehand. The validity period of this Fellowship is for 2 years.
  • Candidates who are enrolled in the M.Sc. program or have qualified 10+2+3 years are likely to be eligible to apply under the category of ‘Result Awaited’ (RA).

Important Note: A candidate who has only acquired a Bachelor’s Degree will be eligible for applying only for the Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) but not for the Lectureship (LS).

CSIR NET 2022 Exam Pattern

The following table shows section-wise marks distribution:

Section No. of Questions Total Marks Marking Scheme Negative Marking
A 20 30 +2 25%
B 50 70 +2 25%
C 75 100 +4 25%
Total 145 200

Topic-specific weightage for Life Sciences

Units Weightage
Biochemistry 8 questions
Cellular organization 8 questions
Fundamental processes 30 questions
Cell communication and cell signalling 12 questions
Developmental biology 10 questions
System physiology 12 questions
System animal physiology 7 questions
Inheritance biology (genetics) 10 questions
Ecology and diversity of life forms 18 questions
Evolutionary biology 8-9 questions
Applied biology 10 questions
Methods in biology 11 questions

The most important portions of the CSIR NET Life Sciences syllabus-

  • Fundamental process
  • Cell communication and cell signalling
  • Developmental biology
  • System animal physiology
  • Ecology and diversity of life forms
  • Evolutionary biology

Detailed breakdown of CSIR NET Syllabus 2022- Life Sciences

Unit 1- Molecules and their Interaction Relevant to Biology

  • Structure of atoms, molecules, and chemical bonds.
  • Composition, structure, and function of biomolecules.
  • Stabilizing interactions
  • Principles of biophysical chemistry
  • Bioenergetics, oxidative phosphorylation, glycolysis, coupled reaction, group transfer, biological energy transducers.
  • Principles of catalysis, enzyme regulation, mechanism of enzyme catalysis, isozymes
  • Conformation of proteins H. Conformation of nucleic acids I. Stability of proteins and nucleic acids.
  • Metabolism of carbohydrates, amino acids, nucleotides, lipids, and vitamins.

Unit 2- Cellular Organization

  • Membrane structure and function
  • Structural organization and function of intracellular organelles
  • Organisation of genes and chromosomes
  • Cell division and cell cycle
  • Microbial Physiology

Unit 3- Fundamental Processes

  • DNA replication, repair, and recombination
  • RNA synthesis and processing
  • Protein synthesis and processing
  • Control of gene expression and translation level

Unit 4- Cell Communication and Cell Signaling

  • Host-parasite interaction recognition and entry process of different pathogens
  • Cell signalling Hormones and their receptors
  • Cellular communication Regulation of hematopoiesis
  • General principles of cell communication
  • Cancer genetic rearrangements in progenitor cells, oncogene and tumour suppressor genes
  • Cancer and the cell cycle
  • Innate and adaptive immunity system
  • Cells and molecules that are involved in innate and adaptive immune system
  • B and T cell epitopes, the structure and function of antibody molecules
  • Generation of antibody diversity
  • MHC molecules, the antigen processing and their presentation
  • Activation and differentiation of the B and T cells
  • Humoral and cell-mediated immune responses
  • Primary and secondary immune modulation
  • Toll-like receptors, cell-mediated effector functions
  • Hypersensitivity and autoimmunity, immune response during bacterial, parasitic
  • Viral (HIV) infections, congenital and acquired immunodeficiencies and lastly vaccines.

Unit 5- Developmental Biology

  • Basic concepts of development
  • Gametogenesis, fertilization, and early development
  • Morphogenesis and organogenesis in animals
  • Morphogenesis and organogenesis in plants
  • Programmed cell death, aging, and senescence

Unit 6- System Physiology- Plant

  • Photosynthesis
  • Respiration and photorespiration
  • Nitrogen metabolism
  • Plant hormones
  • Sensory photobiology
  • Solute transport and photoassimilate translocation
  • Secondary metabolites
  • Stress physiology

Unit 7- System Physiology- Animal

  • Blood and circulation
  • Cardiovascular System
  • Respiratory system
  • Nervous system
  • Sense organs
  • Excretory system
  • Thermoregulation
  • Stress and adaptation
  • Digestive system
  • Endocrinology and reproduction

Unit 8- Inheritance Biology

  • Mendelian principles
  • Concept of gene
  • Extensions of Mendelian principles
  • Gene mapping methods
  • Extra chromosomal inheritance
  • Microbial genetics
  • Human genetics
  • Quantitative genetics
  • Mutation
  • Structural and numerical alterations of chromosomes
  • Recombination

Unit 9- Diversity of Life Forms

  • Principles & methods of taxonomy
  • Levels of structural organization
  • Outline classification of plants, animals & microorganisms
  • Natural history of the Indian subcontinent
  • Organisms of health & agricultural importance
  • Organisms of conservation concern

Unit 10- Ecological Principles

  • The Environment
  • Habitat and Niche
  • Population Ecology
  • Species Interactions
  • Community Ecology
  • Ecological Succession
  • Ecosystem Ecology
  • Biogeography
  • Applied Ecology
  • Conservation Biology

Unit 11- Evolution and behavior

  • Emergence of evolutionary thoughts Lamarck and Darwin
  • Origin of cells and unicellular evolution
  • Palaeontology and Evolutionary History
  • Molecular Evolution
  • The Mechanisms
  • Brain, Behaviour and Evolution

Unit 12- Applied Biology

  • Microbial fermentation and macromolecules.
  • Application of immunological principles, vaccines and diagnostics
  • Tissue and different cell culture methods for plants and animals.
  • Transgenic animals and plants, different molecular approaches to diagnosis and strain identification.
  • Genomics and the its application to health and agriculture, as well as gene therapy.
  • Bioresources and uses of biodiversity.
  • Breeding in both plants and animals, including marker-assisted selection
  • Bioremediation and phytoremediation
  • Biosensors

Unit 13- Methods in Biology

  • Molecular Biology and Recombinant DNA methods
  • Histochemical and Immunotechniques
  • Biophysical Method
  • Statistical Methods
  • Radiolabeling techniques
  • Microscopic techniques
  • Electrophysiological methods
  • Methods in field biology

Preparation tips for CSIR NET 2022- Life Sciences

CSIR NET has three parts. These parts are elaborated as follows-

Part A (is for General Aptitude)

Part A is common for all the subjects. The number of questions in this section are 20. Every candidate must try and attempt to answer at least 15 questions from this section. Every question contains 2 marks. Hence, the total weightage of the section is 30 marks.

Part B

All the questions are of objective type. There are a total of 50 questions in this section. Candidates must try to answer at least 35 questions. Scoring a maximum of 70 should be the aim.

Part C

This is the most important section of the entire paper. This section contains questions based on scientific concepts of quite high standards. There are a total of 75 questions in this section. Every candidate must try to attempt at least 50 questions.

Every candidate who opts to take the CSIR NET is aware that it is one of the toughest exams. To qualify and clear the entrance examination candidates need to prepare in a smart and effective manner.

Before you start preparing for the entrance you need to know the complete CSIR NET Life Sciences syllabus. Having a clear idea of what the test entails gives you a head start on your preparation.

It is also necessary to know which portions of the syllabus are important and contain the most weightage of the total marks. Chalking out the important parts and focussing on them will help you to fetch more marks. Over the years, the most important questions have come from sections of Physics, Chemistry, and Biology.

Speed and accuracy should be the guiding stars while you do the test. Do not try and guess answers because you must remember that there is a negative marking for every wrong answer.

CSIR NET Life Sciences Reference Books

Molecules and their Interaction Relevant to Biology Biochemistry and Metabolism Lehninger Principles of Biochemistry – Nelson and Cox Biochemistry- Voet and Voet
Cellular Organisation Cell biology Molecular Cell Biology- Lodish Lewin’s Genes- Jocelyn Krebs, Elliot Goldstein, Stephen Kilpatrick
Microbial Physiology Microbiology- L.M. Prescott
Fundamental Processes Molecular Biology Lehninger Principles of Biochemistry- Nelson and Cox Molecular Biology of the Gene- James D. Watson Lewin’s Genes- Jocelyn Krebs,Elliott Goldstein,Kilpatrick
Cell communication and cell signalling Host parasite interaction Microbiology – L.M.Prescott
Cell signalling and communication cancer Molecular Cell Biology- Lodish
Immunology Kuby Immunology- Owen, Punt, Strandford
Developmental Biology Developmental Biology Developmental Biology- Scott Gilbert
Apoptosis, Ageing and Senescence Molecular Cell Biology- Lodish
System Physiology – Plant Plant Physiology Plant Physiology- Taiz and Zeiger
System Physiology- Animal Animal Physiology Review of Medical Physiology- Ganongs, Kim E. Barrett
Inheritance Biology Genetics Principles of Genetics- D. Peter Snustad, Michael J. Simmons Principles of Genetics- Robert H. Tamarin
Diversity of Life Forms   Biology- Raven Johnson
Ecological Principles Ecology Ecology by Odum Cell Biology- PS Verma and VK Agrawal
Evolution and Behaviour Evolution Cell Biology- PS Verma and VK Agrawal Evolution by Futuyma
Behaviour Biology- Raven Johnson
Applied Biology Biotechnology Biotechnology -BD Singh
Methods in Biology Molecular Biology and Recombinant DNA methods Principles of Genes Manipulation and Genomics- S.B. Primrose
Biophysical Method Principles and Techniques and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology- Wilson and Walker
For other parts Fundamentals and Techniques of Biophysics and Molecular Biology- Pranav Kumar


CSIR NET is one the toughest and standard entrance examinations conducted in India. Candidates who are passionate about research and want to contribute their knowledge or develop their skills in this area should focus on preparing with utmost dedication.

Hard work and thorough effort will get you through this test. This article aimed to give aspiring candidates a clear insight into CSIR NET Life Sciences for the year 2022. Hopefully, it was helpful and cleared some of your doubts as well.

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