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Exams (Opportunities) after post graduation in Life Sciences

Life Sciences Exams
These are some of the most important options you have after your Post Graduation in BOTANY/ZOOLOGY. Prepare for all these exams as early as possible.
1) Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) -  ARS- NET EXAM 
2) CSIR/UGC - NET JRF exam in Life Sciences  
3) Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)
4) Indian Forest Service (IFS)

I think the only exam that provides you a chance to become a scientist after your MSc.
Examination conducting authority: Agricultural Scientists Recruitment Board (ASRB).
a) AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH SERVICE (ARS): Direct Scientist recruitment in ICAR institutes throughout the country (pay scale of Rs.15,600 – 39,100 plus Research Grade Pay (RGP) of Rs.6,000/).
b) NATIONAL ELIGIBILITY TEST (NET): for determining eligibility for Lecturer / Assistant Professor in the State Agricultural Universities (SAUs) and other Agricultural Universities (AUs). Now recognized by UGC and CSIR.

ARS-NET EXAM at a glance
A). For Prelim – ARS
TIME: 2  hours                                                                               
  • 150 objective type multiple choice questions (MCQ)
  • Each question carries one mark
B). For ARS – Main Examination (Subjective type)
 (Answer books for only those candidates who pass the Prelim ARS/NET Examination will be evaluated)
TIME : 3  hours                                                                 

The questions from each discipline will be subjective with expectations of descriptive answers. The ARS –Main Examination shall be conducted in the disciplines selected.

C). Viva – Voce : For only those who have qualified ARS MAIN Examination.       MARKS:60

Month: Examination will be conducted depending on the vacancy.

For more details log on to:

How to prepare for ICAR-ARS-NET Exam

2) CSIR/UGC-NET JRF exam in Life Sciences 
a) NET JRF (NET-JUNIOR RESEARCH FELLOWSHIP): apart from lectureship, you can do PhD in research institutes or Universities with five year fellowship (Rs.16,000/month for 1st two years,Rs.18000/-for the next 3 years)
b) NATIONAL ELIGIBILITY TEST (NET) only: minimum eligibility for Lecturer / Assistant Professor in colleges and Universities across India. You are eligible for doing PhD in most of the universities and will be exempted from University entrance.  
Exam Pattern
Time: 3 Hours                                                                 
Max Marks: 200
        Single Paper Test having Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) consists of 3 parts
  • Part A: Answer 15 MCQ questions out of 20 questions in General Science.
                 Each question shall be of 2 marks (15x2=30 Marks).
  • Part B: Answer 35 MCQ questions out of 50 questions (of topics in the syllabus).
                Each question shall be of 2 marks (35x2=70 Marks).
  • Part C: Answer 25 MCQ questions out of 75 questions (application level questions).
                Each question shall be of 4 marks (25x4=100 Marks).
                Negative marking: ¼(25%) for each wrong answer
Exam : June & December (twice a year)
Log on to:

How to prepare for CSIR-UGC- NET- JRF exam

(3) Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)
Junior Research Fellowships (JRF) only: You can do PhD in research institutes or Universities with five year fellowship (Rs.16,000/month for 1st two years,Rs.18000/-for the next 3 years).
120 Fellowships would be awarded for work in the field of medical sciences with emphasis on Life Sciences (like microbiology, physiology, molecular biology, genetics, human biology, bioinformatics, biotechnology, biochemistry, biophysics, immunology, Pharmacology, zoology, Environment Science, Botany, veterinary sciences, bio-informatics etc.).  
Exam pattern: 
  • Single Paper Test having Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) consists of 2 sections
  • The Aptitude Section (Section A):  50 questions (compulsory questions carrying 1 mark) on (i) scientific phenomenon in everyday life; (ii) general knowledge in sciences; and (iii) common statistics.   
  • Section B: The subject Specific Section in Life Sciences.
        Answer 75 questions out of 100 questions. Each question carries one mark.   
  • Negative marking @ 0.25 for each of the wrong answer.
 Exam: July  

4) Indian Forest Service (IFS)
Conducting authority: UPSC
Eligibility: Graduation in Botany, Zoology, Chemistry, Physics, Maths, Agriculture ...... (for more refer notification)
Exam pattern
  • Preliminary exam: Total marks: 1400
  • Paper I: General English-300 marks
  • Paper II: General knowledge-300 marks
  • Paper III: optional subject (you can choose 2 optional subject under Part A& Part B) 2x200=400 marks
  • Main Botany/Zoology Part C &D 2x200=400 marks
  • Second stage (only if you qualify the prelims) pattern: interview 300 marks
  Notification: Feb/March
  Examination :May      
The above are the best options available. You can also enrol for PhD or M.phil programs in life sciences conducted by prestigious institutes in India like IISC, TIFR, BARC, JNU by qualifying their entrance exams. 

You can also appear for MPhil or PhD entrance conducted by Universities.
As a teacher, I am pretty sure that, majority of the students, especially MSc Botany, Zoology students are really confused after completing their course, what to do next? Most of them will end up in B.Ed.  It’s good, but you have many better options which you cannot aim simply because of your ignorance. You have plenty of opportunities to aim at with love for your subject. Here I have told you some of the very important possibilities, options (as a job or career); you have after your PG. 
If you love your subject and if you have faith in your subject knowledge, my suggestion is, you just make a good attempt. Most often that idea may change your life.

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