Exams (career options/jobs) after Post graduation in BioTechnology

Exam hall
I think you are doing or you have completed your PG in Biotechnology. Most often majority of the students join this course without the knowledge of opportunities they have. Do you have any advantage over other life science students? If so what are those, exactly. I think this post will give a fair idea about the best options, best opportunities (exams) you have after your PG in biotechnology? 
After PG, majority of exams consider you as a student of Life Science (LS) (not as MSc in Botany, Zoology, Biotech ..). The most important thing is you have to learn some Botany/Zoology topics (ie. Basic Science) that will definitely increase your chance of qualifying an exam in Life Science and remember in most exams you can expect many questions from basic sciences.
The first and the best option, I think, you should prepare for BET and CSIR UGC JRF/NET from the very beginning of your PG, why?
 1) DBT-Biotechnology Eligibility Test (BET)-JRF
Highlight: The only exam where you don’t have competition from other life science students across India. Syllabus comprises of only biotechnology topics. 
Drawbacks: Mostly questions are from hardcore biotechnology.
Only 2 chances and one during your final semester (refer eligibility section).
How 2 get it? : Prepare as early as possible during your PG itself. Collect syllabus and prepare accordingly.
Notification: Jan-Feb
Exam : April every year
The candidates will be selected based on a written admission test.
JRFs will be selected according to merit under two categories: Category A and B.
  • Category A fellowship (Top 100 in number): the students can register for Ph.D in any University/Institute in India.
  • Category B fellowships (150 in number) can register for PhD only at the 70 DBT-Supported Teaching University/Institute running DBT-supported masters Programme, and 10 DBT Institute.
For further details please visit http://oasis.mkcl.org/bet/.
  • Those who have passed after Jan.1, 2010 or will appear (till August, 2011) for Masters in Biotechnology and Bioinformatics (M.Sc./M.Tech./M.V.Sc.) Molecular Human Genetics offered at BHU, and Jiwaji University and Neuroscience offered at Jiwaji University, NBRC and TIFR, and B.Tech. Biotechnology (4year course) recognized by UGC/AICTE are eligible for this award.
  • The applicants should be below the age of 28 years, and 33 years in case of reserved categories, and women candidates.
  • Candidates with 60% (55% for reserved categories) of the total marks (equivalent in grade) are eligible.

JRF/SRF @ 25000/28000 respectively +HRA+ research contingency of 30,000/- per year (maximum 5 years).
Exam Pattern:The nature of questions is multiple choices only. Total marks: 300
 There are two sections :
 Section A: Core Courses- 50 questions (Compulsory) (50x3marks: 150 marks) .Questions which cover Basic Physics, Chemistry and General Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, Immunology, Microbiology etc.
 Section B: Specialization courses-200 questions of which 50 questions are to be answered (50x3marks: 150 marks). Questions from hardcore Biotechnology, Bioinformatics, Biochemistry and other advanced topics. For every wrong answer 1 mark will be deducted.
2) CSIR/UGC-NET JRF exam in Life Sciences
Highlight:  eligible for lectureship (NET only). NET-JRF :lectureship eligibility+fellowship for 5 years for your PhD (a complete package where your  career is almost safe)
Drawbacks: high competition from students from all streams of Life sciences across India. Mostly questions are very tricky and definitely the best exam you can have in your academic life. Questions from Botany/Zoology/Ecology....
How 2 get it?:  you can appear for the exam under result awaited category (RA category) during your last semester. Prepare as early as possible during your PG itself. Study botany/zoology topics along with biotechnology. In this exam remember you are a student of life science.
 a) NET JRF (NET-JUNIOR RESEARCH FELLOWSHIP): apart from lectureship, you can do PhD in research institutes or Universities with five year fellowship.
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: http://csirhrdg.res.in/
How to Prepare for CSIR -UGC-NET- Exam
 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 recognised by UGC and CSIR.
ARS-NET EXAM at a glance
A) For Prelim – ARS  Examination
TIME: 2  hours                                                               MAX MARKS:150
     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                                                                     MAX MARKS:240
        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:  http://www.icar.org.in/files/ARS-2012-Notification
How to Prepare for ICAR - ARS - NET Exam
 (4) 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  
 5. GATE(Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering)
Conducted by : IISc&IIT
Examination: Second Sunday of February
Notification: September/October
1. GATE –BT (Bio-Technology) for B.Tech / MSc Bio-Technology students
·         In all the papers, there will be a total of 65 questions carrying 100 marks.
  •  General Aptitude (GA) questions are of multiple choice type, and carry a total of 15 marks. The GA section includes 5 questions carrying 1 mark each (sub-total 5 marks) and 5 questions carrying 2-marks each (sub-total 10 marks).
·         In the paper bearing the code BT (Bio-Technology), the Engineering Mathematics will carry 15 % of the total marks, the General Aptitude section will carry 15 % of the total marks and the remaining 70 % of the total marks is devoted to the subject of the paper. 
-   The above are the best options available. You can also enroll 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. I will share the details in my next post.
You can also appear for MPhil or PhD entrance conducted by Universities.
As a teacher, I just want to tell you that, Biotechnology is a research oriented course where your best options and opportunities are in the research field. You should know the competition is intense as many colleges offer this course (mostly self-financing) and hundreds of students pass out each year. So you should have a clear cut objective once you have joined this course. AFTER STUDYING A SUBJECT FOR 5 YEARS, IF YOU ARE OPTING SOME OTHER JOB NOT RELATED TO YOUR SUBJECT I THINK THAT’S NOT AT ALL A FAIR IDEA. MY SUGGESTION IS If you love your subject and if you have faith in your subject knowledge, try your BEST FOR QUALIFYING ANY OF THE ABOVE EXAMS. Most often that idea may change your life.
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