Interview Preparations fo CSIR

Preparation for CSIR

CSIR, or the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, is a premier organization in India involved in independent research and development in various scientific and industrial fields. It is the largest autonomous R&D organization in the country and has 39 research laboratories & institutes, and 50 field stations across India. CSIR currently employs over 17,000 staff members that includes research scientists and administrative officers.

Recruitment for Technical Position in CSIR

CSIR in collaboration with the University Grants Commission or UGC conducts the National Eligibility Test or NET for science post graduate students who wish to work in the research field. The examination, although does not assure a research position. Students who qualify the CSIR-UGC-NET can apply to any research institute in the country that accepts the CSIR-NET scores, for a Junior Research Fellowship or JRF position in a research project. The institutes and laboratories under CSIR conduct interviews to select candidates for such technical positions. These technical positions also include profiles like Research Associates, Project Assistants, Consultants, Senior Research Fellows, and Project Fellows. CSIR not only hires NET qualified students, many of the research projects may also require students from humanities or engineering background. Such candidates have to go through an interview to get selected into CSIR. Most of these technical positions are based in the laboratories or research institutes under CSIR like the Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology, National Institute for Inter Disciplinary Science and Technology, North-East Institute of Science and Technology and National Chemical Laboratory.

Recruitment for Administrative Positions in CSIR

CSIR recruits for Assistant profiles in its administrative departments like for Finance and Accounts, Stores and Purchase and General, through the Combined Administrative Services Examination or CASE, held every year. A candidate will need to qualify CASE to get selected for an assistant position. CASE has two phases – Phase 1 is a written examination, and Phase II is an interview.

Phase 1:
The written examination for CASE is conducted usually in March and has two papers, both with objective type questions, of a total of 300 marks.

Paper 1 is in two parts –

First Part, (100 marks) tests your knowledge and skills in Quantitative Ability, Reasoning, General Awareness and Intelligence, and the Indian Constitution.

Second Part, (50 marks) examines your English Grammar and Comprehension.

Paper 2, of 150 marks also, has questions about Management Practices and Principles, ERP Application, Management in Operations, CCS (Conduct) Rules, Office Procedural Manual, Public Administration, General Financial Rules and Fundamental and Supplementary Rules.

Written Examination Preparation for CASE

Preparing for CASE can be tricky as it includes diverse subjects. It is better give yourself at least six months for dedicated preparations. Here are books that can help you prepare for the CASE exam:

Quantitative Ability - RS Aggrawal's "Quantitative Aptitude" and Sarvesh Kumar Verma's "Quantum CAT"

Reasoning - RS Aggrawal's "A Modern Approach to Verbal and Non Verbal Reasoning"

Constitution of India, Public Administration and Government Rules - M. Lakshmikanth's "Indian Polity"

General Awareness - NCERT textbooks for Science, Social Science and Geography for Classes VII to X

Current Events - National Newspapers and Magazines

Paper II – IGNOU study materials for Public Administration and MBA

Interview Tips

Each candidate who has been shortlisted through a written exam or application needs to sit for an interview that is conducted by a committee having expertise in the field. The committee's primary task is to ascertain your suitability to the position you applied for in CSIR. Here are a few interview tips that can help you during the interview:

  • Dress appropriately. In the case of interviews, first impression is always the one that the committee is concerned to consider.
  • If you are applying for a technical position like RA, SRF, JRF or PF you can carry some of your research work. You might need to show them the kinds of work you have previously done.
  • You have to also be conversant with the work, like the procedures you followed in the research, your experiments and conclusions. You may be asked about the work you have had experience in. This helps interviewers decide if you have the capability to work in the research project you are been hired for.
  • If you are applying for an administrative position, make sure to read up on CSIR. It is a very large organization with its presence all over the country. Make sure to know about all its entities.
  • In administrative profiles, interviewers look for abilities like time management, organizational aptitude, handling pressure, and computer proficiency. Through their questions they will try ascertaining these qualities. You can use examples from your life to explain that you have these qualities and you are right for the job.

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