Initially, the paper pattern consisted of 3 papers (Paper I, II, and III), but as of after 2019, the updated exam pattern is of 2 papers (Paper I and II). The paper II and III subjective syllabus content is merged to form paper II. Paper I is of general nature, intended to assess the teaching/research aptitude of the candidate. It consists of 50 compulsory MCQs of 2 marks each. This paper is for 1 hour. Paper-II will contain 100 compulsory MCQs of two marks each from the Life Science subject and the duration of this paper has been made as two hours (120 minutes).


Teaching Aptitude

Teaching: Concept, Objectives, Levels of teaching (Memory, Understanding and Reflective), Characteristics and basic requirements.

Learner's characteristics: Characteristics of adolescent and adult learners(Academic, Social, Emotional and Cognitive), Individual differences.

Factors affecting teaching related to: Teacher, Learner, Support material,Instructional facilities, Learning environment and Institution.

Methods of teaching in Institutions of higher learning: Teacher centred vs.Learner centred methods; Off-line vs. On-line methods (Swayam,Swayamprabha, MOOCs etc.).

Teaching Support System: Traditional, Modern and ICT based.

Evaluation Systems: Elements and Types of evaluation, Evaluation in Choice Based Credit System in Higher education, Computer based testing, Innovations in evaluation systems.

Research Aptitude

Research: Meaning, Types, and Characteristics, Positivism and Post- positivistic approach to research.

Methods of Research: Experimental, Descriptive, Historical, Qualitative and Quantitative methods.

Steps of Research.

Thesis and Article writing: Format and styles of referencing.

Application of ICT in research.

Research ethics.


A passage of text be given. Questions be asked from the passage to be answered.


Communication: Meaning, types and characteristics of communication.

Effective communication: Verbal and Non-verbal, Inter-Cultural and group communications, Classroom communication.

Barriers to effective communication.

Mass-Media and Society.

Mathematical Reasoning and Aptitude

Types of reasoning.

Number series, Letter series, Codes and Relationships.

Mathematical Aptitude (Fraction, Time & Distance, Ratio, Proportion and Percentage, Profit and Loss, Interest and Discounting, Averages etc.).

Data Interpretation

Sources, acquisition and classification of Data.

Quantitative and Qualitative Data.

Graphical representation (Bar-chart, Histograms, Pie-chart, Table-chart and Line-chart) and mapping of Data.

Data Interpretation.

Data and Governance.

Logical Reasoning

Understanding the structure of arguments: argument forms, structure of categorical propositions, Mood and Figure, Formal and Informal fallacies, Uses of language, Connotations and denotations of terms, Classical square of opposition.

Evaluating and distinguishing deductive and inductive reasoning.


Venn diagram: Simple and multiple use for establishing validity of arguments.

Indian Logic: Means of knowledge.

Pramanas: Pratyaksha (Perception), Anumana (Inference), Upamana (Comparison), Shabda (Verbal testimony), Arthapatti (Implication) and Anupalabddhi (Non-apprehension).

Structure and kinds of Anumana (inference), Vyapti (invariable relation), Hetvabhasas (fallacies of inference).

Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

ICT: General abbreviations and terminology.

Basics of Internet, Intranet, E-mail, Audio and Video-conferencing.

Digital initiatives in higher education.

ICT and Governance.

Higher Education System

Institutions of higher learning and education in ancient India.

Evolution of higher learning and research in Post Independence India.

Oriental, Conventional and Non-conventional learning programmes in India.

Professional, Technical and Skill Based education.

Value education and environmental education.

Policies, Governance, and Administration.

People, Development and Environment

Development and environment: Millennium development and Sustainable development goals.

Human and environment interaction: Anthropogenic activities and their impacts on environment.

Environmental issues: Local, Regional and Global; Air pollution, Water pollution, Soil pollution, Noise pollution, Waste (solid, liquid, biomedical, hazardous, electronic), Climate change and its Socio-Economic and Political dimensions.

Impacts of pollutants on human health.

Natural and energy resources: Solar, Wind, Soil, Hydro, Geothermal, Biomass, Nuclear and Forests.

Natural hazards and disasters: Mitigation strategies.

Environmental Protection Act (1986), National Action Plan on Climate Change, International agreements/efforts -Montreal Protocol, Rio Summit, Convention on Biodiversity, Kyoto Protocol, Paris Agreement, International Solar Alliance.


1.Cell Biology

Structure and function of cells and intracellular organelles (of both prokaryotesand eukaryotes)

Mechanism of cell division including (mitosis and meiosis) and celldifferentiation; Cell-cell interation

Malignant growth

lmmune response : Dosage compensationand mechanism of sex determination.


Structure of atoms

molecules and chemical bonds

Principles of physicalchemistry



dissociation and association constants

Nucleic acidstructure

genetic code


transcription and translation : Structure

function andmetabolism of carbohydrates

lipids and proteins

Enzymes and coenzyme

Respiration andphotosynthesis.


Response to stress

Active transport across membranes

Plant and animal hormonesNutrition (including vitamins)

Reproduction in plants


plant and animals

Sensoryresponses in microbes

plant and animals.


Principles of Mendelian inheritance

chromosome structure and function

GeneStructure and regulation of gene expression

Linkage and genetic mapping

Extra-chromosomalinheritance (episomes, mitochondria and chloroplasts)


DNA damage and repair

chromosome aberrations


Sex-linked inheritance and genetic disorders

Somaticcell genetics

Genome organisation (in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes).

5.Evolutionary Biology

Origin of life (including aspects of prebiotic environment and molecularevolution)

Concepts of evolution

Theories of organic evolution

Mechanisms of speciation

Hardy-Weinberg genetic equilibrium

genetic polymarphism and selection

Origin and evolutionof economically important microbes

plants and animals.

6.Environmental biology

Concept and dynamics of ecosystem


food chain andenergy flow

productivity and biogeochemical cycles

Types of ecosystems

Population ecologyand biological control

Community structure and organisation

Environmental pollution

Sustainable development

Economic importance of microbes

plants and animals.

7.Biodiversity and Taxonomy

Species concept

Biological nomenclature theories of bilogicalclassification

Structural biochemical and molecular systmatics

DNA finger printing





maintenance and loss

Magnitude anddistribution of biodiversity

economic value

wildlife biology

conservation strategies




Principles of Taxonomy as applied to the systamics and Classification of Plant Kingdom

Taxonomic structure


Plant geography



Patterns of variation in morphology and life history in plants

broad outlines of classificationan evolutionary trends among algae


bryophytes and pteriophytes

Principles ofpalaeobotany

Economic importance of algae

fungi and lichens.


Comparative anatomy and developmental morphology of gymnosperms and angiosperms

Histochemical and ultrastructural aspects of development

Differentiation and morphogenesis.


Androgenesis and gynogenesis

Breeding systems

Pollination biology

structural and functionalaspects of pollen and pistill

Male sterility

Self and inter-specific incompatibility


Embryo and seed development.

5.Plants and civilization

Centres of origin and gene diversity



cultivationand improvement of plants of food


fibre and industrial values

Unexploited plants ofpotential economic value

Plants as a source of renewable energy

Genetic resources and theirconservation.

6.Water Relations

Mineral nutrition

Photosynthesis and photorespiration : Nitrogen

Phosphorous and Sulphur metabolism

Stomatal physiology

Source and sink relationship.


Physiology and biochemistry of seed dormancy and germination

Hormonal regulation ofgrowth and development

Photoregulation : Growth responses

Physiology of flowering


8.Principles of plant breeding

Important conventional methods of breeding self and crosspollinated and vegetatively propagated crops

Non-conventional methods

Polyploidy : Geneticvariability

Plant diseases and defensive mechanism.


Principles of taxonomy as applied to the systematics and classification of the animal kingdom

Classification and interrelationship amongst the major invertebrete phyla

Minor invertebratephyla

functional anatomy of the non-chordates

Larval forms and their evolutionary significance.


Classification and comparative anatomy of protochordates and chordates


evolutionand distribution of chordate groups : Adaptive radiation.


Histology of mammalian organ systems


digestion and absorption

Circulation (openand closed circular, lymphatic systems, blood composition and function)

Muscular contrationand electric organs

Excretion and osmoregulation : Nerve conduction and neurotransmitter

major sense organs and receptors

Homeostatis (neural and hormonal)



12.Gametogenesis in animals

Molecular events during fertilization

Cleavage patterns and fatemaps

Concepts of determination

competence and induction

totipotency and nuclear transferexperiments

Cell differentiation and differential gene activity

Morphogenetic determinants inegg cytoplasm

Role of maternal contributions in early embryonic development

Geneticregulation of early embryonic development in Drosophila

Homeotic genes.




social and sexual behaviour of animals

Parental care

Circadian rhythms


Migration of fishes and birds


Physiological adaptation at high altitude.


Important human and veterinary parasites (protozoans and helminths)

Life cycle and biologyof Plasmodium





Schistosoma and Leishmania


cellular and physiological basis of host-parasite interactions.


Arthropods and vectors of human diseases (mosquitoes, lice, flies, and ticks)

Mode oftransmission of pathogens by vectors

Chemical biological and environmental control ofanthropod vectors

Biology and control of chief insect pests of agricultural importance

Planthost-insect interaction

insect-pest management

useful insects



The law of DNA constancy and C-value paradox

Numerical and structural changes inchromosomes

Molecular basis of spontaneous and induced mutation and their role in evolution

Environment mutagenesis and toxictiy testing

Population genetics.


Structure of pro and eukaryotic cells

Membrane structure and function

Intra cellular compartments

protein sorting

secretory and endocytic pathways



Mitochondria and chloroplasts and their genetic organisation

cell cycle

Structure andorganisation of chromatin

polytene and lamphrush chromosomes

Dosage compensation andsex determination and sex-linked inheritance.


Interactions between environment and biota

Concept of habitat and ecological niches


Energy flow

food chain

food web and trophic levels

Ecological pyramids and recycling

Biotic community—concept



fluctuation and succession

N.P.C. and SCycles in nature.


Ecosystem dynamics and management : Stability and complexity of ecosystems

Speciationand extinction

Environmental impact assessment

Principles of conservation


Sustainable development.


Physico-chemical properties of water

Kinds of aquatic habitats (fresh water and marine)

Distribution of and impact of environmental factors on the aquatic biota


mineralcycles and biodegradation in different aquatic ecosystems

Fish and Fisheries of India withrespect to the management of estuarine

coastal water systems and man-made reservoirs

Biology and ecology of reservoirs.





reproduction and physiology of bacteria and viruses (ofbacteria, plants and animals)

Mycoplasma protozoa and yeast (a general accounts).


Microbial fermentation


organic acids and vitamins

Microbes in decompositionand recycling processes

Symbiotic and asymbiotic N2 - fixation

Microbiology of water


soil and sewage

Microbes as pathological agents in plants

animals and man

General designand applications of a biofermenter



Structure and functions of different clauses of immunoglobulins

Primary andsecondary immune response

Lymphocytes and accessory cells

Humoral and cell mediatedimmunity


Mechanism of immune response and generation of immunotogical diversity;Genetic control of immune response

Effector mechanism

Application of immunologicaltechniques.


Enzyme kinetics (negative and positive cooperativity)

Regulation of enzymatic activity



Activators and inhibitors


allosteric enzymes

Ribozyme andabzyme.


Van der Waal's electrostatic

hydrogen bonding and hydrophobic interactions

Primary structureof proteins and nucleic acids

Conformation of proteins and polypeptides (secondary, tertiary,quanternary and domain structure)

Reverse turns and Ramachandran plot

Structuralpolymorphism of DNA, RNA and three-dimensional structure of tRNA

Structure carbohydrates


glycoproteins and peptido-glycans

Helix-coil transition

Energy terms inbiopolymer conformational calculation.


Glycolysis and TCA cycle

Glycogen breakdown and synthesis


interconversionof hexoses and pentoses

Amino acid metabolism

Coordinated control of metabolism

Biosynthesis of purines and pyrimidines

Oxidation of lipids

Biosynthesis of fatty acids





Energy metabolism (concept of free energy)

Thermodynamic principles in biology

Energyrich bonds

Weak interactions

Coupled reactions and oxidative phosphorylations

Group tranfers

Biological energy tranducers



Fine structure of gene

Eukaryotic genome organisation (structure of chromatin, coding andnon-coding sequences, satellite DNA)

DNA damage and repair

DNA replication

amplificationand rearrangements.


Organization of transcriptional units : Mechanism of transcription of prokaryotes and eukaryotes

RNA processing (capping, polyadenylation, splicing, introns and exons)


Structure of mRNA

Genetic code and protein synthesis.


Regulation of gene expression in pro-and eukaryotes

Attenuation and antitermination


DNA methylation



Regulatory sequences andtranscription factors

Environmental regulation of gene expression.


Biochemistry and molecular biology of cancer


Chemical carcinogenesis

Geneticand metabolic disorders

Harmonal imbalances

Drug metabolism and detoxification

Geneticload and genetic counselling.


Lysogeny and lytic cycle in bacteriophages

Bacterial transformation

Host cell restriction



Molecular recombination

DNA ligases





Restriction endonucleases

Plasmids and bacteriophage basedvectors for cDNA and genomic libraries.


Principles and methods of genetic engineering and Gene targeting

Application in agriculture

healthand industry.


Cell and tissue culture in plants and animals

Primary culture

Cell line

Cell clones

Callus cultures

Somaclonal variation


Somatic embryogenesis


Protoplast fusion andsomatic hybridization


Gene transfer methods in plants and in animals

Transgenic biology


Artificial seeds

Hybridoma technology.


Structure and organisation of membranes

Glyconjugates and proteins in membrane systems

iontransport/Na/KATPase/Molecular basis of signal transduction in bacteria

plants and animals




Principles and application of light

phase contrast


scanning and transmission electronmicroscopy

Cytophotometry and flow cytometry

fixation and staining.


Principles and applications of gel-filtration

ion-exchange and affinity chromatography

Thin layer andgas chromatography

High pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC)

Electrophoresis andelectrofocussing

Ultracentrifugation (velocity and buoyant density).


Principles and techniques of nucleic acid hybridization and Cot curves

Sequencing of proteins andnucleic acids


Northern and South-Western blotting techniques

Polymerase chain reaction

Methods for measuring nucleic acid and protein interactions.


Principles of biophysical methods used for analysis of biopolymer structure

X-ray diffraction



ORD/CD Visible

NMR and ESR spectroscopy

Hydrodynamic methods

Atomic absorption and plasma emission spectroscopy.


Principles and applications of tracer techniques in biology

Radiation dosimetry

Radioactiveisotopes and half life of isotopes

Effect of radiation on biological system

Autoradiography;Cerenkov radiation; Liquid scintillation spectroscopy.


Principles and practice of statistical methods in biological research

samples and populations;Basic statistics—average

statistics of dispersion

coefficient of variation

Standard error

Confidence limits

Probability distributions (biomial, poisson and normal); Tests of statisticalsignificance

Simple correlation of regression

Analysis of variance.

Candidates should have to attend Both Paper I and Paper II. All questions are compulsory. Paper I is common for all subjects. Which contains language both English and Tamil. Questions in paper II covers the entire subject. The syllabus is equivalent to UCG NET. Candidates can also refer UGC NET syllabus official link given at the end of the post.


A. Structure of atoms, molecules and chemical bonds.

B Composition, structure and function of biomolecules (carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, nucleic acids and vitamins).

C. Stablizing interactions (Van der Waals, electrostatic, hydrogen bonding, hydrophobic interaction, etc.).

D Principles of biophysical chemistry (pH, buffer, reaction kinetics, thermodynamics, colligative properties).

E. Bioenergetics, glycolysis, oxidative phosphorylation, coupled reaction, group transfer, biological energy transducers.

F. Principles of catalysis, enzymes and enzyme kinetics, enzyme regulation, mechanism of enzyme catalysis, isozymes

G. Conformation of proteins (Ramachandran plot, secondary structure, domains, motif and folds).

H. Conformation of nucleic acids (helix (A, B, Z), t-RNA, micro-RNA). I. Stability of proteins and nucleic acids.

J. Metabolism of carbohydrates, lipids, amino acids nucleotides and vitamins.


A) Membrane structure and function (Structure of model membrane, lipid bilayer and membrane protein diffusion, osmosis, ion channels, active transport, membrane pumps, mechanism of sorting and regulation of intracellular transport,electrical properties of membranes).

B) Structural organization and function of intracellular organelles (Cell wall, nucleus, mitochondria, Golgi bodies, lysosomes, endoplasmic reticulum, peroxisomes, plastids, vacuoles, chloroplast, structure & function of cytoskeleton and its role in motility).

C) Organization of genes and chromosomes (Operon, unique and repetitive DNA, interrupted genes, gene families, structure of chromatin and chromosomes, heterochromatin, euchromatin, transposons).

D) Cell division and cell cycle (Mitosis and meiosis, their regulation, steps in cell cycle, regulation and control of cell cycle).

E) Microbial Physiology (Growth yield and characteristics, strategies of cell division, stress response)


A) DNA replication, repair and recombination (Unit of replication, enzymes involved, replication origin and replication fork, fidelity of replication, extrachromosomal replicons, DNA damage and repair mechanisms, homologous and site-specific recombination).

B) RNA synthesis and processing (transcription factors and machinery, formation of initiation complex, transcription activator and repressor, RNA polymerases, capping, elongation, and termination, RNA processing, RNA editing, splicing, and polyadenylation, structure and function of different types of RNA, RNA transport).

C) Protein synthesis and processing (Ribosome, formation of initiation complex, initiation factors and their regulation, elongation and elongation factors, termination, genetic code, aminoacylation of tRNA, tRNA-identity, aminoacyl tRNA synthetase, and translational proof-reading, translational inhibitors, Post- translational modification of proteins).

D) Control of gene expression at transcription and translation level (regulating the expression of phages, viruses, prokaryotic and eukaryotic genes, role of chromatin in gene expression and gene silencing).

4. Cell communication and cell signaling

A) Host parasite interaction Recognition and entry processes of different pathogens like bacteria, viruses into animal and plant host cells, alteration of host cell behavior by pathogens, virus-induced cell transformation, pathogen-induced diseases in animals and plants, cell-cell fusion in both normal and abnormal cells.

B) Cell signaling Hormones and their receptors, cell surface receptor, signaling through G-protein coupled receptors, signal transduction pathways, second messengers, regulation of signaling pathways, bacterial and plant two- component systems, light signaling in plants, bacterial chemotaxis and quorum sensing.

C) Cellular communication Regulation of hematopoiesis, general principles of cell communication, cell adhesion and roles of different adhesion molecules, gap junctions, extracellular matrix, integrins, neurotransmission and its regulation.

D) Cancer Genetic rearrangements in progenitor cells, oncogenes, tumor suppressor genes, cancer and the cell cycle, virus-induced cancer, metastasis, interaction of cancer cells with normal cells, apoptosis, therapeutic interventions of uncontrolled cell growth.

E) Innate and adaptive immune system Cells and molecules involved in innate and adaptive immunity, antigens, antigenicity and immunogenicity. B and T cell epitopes, structure and function of antibody molecules. generation of antibody diversity, monoclonal antibodies, antibody engineering, antigen-antibody interactions, MHC molecules, antigen processing and presentation, activation and differentiation of B and T cells, B and T cell receptors, humoral and cell- mediated immune responses, primary and secondary immune modulation, the complement system, Toll-like receptors, cell-mediated effector functions, inflammation, hypersensitivity and autoimmunity, immune response during bacterial (tuberculosis), parasitic (malaria) and viral (HIV) infections, congenital and acquired immunodeficiencies, vaccines.


A) Basic concepts of development : Potency, commitment, specification, induction, competence, determination and differentiation; morphogenetic gradients; cell fate and cell lineages; stem cells; genomic equivalence and the cytoplasmic determinants; imprinting; mutants and transgenics in analysis of development

B) Gametogenesis, fertilization and early development: Production of gametes, cell surface molecules in sperm-egg recognition in animals; embryo sac development and double fertilization in plants; zygote formation, cleavage, blastula formation, embryonic fields, gastrulation and formation of germ layers in animals; embryogenesis, establishment of symmetry in plants; seed formation and germination.

C) Morphogenesis and organogenesis in animals : Cell aggregation and differentiation in Dictyostelium; axes and pattern formation in Drosophila, amphibia and chick; organogenesis – vulva formation in Caenorhabditis elegans, eye lens induction, limb development and regeneration in vertebrates; differentiation of neurons, post embryonic development- larval formation, metamorphosis; environmental regulation of normal development; sex determination.

D) Morphogenesis and organogenesis in plants: Organization of shoot and root apical meristem; shoot and root development; leaf development and phyllotaxy; transition to flowering, floral meristems and floral development in Arabidopsis and Antirrhinum

E) Programmed cell death, aging and senescence


A. Photosynthesis - Light harvesting complexes; mechanisms of electron transport; photoprotective mechanisms; CO2 fixation-C3, C4 and CAM pathways.

B. Respiration and photorespiration – Citric acid cycle; plant mitochondrial electron transport and ATP synthesis; alternate oxidase; photorespiratory pathway.

C. Nitrogen metabolism - Nitrate and ammonium assimilation; amino acid biosynthesis.

D. Plant hormones – Biosynthesis, storage, breakdown and transport; physiological effects and mechanisms of action.

E. Sensory photobiology - Structure, function and mechanisms of action of phytochromes, cryptochromes and phototropins; stomatal movement; photoperiodism and biological clocks.

F. Solute transport and photoassimilate translocation – uptake, transport and translocation of water, ions, solutes and macromolecules from soil, through cells, across membranes, through xylem and phloem; transpiration; mechanisms of loading and unloading of photoassimilates.

G. Secondary metabolites - Biosynthesis of terpenes, phenols and nitrogenous compounds and their roles.

H. Stress physiology – Responses of plants to biotic (pathogen and insects) and abiotic (water, temperature and salt) stresses.


A. Blood and circulation - Blood corpuscles, haemopoiesis and formed elements, plasma function, blood volume, blood volume regulation, blood groups, haemoglobin, immunity, haemostasis.

B. Cardiovascular System: Comparative anatomy of heart structure, myogenic heart, specialized tissue, ECG – its principle and significance, cardiac cycle, heart as a pump, blood pressure, neural and chemical regulation of all above.

C. Respiratory system - Comparison of respiration in different species, anatomical considerations, transport of gases, exchange of gases, waste elimination, neural and chemical regulation of respiration.

D. Nervous system - Neurons, action potential, gross neuroanatomy of the brain and spinal cord, central and peripheral nervous system, neural control of muscle tone and posture.

E. Sense organs - Vision, hearing and tactile response.

F. Excretory system - Comparative physiology of excretion, kidney, urine formation, urine concentration, waste elimination, micturition, regulation of water balance, blood volume, blood pressure, electrolyte balance, acid-base balance.

G. Thermoregulation - Comfort zone, body temperature – physical, chemical, neural regulation, acclimatization.

H. Stress and adaptation

I. Digestive system - Digestion, absorption, energy balance, BMR.

J. Endocrinology and reproduction - Endocrine glands, basic mechanism of hormone action, hormones and diseases; reproductive processes, gametogenesis, ovulation, neuroendocrine regulation


A) Mendelian principles : Dominance, segregation, independent assortment.

B) Concept of gene : Allele, multiple alleles, pseudoallele, complementation tests C) Extensions of Mendelian principles : Codominance, incomplete dominance, gene interactions, pleiotropy, genomic imprinting, penetrance and expressivity, phenocopy, linkage and crossing over, sex linkage, sex limited and sex influenced characters.

D) Gene mapping methods : Linkage maps, tetrad analysis, mapping with molecular markers, mapping by using somatic cell hybrids, development of mapping population in plants.

E) Extra chromosomal inheritance : Inheritance of Mitochondrial and chloroplast genes, maternal inheritance.

F) Microbial genetics : Methods of genetic transfers – transformation, conjugation, transduction and sex-duction, mapping genes by interrupted mating, fine structure analysis of genes.

G) Human genetics : Pedigree analysis, lod score for linkage testing, karyotypes, genetic disorders.

H) Quantitative genetics : Polygenic inheritance, heritability and its measurements, QTL mapping.

I) Mutation : Types, causes and detection, mutant types – lethal, conditional, biochemical, loss of function, gain of function, germinal verses somatic mutants, insertional mutagenesis.

J) Structural and numerical alterations of chromosomes : Deletion, duplication, inversion, translocation, ploidy and their genetic implications.

K) Recombination : Homologous and non-homologous recombination including transposition.


A. Principles & methods of taxonomy: Concepts of species and hierarchical taxa, biological nomenclature, classical & quantititative methods of taxonomy of plants, animals and microorganisms.

B. Levels of structural organization: Unicellular, colonial and multicellular forms. Levels of organization of tissues, organs & systems. Comparative anatomy, adaptive radiation, adaptive modifications.

C. Outline classification of plants, animals & microorganisms: Important criteria used for classification in each taxon. Classification of plants, animals and microorganisms. Evolutionary relationships among taxa.

D. Natural history of Indian subcontinent: Major habitat types of the subcontinent, geographic origins and migrations of species. Comman Indian mammals, birds. Seasonality and phenology of the subcontinent.

E. Organisms of health & agricultural importance: Common parasites and pathogens of humans, domestic animals and crops.

F. Organisms of conservation concern: Rare, endangered species. Conservation strategies.


The Environment: Physical environment; biotic environment; biotic and abiotic interactions.

Habitat and Niche: Concept of habitat and niche; niche width and overlap; fundamental and realized niche; resource partitioning; character displacement.

Population Ecology: Characteristics of a population; population growth curves; population regulation; life history strategies (r and K selection); concept of metapopulation – demes and dispersal, interdemic extinctions, age structured populations.

Species Interactions: Types of interactions, interspecific competition, herbivory, carnivory, pollination, symbiosis.

Community Ecology: Nature of communities; community structure and attributes; levels of species diversity and its measurement; edges and ecotones.

Ecological Succession: Types; mechanisms; changes involved in succession; concept of climax.

Ecosystem Ecology: Ecosystem structure; ecosystem function; energy flow and mineral cycling (C,N,P); primary production and decomposition; structure and function of some Indian ecosystems: terrestrial (forest, grassland) and aquatic (fresh water, marine, eustarine).

Biogeography: Major terrestrial biomes; theory of island biogeography; biogeographical zones of India.

Applied Ecology: Environmental pollution; global environmental change; biodiversity: status, monitoring and documentation; major drivers of biodiversity change; biodiversity management approaches.

Conservation Biology: Principles of conservation, major approaches to management, Indian case studies on conservation/management strategy (Project Tiger, Biosphere reserves).


A. Emergence of evolutionary thoughts Lamarck; Darwin–concepts of variation, adaptation, struggle, fitness and natural selection; Mendelism; Spontaneity of mutations; The evolutionary synthesis.

B. Origin of cells and unicellular evolution: Origin of basic biological molecules; Abiotic synthesis of organic monomers and polymers; Concept of Oparin and Haldane; Experiement of Miller (1953); The first cell; Evolution of prokaryotes; Origin of eukaryotic cells; Evolution of unicellular eukaryotes; Anaerobic metabolism, photosynthesis and aerobic metabolism.

C. Paleontology and Evolutionary History: The evolutionary time scale; Eras, periods and epoch; Major events in the evolutionary time scale; Origins of unicellular and multi cellular organisms; Major groups of plants and animals; Stages in primate evolution including Homo.

D. Molecular Evolution: Concepts of neutral evolution, molecular divergence and molecular clocks; Molecular tools in phylogeny, classification and identification; Protein and nucleotide sequence analysis; origin of new genes and proteins; Gene duplication and divergence.

E. The Mechanisms: Population genetics – Populations, Gene pool, Gene frequency; Hardy-Weinberg Law; concepts and rate of change in gene frequency through natural selection, migration and random genetic drift; Adaptive radiation; Isolating mechanisms; Speciation; Allopatricity and Sympatricity; Convergent evolution; Sexual selection; Co-evolution.

F. Brain, Behavior and Evolution: Approaches and methods in study of behavior; Proximate and ultimate causation; Altruism and evolution-Group selection, Kin selection, Reciprocal altruism; Neural basis of learning, memory, cognition, sleep and arousal; Biological clocks; Development of behavior; Social communication; Social dominance; Use of space and territoriality; Mating systems, Parental investment and Reproductive success; Parental care; Aggressive behavior; Habitat selection and optimality in foraging; Migration, orientation and navigation; Domestication and behavioral changes.


A. Microbial fermentation and production of small and macro molecules.

B. Application of immunological principles, vaccines, diagnostics. Tissue and cell culture methods for plants and animals.

C. Transgenic animals and plants, molecular approaches to diagnosis and strain identification.

D. Genomics and its application to health and agriculture, including gene therapy.

E. Bioresource and uses of biodiversity.

F. Breeding in plants and animals, including marker – assisted selection

G. Bioremediation and phytoremediation

H. Biosensors


A. Molecular Biology and Recombinant DNA methods: Isolation and purification of RNA , DNA (genomic and plasmid) and proteins, different separation methods. Analysis of RNA, DNA and proteins by one and two dimensional gel electrophoresis, Isoelectric focusing gels. Molecular cloning of DNA or RNA fragments in bacterial and eukaryotic systems. Expression of recombinant proteins using bacterial, animal and plant vectors. Isolation of specific nucleic acid sequences Generation of genomic and cDNA libraries in plasmid, phage, cosmid, BAC and YAC vectors. In vitro mutagenesis and deletion techniques, gene knock out in bacterial and eukaryotic organisms. Protein sequencing methods, detection of post translation modification of proteins. DNA sequencing methods, strategies for genome sequencing. Methods for analysis of gene expression at RNA and protein level, large scale expression, such as micro array based techniques Isolation, separation and analysis of carbohydrate and lipid molecules RFLP, RAPD and AFLP techniques

B. Histochemical and Immunotechniques Antibody generation, Detection of molecules using ELISA, RIA, western blot, immunoprecipitation, fluocytometry and immunofluorescence microscopy, detection of molecules in living cells, in situ localization by techniques such as FISH and GISH.

C Biophysical Method: Molecular analysis using UV/visible, fluorescence, circular dichroism, NMR and ESR spectroscopy Molecular structure determination using X-ray diffraction and NMR, Molecular analysis using light scattering, different types of mass spectrometry and surface plasma resonance methods.

D Statisitcal Methods: Measures of central tendency and dispersal; probability distributions (Binomial, Poisson and normal); Sampling distribution; Difference between parametric and non-parametric statistics; Confidence Interval; Errors; Levels of significance; Regression and Correlation; t-test; Analysis of variance; X2 test;; Basic introduction to Muetrovariate statistics, etc.

E. Radiolabeling techniques: Detection and measurement of different types of radioisotopes normally used in biology, incorporation of radioisotopes in biological tissues and cells, molecular imaging of radioactive material, safety guidelines.

F. Microscopic techniques: Visulization of cells and subcellular components by light microscopy, resolving powers of different microscopes, microscopy of living cells, scanning and transmission microscopes, different fixation and staining techniques for EM, freeze-etch and freeze- fracture methods for EM, image processing methods in microscopy.

G. Electrophysiological methods: Single neuron recording, patch-clamp recording, ECG, Brain activity recording, lesion and stimulation of brain, pharmacological testing, PET, MRI, fMRI, CAT .

H. Methods in field biology: Methods of estimating population density of animals and plants, ranging patterns through direct, indirect and remote observations, sampling methods in the study of behavior, habitat characterization: ground and remote sensing methods.


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