Frequently Asked Questions

Answer : The IUCAA-NCRA Admission Test (INAT-2016) is for students who will have completed their B.Tech., B.E., M.Sc., B.Sc. or Integrated M.Sc. (in Physics/Astronomy/Applied Mathematics/Electronics) degrees by July 2017. In addition, talented final year B.Sc., 1st year M.Sc., 4th year Integrated M.Sc. and 2nd/3rd year B.E./B.Tech. students may also apply to be PRE-SELECTED for a research scholarship towards a Ph.D. at IUCAA for Physics or Astronomy and Astrophysics; such students would join IUCAA after completing their B.E./B.Tech./M.Sc. degree. Note that students who have completed their B.Tech., B.E., M.Sc. or Integrated M.Sc. degrees by July 2017 would be eligible for IUCAA and NCRA-TIFR's Ph.D. programmes, while students who have completed their B.Sc. degree by July 2017 would be eligible for NCRA-TIFR's Integrated Ph.D. programme.

Answer : Only online applications and referee reports will be accepted; we will not accept postal or e-mail applications.

Answer : A referee is a member of the academic community who can provide a fair assessment of your academic career. The best referees are typically supervisors on previous research projects, teachers at your academic institution, and faculty members with whom you have discussed science issues. Family members or other relatives, friends and fellow students will NOT be accepted as referees.

Answer : All applications will be considered for screening with or without referee reports. However, your application is likely to be much stronger with referee reports, and so we strongly advise all students to ensure that their referees do send in the reports.

Answer : Yes. You can update your application until the application deadline (September 15, 2016), using your Online ID and Password.

Answer : We appreciate that the INAT-2016 dates may clash with examinations at some institutions. Unfortunately, we cannot alter the dates for individual students. We recommend that students whose examination dates clash with INAT-2016 should apply to IUCAA and NCRA-TIFR via the Joint Entrance Screening Test (JEST).

Answer : Limited accomodation will be available on the IUCAA and NCRA-TIFR campuses for INAT-2016 candidates. If you would like to avail of this accomodation, please send an e-mail to the Co-ordinator, INAT-2016, at the e-mail address by November 15, 2016.

Answer : There are three likely reasons for your referees not receiving our e-mail:
(1) you have entered an incorrect e-mail address in your online application,
(2) our e-mail has, for some reason, been placed in the SPAM folder of your referees mailbox. If your referees have not received our e-mail within a day of your submitting the application form, check that their e-mail addresses in the online application form are correct. If there is an error here, correct the addresses and re-submit the application form. If the addresses are correct, ask your referees to check their SPAM folders. If neither of these solves the problem, click the button to re-send the e-mails to the referees. Note that our e-mails to the referee are sent by an automatic procedure and we have tested the system extensively to make sure that it works. Individual failures are certainly possible, but these should be solved by simply clicking the button to re-send the referee e-mails,
and (3) the INAT-2016 webpage is hosted on Port 8080; this port is sometimes blocked by default on some operating systems. In case your referees cannot view the INAT-2016 page, please ask them to check with their system administrator if this port is blocked.

Answer : The most likely cause is that the candidate has updated his/her application form with changed referee details (e.g. different name or e-mail address), but has not sent the password to the updated e-mail ID of the referee. This registered e-mail ID is used for logging in to the confidential assessment form. In this situation, the referee will be unable to log in to the referee page. If you change any of the referee details, please be sure to re-send the password to the referee using the Send Password utility, which you can access after logging in to your profile with your OnlineID and Password. Also, in case your referee is unable to open the INAT-2016 page, this is likely to be because Port 8080 has been blocked on his/her operating system; s/he should request the system administrator to unblock this port, or attempt to log on to the INAT-2016 webpage from a different computer.

Answer : Yes, you are eligible for the INAT, with the same eligibility criteria as for Indian students. However, all foreigners require clearance from the Indian government before joining IUCAA or NCRA-TIFR. Selection to IUCAA or NCRA-TIFR via the INAT will be subject to this clearance.

Answer : If your College/University follows a grading system but without a standard formula to convert the grade into a percentage, please enter your grade in the "Grade" column and enter 100 x (your_grade/maximum_grade) in the percentage column. We will then only use the grade during the evaluation.

Answer : Even if you have not been invited, you can definitely appear for the INAT-2016 written test as a walk-in candidate, provided your percentage in the qualifying examination (or the last examination for which you have a marksheet) is at least 55%. The initial short-listing is merely for TA/DA coverage. We emphasize that the final selection to IUCAA and NCRA-TIFR will not in any way be affected by whether or not you have been short-listed initially. Further, if you clear the INAT written test, you too would be paid TA/DA exactly on par with the initially short-listed candidates. Walk-in candidates should arrive at the Chandrasekhar Auditorium at 9:00 AM on Thursday, December 8, 2016, with a copy of the marksheet of the qualifying examination (or the last examination for which you have a marksheet). We emphasize that walk-in candidates should arrive by 9:00 AM on December 8; late arrivals are unlikely to be allowed to take the written exam.

Answer : No prior knowledge of astronomy is required for selection at IUCAA and NCRA-TIFR. The questions at the written test and interviews will cover basic physics up to the M.Sc. level.

Answer : We expect prospective candidates to have a good understanding of basic physics, but not of advanced topics. All students who are selected to join IUCAA or NCRA-TIFR will be exposed to advanced Physics and Astrophysics via courses in the first year of graduate school.

Answer : We do not expect you to know every subject covered in the M.Sc. equally well. However, we do expect you to have a good understanding of basic Physics.

Answer : Typically, a single interview will last for about 45 minutes. Each student selected for the interviews will go through two such interviews, with independent interview committees.

Answer : The interviews aim to check the students understanding of Physics, and their ability to solve Physics problems posed to them. They are also aimed at testing the understanding of basic concepts, and not the ability to memorize formulae or laws.