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GATE Exam For Biotechnology Students

gate biotechnology eligibility

Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) is an all India level examination that is administered and conducted jointly by the pioneer seven Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and Indian Institute of Science (IISc) on behalf of the National Coordination Board (NCB) - GATE, Department of Higher Education and MHRD (Ministry of Human Resource Development) of India. The GATE examination committee, which has comprised of representatives from the conducting institutes, has the sole authority for regulating the GATE examination and declaring the results.

GATE in Biotechnology (BT) and Life Sciences (XL) is the most popular competitive exam in India for students of life sciences and Biotechnology that seeks to take admission in Masters or Ph.D. degree from the most revered institutes of India like IITs, IISc, NITs, BITS, etc.

Qualifying for the GATE exam is a compulsory requirement for getting admission for financial assistance in the below post-graduate program.

  1. Master’s programs (M.Tech) and direct Doctoral (Ph.D.) programs in Biotechnology Engineering or Technology 
  2. Doctoral (Ph.D.) programs in Biotechnology relevant branches in the institutions supported by the MoE and other Government agencies.

Even in many top-level institutions, which admit students in various postgraduate courses without MoE scholarship/assistantship, they also seek GATE qualification for giving admission in Biotechnology courses. Many Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) also using the GATE score for their recruitment process.

GATE is conducted for 27 subjects. The GATE examination is organized in various cities across India.

GATE Score

After the checking of the answers, the actual marks obtained by a candidate will be considered for calculating the GATE Score. The GATE score is calculated on the basis of various subject paper scores and other parameters that reflect the relative performance of a candidate in a particular subject, which shows the candidate subject's knowledge level. GATE score is valid for 3 years from the date of the result announced.

GATE Biotechnology Scope and Passing Benefits

GATE exam is so popular because after passing it there are lots of advantages. Some of the major benefits are listed below.

1. Scholarship or Assistantship for Biotechnology Postgraduate Programs

To get financial assistance (scholarship or assistantship), the candidate must first secure admission to a Biotechnology program in one of the central government-funded institutes, by the procedure of a particular institute. Depending upon the specific norms adopted by a particular institute, the candidates may be admitted directly into a particular course based on their performance in GATE only, or based on their performance in GATE and an admission test or interview conducted by the particular institute.

In the test or interview-based selection procedure, as per the MoE guidelines, a minimum of 70% weightage will be given to the performance in GATE score and the remaining 30% will be given to the candidate’s performance in the test, interview, or academic record.

However, the institutes can prescribe minimum qualifying marks in the test/interview. Candidates should check the complete details of the admission procedures and the availability of MoE scholarships or assistantships from the institutions. The criteria could be different for postgraduate admission with scholarships/assistantships for different institutions.

A valid GATE score is also a necessary requirement to apply for various fellowships or scholarships awarded by many Government institutes and organizations.

2. GATE Score for Employment

Several Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) are using GATE scores to shortlist candidates for employment. Organizations like Bharat Immunological and Biological Corporation, Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), Indian Vaccine Corporation Limited (IVCOL), Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL), Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL), Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) are recruit Biotechnology graduates for their projects.

The Government of India is now recruitment being carried out on the basis of the GATE score. The details of the scheme of recruitment are published in National Newspapers or Employment News by the concerned department authority.

3. GATE Score for JRF or SRF in Government Research Labs

GATE examination qualified candidates are also eligible for the getting of Junior Research Fellowship in various CSIR Laboratories and CSIR sponsored projects. Top rank holders in Biotechnology and Life Science GATE papers are entitled to apply for the “Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Fellowship” awarded by CSIR.

Many public sector governments organizations need a valid GATE Exam passing score as a mandatory requirement for applying to the post of Scientist / Engineer. There are other Governments Research labs like CSIR, ICMR, ICAR, etc. also consider GATE scores for various jobs and project work.

GATE Biotechnology Eligibility Criteria

Before filling the GATE application, the candidate must ensure that he/she fulfills the educational eligibility criteria of the GATE examination.

GATE Biotechnology eligibility criteria are listed below. A candidate must follow the given criteria for giving the GATE exam to appear for GATE Biotechnology or Life Science.

  • A student who is currently studying in the 3rd or last years of a relevant undergraduate degree program or has already completed any government-approved degree program in Engineering / Technology or Science is eligible for appearing in the GATE Biotechnology exam.
  • Bachelor’s degree course in Engineering or Technology (B.E. OR B.Tech of 4 years after 10+2 or 3 years after B.Sc. / Diploma in Engineering or Technology) and those who are in the final or pre-final year of such programs.
  • B.Sc. (Research) or B.S. Bachelor’s degree in Science (Post-Diploma/4 years after 10+2) and those who are in the final year of such programs.
  • M. Sc. or equivalent Master’s degree in a branch of Science or equivalent and in the final year of such programs.
  • Integrated. M.E. / M.Tech. or Post-B.Sc Integrated Master’s M.Sc. degree in Engineering or Technology (4-year program) and in the final year of such programs.
  • Integrated M.Sc. / Int. B.S. /M.S. or Integrated M.Sc. or 5-year integrated B.S.-M.S. program and in the final year of such programs.
  • Professional Society Examinations (equivalent to B.E. / B.Tech.) and those who are in the final or pre-final year of such programs.

GATE Papers Choices for Biotechnology Students

GATE conducted on 27 subjects called papers. A candidate is allowed to appear in any one paper or a maximum of up to two papers

of the GATE examination. Biotechnology graduates with B.Tech or M.Sc. can appear in the Biomedical Engineering (BM) or Life Science (XL) papers also with Biotechnology (BT) papers.

Where Life Science postgraduate (M.Sc.) students can choose Life Science (XL) paper and Biomedical Engineering (BM) or Biotechnology (BT) paper, or Chemistry (CY) or Ecology and Evolution (EY) paper.

Code of The First
(Primary) Paper

Codes of Papers

Allowed as The Second Paper

Biomedical Engineering (BM)


Biotechnology (BT)


Life Science (XL)

BM / BT / CY / EY

GATE Biotechnology Marks Distribution 

In GATE Biotechnology papers, there is a total of 65 questions carrying 100 marks, out of which 10 questions of General Aptitude (GA) carrying a total of 15 marks.

In GATE papers there are Engineering Mathematics questions that carry around 15% of the total marks and General Aptitude section carries 15% of the total marks and the remaining around 70% of the total marks are specific to the Biotechnology subject of the paper.

GATE Examination Duration

All the papers of the GATE examination will be for 3 hours duration and they have 65 questions for a total of 100 marks.

The examination of GATE is now available in an online computer-based test (CBT) only. The offline mode of examination for GATE is not available now for candidates. At the end of the 3 hours’ time, the computer screen will automatically close the examination inhibiting any further action.

GATE Examination Cities

GATE is organized in various cities in India that are categorized as zone-wise that comes under IITs or IISc. The candidate can choose four different cities as per their choice that is most suitable for them from the list of examination cities.

There is a limit of choice in terms of the first, second, and third cities choices must be from the same GATE zone and the fourth city choice can be from any GATE zone.

You Should Solve: Mock Test for GATE Biotechnology

GATE Online Application

GATE examination forms now fill only in online mode. This is called the GATE Online Application Processing System (GOAPS). GOAPS is actually a webpage or web address where candidates fill their forms online. This webpage can be easily accessed by the GATE exam conducting IITs websites and also through other IITs or IISc websites.

GOAPS provides all information related to GATE to candidates and an online interface for interacting with the GATE where candidates can get apply for the examination, upload documents, pay the application fee, check the application status, download admit cards, view their answers, marks, and GATE score, and download the GATE scorecard.

Contact Information for GATE Examination

GATE examination is jointly conducted by the IISc Bangalore and seven IITs of Bombay, Delhi, Guwahati, Kanpur, Kharagpur, Madras, Roorkee. Any inquiries related to the application, examination center, admit card, and the result is handled by the respective GATE zonal IITs or IISc then the candidate has to contact the relevant institute for any queries.

For more information, announcements, and results, visit any one of the websites listed below.

IISc Bangalore

IIT Bombay

IIT Delhi

IIT Guwahati

IIT Kanpur

IIT Kharagpur

IIT Madras

IIT Roorkee

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