Frequently Asked Questions

Answer : The IUCAA National Admission Test (INAT-2024) for Ph.D. scholarships is for students who have completed or expect to complete their M.Sc./Integrated M.Sc. degree (in Physics, Applied Physics, Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, Electronics, or Astronomy) or B.E./ B.Tech./ M.E./ M.Tech. degree (in any branch) by July 2024, with 55% marks or more.

Students completing a B. Sc. degree in Physics (with Mathematics up to 2nd year) or a B.E. / B. Tech. degree in any branch of engineering, with a minimum of 55% marks may apply to be selected to the SPPU-IUCAA Joint M.Sc. (Physics with Astrophysics) programme (

In addition, talented final-year B.Sc., 1st year M.Sc., 3rd/4th year Integrated M.Sc. and 2nd/ 3rd year B.E./ B.Tech. students may also apply to be pre-selected for the Ph.D. programme at IUCAA.

A relaxation of 5% in the qualifying marks, from 55% to 50%, is applicable for candidates belonging to SC/ ST/ OBC-NCL/ EWS or Persons with Disability (PwD) category.

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 (November 15, 2023), by sending email to with your Online ID and registered email.

Answer : We understand that the INAT-2024 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-2024 should apply for Ph.D. programme at IUCAA via the Joint Entrance Screening Test (JEST). For admission to the SPPU-IUCAA M.Sc. (Physics with Astrophysics) programme, however, INAT is the only available qualification.

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 referee's mailbox. If your referees have not received our email within a day of submitting the application form, check that their email 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 emails 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.
(3) The INAT-2024 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-2024 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 email 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 Online ID and Password. Also, in case your referee is unable to open the INAT-2024 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-2024 webpage from a different computer.

Answer : Yes, you are eligible for INAT, with the same eligibility criteria as for Indian students. However, all foreigners require clearance from the Indian government before joining IUCAA. Selection to IUCAA 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 : No prior knowledge of astronomy is required for selection at IUCAA. 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 will be exposed to the relevant 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.

Answer : No, the selection for the SPPU-IUCAA Joint M.Sc. (Physics with Astrophysics) programme is based only on your score in the written test. However, if you are selected for and clear the interviews, you will be eligible to be pre-selected for the Ph.D. programme at IUCAA.

Answer : Unfortunately, due to resource constraints we will be unable to accommodate any candidate without a valid Admit Letter. No walk-in candidates will be allowed entry to the written test.