How to become a nuclear scientist in India

Looking for nuclear scientist career guidance information? This article provides details on the subjects to be pursued to become a nuclear scientist, a list of institutes which offer the requisite courses, skills required, job opportunities, etc. 

India’s nuclear industry is growing exponentially and experts in the field of nuclear science and technology (NST) are very much required. Contrary to what students think, pursuing an NST course does not just lead solely to research fields. The all-important role of operating and maintaining a nuclear reactor is an important one. Both scientist and engineers engage in team work to perform the various tasks in a nuclear plant.

What do NST studies involve?
When you take up a program in Nuclear Science and Technology (NST), what you will study is how the energy within atomic nuclei can be harnessed for good applications in various fields. These fields could be in the space sector, health and medicine, food, etc.

What subjects to study at +2 level?
Once you clear the Std. X exam, at the Std. XI and Std. XII (plus-2) level you have to opt for the science stream with Physics and Mathematics.

Once you clear Std. XII, you need to pursue a graduate course in engineering with Physics. Then followup with a postgraduate course in physics.

What skills are required?
You definitely must have an interest in not just experimental work but also manual tasks such as testing of equipment. You do need to have analytical skills with a good background in mathematics and be tech savvy. On the physical side, you need to have good stamina.

List of institutes in India offering NST courses
1. Delhi University
  • At the postgraduate level: M.Tech. in nuclear science and technology
  • Duration: 3 years (6 semesters)
  • Eligibility: Bachelor’s degree with Physics for 2 years (4 semesters) + Mathematics for 1 year (2 semesters) with 60% aggregate marks (55% for reserved category students) + Pass the Joint Admission Test for M.Sc. (JAM) to M.Sc. in Physics conducted by the Indian Institute of Technology (IITs) OR M.Sc. Admission Entrance Test-2014 for Physics conducted by the University of Delhi.
About JAM:

2. IIT Kanpur
  • At the postgraduate level: M.Tech. in nuclear engineering and technology.
  • Eligibility: Bachelor's degree in any branch of engineering or an M.Sc. degree (Physics/Chemistry/Mathematics). A valid GATE score is required to apply for the M.Tech. degree.
Contact Ph: +91 512 2597627 (Department of Mechanical Engineering)

3. Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC)
  • Orientation course for engineering graduates and science postgraudates (OCES)
  • DAE Graduate Fellowship (2 years) for engineering graduates and physics postgraudates (DGFS)
Contact Ph: +91-22-25505050 / 25592000

4. Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL)
Eligibility: GATE score + interview + medical exam / if no GATE score, scores of BARC’s all-India entrance test will be considered.

Job Opportunities for NST graduates
You can apply for jobs at NPCIL, BARC, TATA Energy, BHEL, Raja Ramanna Centre for Advanced Technology, etc. Foreign job options may also be available.

Job Growth for NST qualified professionals
Initially you are likely to be inducted as a trainee with a monthly stipend. Depending on merit, you can then begin your career as a Scientific Officer (C) with an entry-level pay. You will likely get extra pay if you are posted at a site. Additional benefits are provided by some companies, such as medical allowances, accommodation, transport facilities, etc.

Does sound like an interesting career doesn’t it?


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