What is NEST?

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National Entrance Screening Test (NEST) is a to be compulsorily taken by a student if he aspires to take admission in the educational instituitions such as National Institute of Science Education and Research (NISER) , Bhubaneswar and University of Mumbai-Department of Atomic Energy Centre for Excellence in Basic Sciences (UM-DAE CBS) , Mumbai as well as in the undergraduate programme of the Integrated Science Education & Research Centre (ISERC) of Visva Bharati University. These institutes use NEST examination result as a sole criterion for admission to their undergraduate programs. NEST was conducted in 37 centers across India in 2011.

Both NISER and UM-DAE CBS institutes have been initiated by Department of Atomic Energy, Government of India in 2007. Their main objective behind establishing these educational and research institutes is to train scientific manpower for carrying out scientific research and contribute to the well-being of the nation. It requires such students who are passionate about science and can assist in the scientific programmes undertaken by the Department of Atomic Energy and other applied science institutions in the country.

As of 2009, obtaining a seat in NISER has become highly competitive. From a total of 70,000 applicants nationwide, only 0.325 % qualify for admission.