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Admission Process

NSM C-CAT Application Process

A. Instruction for New applicants & Students undergoing NSM PG-Diploma Courses

The online registration and application form for Post Graduate Diploma in High Performance Computing (HPC) domains is available on the C-DAC ACTS website. Eligible candidates wishing to apply to any of these two courses can register on the website by providing their required details and complete the registration process. A Form No. will be generated after registration, which will serve as login credentials for the candidate. An Admit Card/Hall Ticket will be issued later. Candidate will be ranked for NSM C-CAT only.

B.Instruction for applicants wishing to apply to NSM courses in addition to other PG-Diploma courses (Paid)

Eligible candidates who wish to apply to other PG-Diploma courses of C-DAC ACTS and also apply for the NSM PG-Diploma courses in HPC domain must apply for both separately. Candidate must follow the steps given here under to be consider for the both regular C-CAT and NSM C-CAT.

  1. Candidate must first complete the application process for the regular C-CAT and pay prescribed fees.
  2. Candidate must have selected appropriate degree, discipline, passing marks, and Category II (Section A+B) in the regular C-CAT application form to be eligible for applying for both.
  3. Thereafter, at the NSM PG-Diploma courses application form, candidate need to select option to check their eligibility, and if found eligible, can ‘one-click apply’ for the NSM PG-Diploma courses.

A new application form will be generated having same Form No. as that of regular C-CAT application, and only one combined Admit Card/Hall Ticket will be issued later. Candidate appearing in exam using issued combined Admit Card/Hall Ticket will give the exam only once but he/she will be ranked separately under regular and NSM C-CAT.

Admission to NSM PG-Diploma courses is given based on ranking obtained in NSM C-CAT only. The ranking obtained in regular C-CAT cannot be consider for Admission under NSM PG-Diploma courses or vice-versa.

NSM C-CAT Admit Cards

Candidates can download their admit cards from C-DAC’s website during the dates mentioned under Important Dates in the Annexure D. The venue, date and time of NSM C-CAT will be communicated to the candidates on the admit cards. Instructions for appearing in NSM C-CAT will also be given on the admit card. Candidates must appear for NSM C-CAT on the date and time at the venue specified on the admit card. If the candidate remains absent or coming late for NSM C-CAT, no further chance will be given to candidate.

No candidate will be permitted to appear for NSM C-CAT without a valid admit card. The admit card along with a photo identity proof must be presented to the NSM C-CAT officials/ invigilators for verification at the time of the test.

NSM C-DAC’s Common Admission Test (C-CAT)

NSM C-DAC's Common Admission Test (C-CAT) will be conducted in computerised mode physically at C-DAC’s test centres on July 6 & 7, 2024. Candidates who clear the NSM C-CAT will only be considered for admission to C-DAC’s PG Diploma course in HPC in System Administration or PG Diploma in HPC Application Programming of upcoming batches on the basis of their NSM C-CAT ranks.

NSM C-CAT has two sections (Section A and B) of one hour duration each. The medium of NSM C-CAT is English.

Every section in NSM C-CAT will have 50 objective-type questions. Each question will have four choices as possible answers of which only one will be correct. There will be +3 (plus three) marks for each correct answer, -1 (minus one) for each wrong answer, and 0 (zero) marks for each un-attempted question. The maximum mark a candidate can obtain in any one section of NSM C-CAT is 150.

Section A English, Quantitative Aptitude, Reasoning, Computer Fundamentals & Concepts of Programming 1 Hour
Section B C Programming, Data Structures, Object Oriented Programming Concepts using C++, Operating Systems & Networking, Basics of Big Data & Artificial Intelligence 1 Hour






Any High School Grammar Book (e.g. Wren & Martin)

Quantitative Aptitude &   Reasoning

Quantitative Aptitude Fully Solved (R. S. Aggrawal)

Quantitative Aptitude (M Tyara)

Barron’s New GRE

Computer Fundamentals & Concepts of Programming

Foundations of Computing (Pradeep Sinha & Priti    Sinha)


C Programming

C Programming Language (Kernighan & Ritchie)

Let Us C (Yashavant Kanetkar)

Data Structures

Data Structures Through C in Depth (S. K. Srivastava)

Operating Systems & Networking

 Operating System Principles (Silberschatz, Galvin, Gagne)

Data Communication & Networking (Forouzan)

OOP Concepts

Test Your C ++ Skills (Yashavant Kanetkar)

Basics of Big Data & AI

Fundamentals of Data Engineering (Joe Reis, Matt Housley)

Artificial Intelligence for Dummies (John Paul Mueller, Luca Massaron)

NSM C-CAT Ranking

Candidates will be provided ranks based on their performances in Section A, Sections A+B, of NSM C-CAT. Candidates with the lowest 10% performances in any of the sections (A or B) of NSM C-CAT will not be qualified for ranking in that particular section and its higher sections. Even after the removal of the lowest 10% performers as stated above, if there exist candidates in any section with zero or less than zero marks, then these candidates will also not be qualified for ranking. If a candidate is not qualified in Section A due to poor performance in it, he/she will not get any rank, even if the candidate has got good marks in Section B.

Tie-Breaker Rule: If two or more candidates have acquired the same marks in Section A or Sections A+B, then the candidate having more marks in Section A will be given the higher rank. If these candidates have the same marks in Section A also, then the candidate having higher value in the ratio of ‘number of correct answers / number of attempted questions’ in the specific section required only for that category of courses will be given the higher rank. Candidates who have the same value of this ratio, and having the same total as well as Section-A marks will be given the same NSM C-CAT rank.

Counselling & Seat Allocation Process

C-DAC’s PG Diploma admission process has two counselling sessions and three rounds of seat allocations. Counselling means online filling of preferences of courses and training centres by the candidates.

There are two rounds of seat allocations based on the first counselling. This means that using the course-centre preferences given by the candidates during the first choice filling, two rounds of seat allocations (Round 1 and Round 2) will be done.

Ranking obtained in NSM C-CAT will be used for applying to NSM PG-Diploma HPC courses.

Caution Deposit

The candidates must confirm the seat allocated during the counselling rounds of the & Admission Process to PG Diploma courses in HPC domains by depositing the caution money INR 10,000/- as per timeline mentioned in Important dates (Annexure D). This amount is retained as an interest-free caution deposit which will be refunded to the candidates as per refund as mentioned below.

Refund of Caution Deposit

An amount of INR 10,000/- retained as interest-free caution deposit will be refunded to the student fulfilling both of following criteria:

  • Attendance of minimum 75% of the in PG-Diploma course duration
  • Appear in CCEE of the August 2024 batch
Additionally, the caution deposit or a portion thereof may be forfeited on any of the following grounds:
  • Penalty against any breakage, misplacement, etc. of property of training centre
  • Penalty towards any disciplinary action

The refund of the caution deposit will be done 15 working days after the CCEE conduction and submitting the clearance form.

Document Verification

The candidates allocated PG-Diploma course through counselling must undergo a document verification process physically conducted at ACTS, C-DAC Pune. The candidate must produce clear photo copies of their Government provided Identity proof, caste, and educational certifications during the physical document verification process.

Candidates qualified after Document verification will be registered for PG-Diploma courses.

Candidates should ensure that they meet the eligibility criteria of the courses for which they are applying. It shall be incumbent upon candidates to prove they meet the prescribed eligibility criteria at the time of taking admission at allocated centre. Issuance of Admit Card and/or NSM C-CAT rank does not automatically entitle a candidate to admission. In case a candidate is found to be non-eligible during any stage of the admission process or course delivery, his/her admission will be cancelled with immediate effect.

NSM PG Diploma in HPC domains Training:

The candidates will join the C-DAC ACTS Pune to pursue the NSM PG Diploma in HPC training as per the scheduled commencement on August 29, 2024.

The students have to attend the NSM PG-Diploma course physically at the training centre and must mark their attendance regularly with a minimum of 75% attendance to take the maximum benefit of the theory and practical sessions conducted by the training centre.

The student must inform the course coordinator for any absence without fail. Students must adhere to general decorum, rules, do’s and don’ts, and any prescribed rules and regulation by C-DAC from time to time.

Application Process

The eligible candidates can apply to join NSM Pre-CAT Course through the online registration and application form on the C-DAC ACTS website (acts.cdac.in) by providing the required details and upload their PHOTOGRAPH taken within last three months.
The candidate is required to select one choice of city for appearing for the Course Entrance Test (CET). No request for change of centre will be entertained, hence candidate must select city with due care and diligence.
There are no registration or application fees charged from the candidates to apply for the CET.

Course Entrance Test (CET)

The admission to the NSM Pre-CAT course is through a Course Entrance Test (CET) conducted at the designated Training Centres. The candidate must appear for CET along with the issued admit card at the designated training centre as per the scheduled date and time provided in the admit card.
The CET will be computer-based examination in physical mode. The syllabus for the CET is as given below.

  1. English (10 questions)
  2. Mathematics (10 questions)
  3. Quantitative Analytics (10 questions)
  4. Computer Fundamentals (20 questions)
The duration of the CET will be 60 minutes. For each correct answer +3 mark, -1 marks for incorrect, and 0 for un-attempted answer will be awarded for the examination.

Result of CET & Selection of Training Centre

The result of the CET will be published on the ACTS website indicating ranking for each candidate. Candidates with the lowest 10% performance will not be qualified for ranking. Ranked candidates will be required to provide one or up to three Training Centres as preference order for undergoing NSM Pre-CAT course. The allocation of centre will be strictly by order of rank obtained, vacancy, and centre preference. Candidate must provide choice of centre to be eligible for allocation of centre. C-DAC may, at its own discretion, allocate any centre to eligible candidate based on the various factors.
The candidates allocated a centre will be required to attend interview and document verification process at the allocated centre within the timeframe indicated.
Based on vacancy after first-round, a second choice will be taken for centres where vacancy exists and allocation list will be published for interview and document verification. C-DAC at its own may publish waitlist or conduct open-day. In any case, the allocation will be done as per order of rank in CET.

Online Interview and Document Verification

The CET ranked candidates must undergo an interview and document verification process through online mode conducted by the allocated training centre. The candidate must upload clear scanned copies of their Government provided Identity proof, caste, and educational certifications during the online interview and document verification process.

Final Selection to NSM Pre-CAT

A final selection list of the candidates who have successfully completed the interview and document verification process will be published on the ACTS Website as per the schedule.
The candidates need to confirm the admission to NSM Pre-CAT by providing caution deposit of INR 5,000/- (Rupees Five Thousand only) through online payment gateway on C-DAC, ACTS website.
The confirmed candidates have to join the training centre physically where they are selected for the NSM Pre-CAT course.

Note: No request for change of centre will be entertained, hence candidate must select centre with due care and diligence.