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A field experiment was conducted, to find out the best nitrogen split with urea for transplanted rice variety IR 20. Four different N splits were tried with a single level i.e. 150 kg N ha −1. The results revealed that time and the quantity of N applied influenced the N use efficiency in rice. The farmers practice of applying half of the recommended level of N as basal dose, 25 per cent 20 days after transplanting (DAT) and 25 per cent 40 days after transplanting recorded the least agronomic efficiency and response ratio. Applying 16.66 per cent of the recommended N level as basal followed by 33.3 per cent N 10 DAT, 25 per cent N 20 DAT and 25 per cent 40 DAT was found to be significantly superior than all the other treatments tried and recorded higher grain yields and N use efficiency. The rice crop requires lower N at the early stages, more N during its grand growth period and a comparatively lower N during the later stages of crop growth