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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Counsellor - 5

Name game

Could you please tell me something about SLET? Is it the same as NET, or is there a difference?

Rita Singh

Let me give you a little background. While the UGC was drafting the concept of NET as a mandatory requirement for determining the eligibility for lectureship in 1989, it also gave an option to various state governments and union territories to conduct their independent tests. It was felt that an eligibility test at the national level may not completely be able to represent the subjects, which are regional in their character. Moreover, there was a plea to permit candidates to take the test in their mother tongue.

If it's NET at the national level, then SET is its counterpart at the state level. The SLET (State Level Eligibility Test for Lectureship Eligibility) has now been rechristened as SET (State Eligibility Test for Lectureship).

The test is conducted both in English and in the vernacular language. The only other difference being that unlike the NET which makes you eligible to teach anywhere in the country, the SET entitles you to teach in any college or university in that particular state.

The states or union territories that wish to conduct their own exam have to obtain UGC accreditation, which is granted for a stipulated period. In fact, SET is popular not only with the established states but also with the new ones like Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand that have joined the bandwagon. 15 states offer this exam to their domicile students.

Sporty spirit

Though I haven't won many awards, I am very fond of sports. I can't bear the thought of pursuing a desk job. Can I become a sports instructor? Does that require any training?

Surender Pal

Sports coaches and instructors teach skills and techniques of a particular sport or a few related sports to beginners as well as to professionals. They chalk out training programmes that will help develop sportsmen to their full capacity and keep them in peak form at the right time. Team coaches have the additional responsibility of moulding their players into an effective unit. These days they use audio-visual equipment as instructional aids and work closely with the team manager in selecting potential players for a particular team.

As a coach, you could work in a gymnasium, sports and fitness centres, sports clubs, schools, colleges and as in-house coaches for corporate teams. Those involved in professional sports are likely to travel extensively to specialist training facilities, competitions and matches all over the country and abroad.

Full-time jobs for coaches are relatively few as professional sport has become extremely competitive and coaches tend to be judged by the results. However, there are lots of opportunities for administrative and related work. Others are selfemployed and conduct coaching classes for sports enthusiasts and as personal trainers.

If you can take on the role of a motivator, look good and always be in a pleasant mood, and you could be a personal trainer for the rich and famous.

National coaches are hired by governing bodies of various sports, professional sports clubs and educational institutions supported by both public and private sector undertakings and local sports authorities.

All said and done, opportunities vary from sport to sport. Professional sports like Tennis, Hockey, Cricket and Football have a tradition of employing professional coaches. However, of late, Swimming, Table Tennis, Badminton, Athletics, Martial Arts and even Snooker have also come into the forefront.

If you enjoy playing a game and don't want to be confined to a mundane desk job, this is a great opportunity to keep active and in touch with the sport while maintaining your own fitness and in the process help budding players blossom into tomorrow's Tendulkars, Milkha Singhs, Amrit Rajs, Geet Sethis, Sanya Mirzas or Vishwanathan Anands. The Sports Authority of India (SAI) offers courses in sports coaching at its various branches:

SAI, Netaji Subhas National Institute of Sports, Patiala 147001. SAI, NS South Centre, University Campus, Bangalore 560056.

SAI, NS Eastern Centre, Salt Lake City, Sector-III, Kolkata 700091.

The selection for admission to these courses includes tests in general knowledge, theory of the main sports, practical test and interview. Besides SAI, many institutes and universities impart sports education for coaches at the undergraduate and postgraduate-levels (Bachelor's and Master's degree courses in physical education: BPE/BPEd/BPES and MPE/MPEd/MPES).

You could also look at some of the following: Indira Gandhi Institute of Physical Education & Sports Sciences (IGIPESS), affiliated to Delhi University, B-Block, Vikaspuri, New Delhi, Lakshmibai National Institute of Physical Education, Shaktinagar, Mela Road, Gwalior, a deemed university,

Music mania

I am a computer-engineering graduate with good communication skills and a flair for marketing. I am passionate about music and want to pursue it as a career. What kind of jobs are available in the music industry that best suit my profile?

Kani Lal Pant

Based on the details you have given, here are some options you could look at. Assuming that you have good communication skills, you can look at the following job profiles in the following industries: Radio: Be part of their online team, operations team. Internet: Work with a media portal like Sa Re Ga Ma, Reliance, Landmark. Music: Work in the digital team to handle operations and account management. TV: I am not sure what exactly you can do here with your engineering background but in the TV marketing profile you can look at ad sales.

Course concerns

Can you please tell me something about the Mathematical Sciences Foundation in Delhi? What courses does it offer in mathematics?

Jyoti Bhan

The Mathematical Sciences Foundation, Delhi,, runs a one-year masters level course — graduate studies programme in mathematics. Some universities like the University of Houston, Texas, USA have recognised the value of this course. Three departments of the university - the Department of Mathematics, the Department of Physics and the Department of Computer Science have agreed to admit students who successfully complete this programme to their graduate school with full teaching assistantships (including tuition fee waivers) besides granting credit for the courses pursued at the MSF.

On completing your first year of study at the MSF in Delhi, you can take the GRE and enroll for an MS programme in mathematics/computer science/physics and pursue the rest of the programme in Houston. Upon completion, you will qualify for a PhD programme. Eligibility: BA (mathematics)/BSc (H) mathematics/physics/computer science; BSc/BTech with at least two years of math courses; MA (mathematics)/MSc (physics/mathematics/computer science).

MSF also offers two certificate programmes for undergraduates and postgraduates. Programme in Mathematical Finance: a hands-on introduction to modern Finance and the role of mathematics in it (in collaboration with ICICI Bank) Mathematical Simulation with IT: Explores the interaction between Mathematics, Technology and Education.

Sunil Sharma
Dil Se Desi Group

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