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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Counsellor - 10

 Opening up 

Our mother passed away last year. She was a health supervisor in a government hospital. As per the rules, being a dependent, my brother is entitled to get job in the hospital. He has passed his intermediate from National Open School this year. Will he be eligible for the job? 
  Partho Karmakar

Yes, for all practical purposes, a National Institute of Open Schooling certificate is recognised as being at par with any government school certificate, unless specifically mentioned to the contrary. After all the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) is an autonomous institution under the ministry of HRD. Hence, the secondary/senior secondary certificates obtained form NIOS have the same recognition as those issued by other Boards. 

Getting ready 

I am a student of mechanical engineering. I am planning to take GRE next month. How does the analytical writing section differ from the verbal section? What is the toughest part and how do I prepare for it? 
   Vintan Chaterji

The GRE general test measures verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking, and analytical writing skills (acquired over a period of time). The skills are not related to any specific field of study. 

Some students find verbal reasoning (VR) somewhat tough. They feel that you can prepare for the quantitative reasoning section within a week, mug-up the wordlists in a month and crack the vocaltesting questions, but you can't improve too much on the verbal reasoning or reading comprehension in a matter of weeks. 


   Most people can manage the quant and the vocabulary sections with relative ease. But it's the VR bit that separates the good from the excellent. The only way to improve your scores is to read extensively. Try to cover an array of topics from a variety of sources. Engineering students typically find science passages easier to comprehend. Similarly, biology majors find biopassages easier to understand, and so on. 


   But since passages can be based on any topic ranging from geography to contemporary psychology, your best bet would be to read extensively if you are aiming for a really high score. 

    Those in the business, strongly recommend reading philosophy. Firstly, philosophy is generally the toughest to comprehend. Secondly, you will encounter many GRE-type words, so it's a great way to reinforce your vocabulary. Many excellent resources are available on the net. 


   Because the analytical writing section is a performance test, you need to organise and articulate your own ideas as you discuss a complex issue, as well as explain the logical soundness of the argument you have just read. The verbal section measures your reading comprehension, and verbal and analogical reasoning skills in a multiple-choice format. 

   While the verbal section measures your ability to understand complex ideas expressed in the written passages and in the relationships between words, the analytical writing section measures your ability to articulate and support ideas, and to analyse arguments. 

Career graph 
I am pursuing a BCom (Hons). As statistics is my favourite subject, I would like to make a career in this field. Please guide me which university provides Master's degree in statistics and what is the work involved? 
   Vikki Sharma

MSc statistics, which focuses on the classical and theoretical aspects, is offered at over 70 universities. Shedding its image as a drab and monotonous subject, statistics has grown as a discipline by leaps and bounds. Statisticians are using highly sophisticated analysis techniques and applying them to most branches of knowledge. Statistical analysis, which involves collecting and evaluating information and drawing conclusions, is increasingly used by decision makers. 

  The information could be a test group's preferred amount of sweetness in a chocolate, or the number of male and female teachers in primary schools in a state or the velocity of a burning gas on the sun's surface. The marriage of modern computer networks, database acquisition and statistics has truly revolutionised the user friendliness of this discipline. 


   Statisticians provide crucial guidance in determining what information is reliable and which predictions can be trusted. They often help search for clues to the solution of a scientific mystery, and sometimes keep investigators from being misled by false impressions. Statisticians work in a variety of fields, including medicine, government, education, agriculture, business, and law. 

    Now about what statisticians do for a living — Statisticians help determine sampling and data collection methods; monitor the study and processing of data, and advice on the strengths and limitations of the results. 

   They must understand the nature of uncertainties and be able to draw conclusions in the context of particular statistical applications. 


   Surveys: Survey statisticians collect information from a carefully specified sample and extend the results to an entire population. Sample surveys might be used to determine which political candidate is more popular, discover what foods teenagers prefer for breakfast and even estimate the number of children living in a given district 

   Government: Government statisticians analyse and conduct experiments to aid in the development of public policy and social programmes. Such experiments include: consumer prices, fluctuations in the economy, employment patterns and population trends. 


   Scientific Research: Statistical sciences are used to enhance the validity of inferences inradiocarbon dating to estimate the risk of earthquakes, clinical trials to investigate the effectiveness of new treatments, field experiments to evaluate irrigation methods, measurements of water quality and psychological tests to study how we reach the everyday decisions in our lives. 

   Business and industry: Statisticians quantify unknowns in order to optimise resources. They predict the demand for products and services, check the quality of items manufactured in a facility, manage investment portfolios and even forecast how much risk activities entail, and calculate fair and competitive insurance rates.

Looking ahead 

I have appeared for class XII board exams. Since I have not performed well I think I will only be able to take admission in B.Com correspondence course. I want to add a vocational qualification to my resume. What are the courses available in Delhi ITIs where the minimum qualification for admission is Class XII? 
   Saket Verma

You can get all the information about various courses in Delhi ITIs by a simple Google search. Still, the relevant website is 

  The vocational courses in the ITIs requiring a minimum qualification of Class XII pass for admission are typically one-year non-engineering courses. There are several of them: computer operator and programming assistant, desktop publishing operator, digital photography, fashion technology, health and sanitary inspector, secretarial practice (English), steno (English) and steno (Hindi). 

   The ITIs will admit you on the basis of your marks in the Class XII board exam, so you should have scored well enough in that exam. The application deadline is usually June-end. 

    Also check out the varied course offerings of the National Small Industries Corporation Ltd (NSIC), Okhla Industrial Estate, Phase III, New Delhi-110020.

Searching options 

I have completed my postgraduation in physics with specialisation in electronics. Now I want to do a PhD. Please tell me about the possible area of research. 
   Ram Deen

The fields are truly diverse ranging from fiber optics communication , microwaves, IC technology, lasers, digital electronics, experimental electronics, optoelectronics, power electronics to medical electronics and nano electronics and many more. 

   However, since you have already done your MSc, I think your professors will be better able to guide you about the cutting-edge areas in physics so that you can choose one related to your interests etc. Also doing your MPhil will give you greater insights into the different areas you could look at. 

   Do scan the websites of the IITs and the Indian Institute of Science for areas in which research facilities are offered. 

   Moreover, the Association of Indian Universities,, regularly publishes a list of thesis submitted by research students every month. Just click on the "Research" link. Scanning through the list will give you a fair idea of what research is being undertaken in your field. Similarly log onto the website of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR):  for a wealth of info.


Sunil Sharma


Dil Se Desi Group


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