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Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Counsellor - 23


Future prospects 

I’m in my final year of BA Political Science (Honours). What are the future prospects after doing MA (International Relations) from JNU? 
    Shankar Bose

   After doing your masters from JNU’s prestigious School of International Studies, you will have the following options: You could either opt for teaching political science or international relations at the college or university level. This will be subject to qualifying the National Eligibility Test (NET), conducted by the UGC for central/state universities or the State Level Eligibility Test (SLET) for state universities. The Civil Services in general, and the Indian Foreign Service (IFS) in particular, is another popular option for students of ‘pol sc’ as the subject is popularly called. The general studies paper requires considerable knowledge of Indian polity and current affairs. If you have a flair for writing, you can also become a political analyst for a newspaper, news-related website or TV. In Delhi, you can also take up research jobs in organisations such as: Institute for Defence Studies & Analysis (IDSA), Old JNU Campus, New Mehrauli Road, Delhi Centre for Policy Research (CPR), Dharma Marg, Chanakyapuri, Delhi Research & Information Systems for Non-aligned Countries, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road, Delhi Indian Council of World Affairs, Institute for Peace & Conflict Resolution (IPCR), India International Centre, Max Mueller Marg, Delhi Nehru Memorial Museum & Library, Teenmurti House, Delhi 

Civil action 

I am in my second year of MSW. What sorts of jobs are there for professionals in this field in the government sector? 
   Adiyta Desai

    The Government of India conducts examinations through the UPSC and State Public Service Commissions for appointing welfare officers at the central and state levels. The position is that of gazetted officers in family welfare, education, social welfare, tribal development programmes and prisons. National bodies like the Central Social Welfare Board (CSWB) and National Institute of Public Co-operation & Child Development (NIPCD) and major community development projects also appoint welfare officers. Some of these jobs are also open to PG degree-holders in related fields like sociology, psychology, economics, etc. As a social welfare officer, your functions would be primarily that of an executive. You would be involved in programme planning, funding, execution, monitoring, evaluation and auditing procedures. 

Way forward 

I am 22-years-old and work as a junior account executive in a Gurgaon-based advertising agency. I want to pursue an MBA. Should I work for a few years and then apply to B-schools. Will my work experience be considered at all? This is my first job. 
   Shome De

    It is not clear from your query how long you have been working as a junior account executive in the agency. But if you look at the typical class composition of the leading B-schools in India, you will find that students have an average of 2-4 years of work-experience. In B-schools in the US it is anywhere between 3-7 years! If you have less than two years of work-ex, it will hardly get you any weight age in MBA selection or in placement. You’ll be treated on par with fresh graduates.


Biotech research 

I have completed final year of MSc biotech. Now I’m very confused as to whether I should pursue a PhD or an MBA. I am not aware about the research prospects. 
K. R. Sharma

   There are vast opportunities in biotech particularly for those who have specialised in areas like clinical research and manufacturing, field-testing of genetically modified (GM) crops, regulatory affairs such as IPR and biosafety, consultancy for business planning and global collaborations. The need for trained manpower in biotech has increased as the industry has grown at the rate of 35% per-annum in the last four years. While there are a sufficient number of MScs in biotech, more quality PhDs are still required. India needs biotech schools with state-of-the art facilities to produce biotech professionals for the industry. It can become a global R&D hub if incentives are provided for research on a long-term basis. The country’s future growth would mainly depend on innovation and the ability to bring new technology from overseas. Our scientific pool of qualified researchers and the largest number of USFDA approved plants outside the US, would also help us grab a large chunk of the $100 billion contract manufacturing and research pie which is expected to grow manifold in the coming decade. So if a career in research interests you, you have little to worry.


Next step 

Can you please tell me whether I can appear in science subjects if I take the Class 12 exams privately? 
Sushil Gupta

   As far as I know, private candidates are not allowed to offer subjects, which involve practical work for the exam except in the case of students who failed earlier and had pursued a regular course of study at a school affiliated to the CBSE board in the previous academic year. Nonetheless, female students can offer home science with practicals.


Dual degree 

I have just completed my Bachelor’s in geography. Since I have developed an interest in the subject, I am keen on pursuing a Master’s while doing my BEd. Could you please suggest institutes from where I can do a distance-learning programme in geography? 
   Manish Goswami

   Here are some universities you could look at: Institute of Advanced Studies in Education. Refer to the website for more details Jiwaji University, Gwalior, MP. Refer to the website for more details. Kurukshetra University, directorate of correspondence courses, Kurukshetra. Refer to the website for more details. Netaji Subhash Open University, Kolkata, which offers a Msc degree in geography through distance learning. Refer to the website  for more details.


Different route 

I am a science graduate. Instead of pursuing IT or MBA like most of my friends, I want to do something ‘hatke’. I am very fascinated by the thought of pursuing detective-related work. But people say that it’s not a field for girls. 
Pooja Raman

   Private investigation is no longer a male bastion. In a profession dominated by men, the army of Indian women sleuths has been increasing steadily over the years. In the big cities, they are not just working as private eyes, but even heading all-women outfits. Almost all 60 detective agencies in Delhi have a sizeable number of women, while six are run by women alone. In fact in certain cases especially matrimonial and child custody, women private investigators have often proved to be more effective than their male counterparts. A woman’s innate inquisitiveness and attention to detail makes her an ideal candidate for surveillance activities, interviewing subjects, and conducting telephonic enquiries. The greatest advantage that a woman investigator has is that nobody is suspicious of being shadowed by a woman undercover agent. Also you’ll find it naturally easier to access information. You can work either with the police department or with a private detective company. In the police department, detectives are plainclothes investigators who gather facts and collect evidence for criminal cases. Besides handling undercover operations, interviews, examining records and shadowing or keeping an eye on the activities of suspects, private investigators offer many other services such as pre-employment verification, surveillance, investigating corporate fraud and individual background profiles. If you are familiar with gadgets like mini cameras, voice recorders etc you can get started with as little as a couple of thousand bucks. A matchbox sized, wireless camera costs Rs 1,200 while you can get a digital recorder for as little as Rs 2,000. There are no formal academic requirements for most private detective jobs, although a college degree is essential. Most companies will train you on the job. Starting out with simpler assignments, you will advance to more challenging assignments as you gain confidence. Many private detectives enter the field after serving in government intelligence, defence or law enforcement jobs. However, let me warn you: A career in this field may not be as adventurous and romantic as novels and films make it out to be. Although it is certainly a “hatke” profession, it’s a tough job requiring long hours, patience, intelligence, common sense, tenacity, the ability to improvise and keen observation.


Sunil Sharma


Dil Se Desi Group


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