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Saturday, August 30, 2008

Co-Operative University

India to get its first co-operative university

THE National Co-operative Union of India (NCUI) is all set to establish the firstever co-operative university. According to NCUI officials, the proposed Jawahar Lal International Co-operative University would be functional from the forthcoming academic session.

Set to offer professional courses on law, management, cooperation, international trade and information technology, the university would consist of 20 cooperative institutions across India offering vocational and professional education.

Bhagwati Prasad, chairman and chief executive, NCUI, said: "We have placed our proposal to the University Grants Commission (UGC) and after the Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD) gives its approval, which could take around five to six months, we would be ready to offer courses as an university.The 20 co-operative institutions across India would be converted to deemed universities and would be a part of this international university." The university's main campus would be located on the premises of Vaikunthbhai Mehta National Institute of Cooperative Management (VMNICM), Pune. The VMNICM and the existing institutes of co-operative management would be affiliated to this university, which would be federal in character.

"The unique feature of this university is that it would be the first in India.The university would be the result of the cooperative movement in India and would be funded by the movement. A university for the co-operative sector, it would initially offer undergraduate and postgraduate including doctoral degrees/courses,'' added L D Ahuja, officer on special duty, NCUI.

The university aims to involve youths in large numbers to disseminate knowledge, equipping them to accept challenging jobs and hone their entrepreneurial skills to tap self-employment opportunities. The university also aims to establish links with international co-operative organisations and international agencies like the International Labour Organisation (ILO), Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), PACTA, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Colombo Plan, among others.

Sunil Sharma
Dil Se Desi Group

New Courses on Special Needs

INDIRA Gandhi National Open University (Ignou) and Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI) are partnering for the first distance education and training programme for professionals working with the differently-abled in India.

Educators feel that the syllabus for special education and training of teachers are quite outdated compared to many other countries. Although in teacher's education and training curriculum, there are components on special education, it is not taken seriously.

According to Ignou sources, the partnership is aimed at training and education programmes for professionals working with children with special needs. As a part of the initiative, the open university is going to launch a BEd and MEd for special education courses and preparation of multimedia packages for the differently-abled. "These programmes are meant to train teachers on special education,'' asserted V N Rajasekharan Pillai, vice chancellor, Ignou.

Earlier this month, Ignou and the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) discussed special education in the open and distance learning (ODL) system, followed by the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Ignou and RCI, a statutory body of the Ministry for Human Resources Development (MHRD). Ignou is also proposing to set up a special education committee in ODL institutions to increase access for learners with special needs.

Ignou will collaborate with RCI in programme design and development of special education and rehabilitation programme through multimedia distance mode and would also facilitate delivery and certification of such programmes. Ignou would also translate the study material for the programme (awareness-cum-training packages) in eight languages and launch all the programmes within the next six months. Ignou and RCI would award the degree and diploma certificate under this programme jointly.

Elaborating on the initiative, Pillai said that there is a need to train a large number of teachers and that is one of the reasons for launching these special courses through distance mode.

In order to implement this programme, Ignou is seeking the services of senior and middle level consultants for promoting and developing rehabilitation science.The university is going to involve consultants with a PhD or a Master's degree in social sciences/ rehabilitation sciences or PhD in the field and Med/ BEd in special education with two to five years of experience and registered with RCI. Experience in networking, monitoring, evaluation and implementation of programmes in special education and in administration of higher education are desirable.

New training programme for professionals working with the differently-abled to be offered via the distance mode

Sunil Sharma
Dil Se Desi Group

The Counsellor - 6

Creative career

I am in second year pursuing BBA and I want to opt for a postgraduate course in advertising and public relations. What is its scope and which are the known institutes for the same? Is work experience necessary?

Rakesh Soni

Public Relations (PR) professionals work in public relations firms, advertising agencies, large business houses, non-profit organisations, media and entertainment companies, hotels, tourism, hospitals, MNCs (corporate communication) , lobbies and pressure groups. You need good communication skills, written and oral, to get your foot in the door. Almost every ministry in the government has an information/liaison officer to handle press relations and public relations. All public sector enterprises, government information departments, trade fair authorities and banks and other financial institutions employ PROs and corporate communication professionals. The travel and hospitality industry also hires publicity officers. A hotel may hire you as a guest-relations officer and the package here is much better. The work will range from researching and creating content to media relations and business development. With sufficient experience in hand, you can also start your own PR consulting service. Typically for a postgraduate diploma course in advertising and PR, work experience is not mandatory. Some of the leading institutes are: Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC), New Delhi,, course: PG diploma in advertising and public relations, one-year Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai,, course: PGDBM, specialisation in advertising MICA, Ahmedabad,, offers two courses: certificate programme in PR and event management, nine-month, fulltime residential and postgraduate programme in communications (with specialisation in corporate communication and public relations. Symbiosis Institute of Mass Communication, Pune,, courses, two-year: Master’s programme in mass communication/communication management. Xavier Institute of Communications, Mumbai, Courses: PG diploma in public relations. Makhanlal Chaturvedi Rashtriya Patrakarita Vishwavidyalaya, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh,, course: MA in advertising and PR/broadcast journalism/mass communication Besides these, Bhartiya Vidya Bhawan, YMCA and YWCA centres all over the country offer courses in PR and advertising.

Migration woes

I am working with a leading bank. My company has given me a transfer to China. I am wondering whether to accept the offer or not as it would mean living far away from my family. Please guide.

Shubendu De

Getting China on one’s CV has been a big trend in western economies and now Indian executives have realised that China is a completely new world.They are happy to flaunt the Chinese experience on their CVs.The number of Indians ready to take on jobs in China has gone up. Cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu are the main attractions for Indians. A host of companies across sectors such as Gati, L&T, Mahindra and Mahindra, TCS, Cognizant, Bank of Baroda and SBI have been sending their executives to China to expand their overseas operations. One of the reasons for doing so is to overcome the language barrier that exists in the country. Moreover, in order to provide better career opportunities, companies encourage the China stint, as it is one of the fastest growing economies. Even if you have to live away from your family for a few years, it doesn’t matter if your future holds bright in the long run.

Which way

I am in class XII and planning to join a five-year integrated MBA programme offered by a university in South-India. Please let me know its worth and prospects. Does an integrated MBA have the same value as a regular MBA or should I pursue a BTech instead?

Vikram Singh

While integrated courses are fine, they are not of much value unless done from a top-notch institution. It may be better to do your graduation first, particularly if you are a science student and contemplating a BTech anyway. Work for a while to gain some practical experience and then try for an MBA from a really good Bschool that offers excellent placement facilities. This is a better option than tying yourself down to a mediocre fiveyear course. Moreover, a technomanagement qualification is highly rated in the job market.

Teaching wise

I have completed MSc in zoology. If I pursue BEd, can I teach biotechnology at the school level?

Savita Devi

To teach biotechnology, you need a postgraduate degree in biotechnology/biochemistry/genetics/microbiology/life sciences. The biotechnology syllabus demands a different kind of content expertise and teachers who have done MSc in botany or zoology are not eligible to teach the subject at the senior secondary level.

Looking ahead

I want to know more about the new Master’s programme in education offered by Ignou. Please guide.

Resham Chanda

Ignou’s Master of Arts (education) programme is an innovative programme that provides a wide and comprehensive understanding of education covering a variety of areas ranging from understanding the concept of education to understanding how knowledge is generated in education. The course will help you acquire a higher level of specialisation in a specific aspect of education - higher education, distance education, educational technology and educational management. The objective of the programme is to produce well-trained professionals who are knowledgeable in education and its various dimensions. More specifically, it intends to: a) Provide learning-experience, which will enable you to understand and appreciate knowledge structures and paradigms of education. b) Develop professionals for effective participation in different areas of education c) Create a community of scholars adequately equipped for participation in educational discourse. Total number of credits: 68. You must cover 34 credits each year.The dissertation work in year two carries 10 credits. The eligibility criteria is Bachelor’s degree (any discipline) with/without a degree in education. You can complete the programme in a minimum of two years and in a maximum of five years. The medium of instruction is English. The fee is Rs 10,000 for the entire programme (in one installment). The multi-media instructional mode combines self-instructional print material, audio/video components, assignments, counselling sessions, teleconferencing, interactive radio counselling and dissertation work. Ignou’s School of Education also offers courses in following disciplines: PhD in Education, MA in distance education, Bachelor of Education (BEd). PG diploma in distance education, PG diploma in higher education, PG certificate in professional development of teachers, PG diploma in school leadership and management, diploma in primary education, certificate in primary education, certificate in elementary teacher education. The following academic programmes are under development: MPhil in education, PG diploma in educational technology, and postgraduate diploma in educational management.

Sunil Sharma
Dil Se Desi Group

Fashion Education in India

EDUCATION is power. It is enlightenment, a cornucopia and an elixir. It is everything, but is it fashion?

To most of us the only similarity, perhaps, between fashion and education is that both are extremely important part of our lives. Fashion is your personal style statement. It is present in every aspect of our lifestyle - garments, home furnishings, personal and interior accessories. However, what most of us don't realise is that for any fashion to emerge, exhaustive research, analysis and experimentation is required.

"Fashion is not just about walking the ramp. It is actually a consummate integration of design, technology, management and communication," informs Kautilya Dagaonkar, a student of National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT). Major institutes offering fashion education in India include the Inter National Institute of Fashion Design (INIFD), Pearl academy of fashion and NIFT.

Apart from the well-known designing courses in fashion, textiles, knitwear, leather and accessory design, NIFT also offers a course in fashion technology that trains students in core garment manufacturing technology. Suhail Anwar, course coordinator, states: "Besides apparel production, the knowledge of information technology is also imparted which prepares students to someday become the agents of change in the industry".

Further, Shilpa Toshn-iwal, pursuing a two years' advanced diploma in textile designing at INIFD, feels that the course is very appropriately designed and covers all the requisites for creating a textile designer in just two years. Apart from various undergraduate programmes, Pearl Academy of Fashion offers postgraduate courses in fashion marketing, fashion merchandising and fashion retail. To gauge the changing requirements in this global business of fashion, a formal education is apparently necessary. There is immense scope for penetration in this field, as one can explore and experiment. Besides, there's always the chance to make a global mark.

Sunil Sharma
Dil Se Desi Group

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Career in Animation -2

An Animated Career!

Animation is one of the most lucrative career options available for bright young creative minds. One of the premier institutions catering to the skill sets specialization based training for the Animation Industry is Frameboxx Animation and Visual Effects. Started in December 2007, the company has already setup 13 high class education facilities in India and on their way to increase these numbers up to 35. An International presence is also in the pipeline. Founded by a group of highly talented business and technical evangelists, the company offers academic programmes that vary in length from 12 months to 20 months. There is a very strong emphasis on skill sets s p e c i a l i z a t i o n , thereby helping mould a true Techno-Artiste.

The team has been instrumental in innovating and building some of the finest animation training services and companies in the past. With Frameboxx the objective is to take animation training one notch higher than the prevailing trends. The company has major initiatives up its sleeves which it will be announcing in a short while. So the wait is over if it is a career in animation that you are looking for.

Animate your career with Toonz

Toonz Academy one of South Asia's state-of- the- art training facilities in 2D and 3D animation. It is a fully owned subsidiary of Toonz Entertainment Pvt Ltd, Singapore, which also owns the flagship Indian animation studio, Toonz Animation India Pvt Ltd.

Toonz academy follows a varied approach on animation training should be. We don't allow our students to touch a workstation for the first few months of training. The aim is to instill the correct fundamental basics and only then teach them how technology can aid them.Thus we will produce animators who will meet the highest standards of the industry.

It has become increasingly difficult for all those animation enthusiasts out there to decide what constitutes good animation education.We asked Dino Corders, Dean of the Toonz Academy. "First of all you need good drawing skills; software cannot camouflage a bad artist. Preferably a programme that covers basics like life drawing, layout animation, and fundamentals would be a perfect launch pad. 3D animation is more complex, in addition to the basic skills; you need to have a perfect understanding of the anatomy of animals and physics in nature along with basic mechanical motion." Dino has over 17 years of experience in the industry and has been part of famous animation productions like Tom and Jerry, Spiderman, and X-Men.

Toonz Animation's client list includes some of the biggest names in the media and entertainment industry.

Arena's Animation

Arena Animation, a pioneer, trendsetter and global leader in animation and multimedia education has launched a series of seminars called "Perspectives- Animation in India: Future and Careers." The aim was to create awareness among students of the unlimited career opportunities in animation and to create a neutral platform for budding animators to interact with the industry professionals.

"Perspectives aims to bring together professionals from the animation community on a common platform to share their knowledge, thoughts, views and experiences of the animation Industry with the students, which would enable them to think beyond the obvious and get an insight into the tremendous career options within Animation, VFX and Gaming," says R. Krishnan, global head of Arena Animation.

As a part of this exposure Arena Animation brings celebrated speaker Chris Webster, head of Animation Provision at the University of the West of England, Bristol to Delhi on the 25th of February. His talk is titled "Movement without Meaning is Pointless."

Arena Animation has been offering world class training in industry relevant animation and multimedia techniques to students aspiring for global careers in this industry.With an extensive network of centres all over the globe, Arena Animation has trained over 2,00,000 students internationally since its inception in 1996. It trains students as well as professionals in the latest industry relevant courses backed by alliances with world leaders, a world class faculty and the latest technical educational tools.

Arena's students are placed everywhere.

Animated by Picasso

Starved of international quality animation professionals, Indian animation industry has found new hope with foreign collaborations in animation education finally taking place. The pioneer in international quality animation education in India is Picasso Animation College, which is set up in collaboration with Canada based Centennial College. Within a short span of time, Picasso Animation College has earned the reputation of being a premier animation education player with 133% on campus job offers.

The college has a unique training methodology developed by full time Canadian experts working with Picasso's corporate office. Companies such as Crest, DQ Entertainment, and Annirights visit Picasso campus regularly for recruitment. While creative focus and international standards are central to Picasso, students also get two to three more hours of contact hours than in of any other conventional animation training institute.

The academic team of Picasso consists of international and Indian professionals who have worked with studios such as ILM, I-MAX, Core Digital Pictures, Electronic Arts, Prana, and Moving Pictures, and creative artists who worked for animated movies like Casper, Flubber, Jumanji, 101 Dalmatians and game projects like Need for Speed- Underground. Picasso is the only animation college in India with Hollywood animation experts as trainers. Picasso Animation College offers UGC recognized, three year degree program in Animation and a Digital Animation course of nearly ten months. Admissions are open for the batches commencing in March and June with a limited capacity of 25 each.

The Maya of Creativity!

It is said there is no biz like showbiz. But even showbiz as we know is changing.Hollywood initiated the process with Walt’ Disney Films and the rest of the world followed suit. Today Tom & Jerry, Donald Duck, Superman, Batman, The Incredibles are part of the life of young and old alike, in some form or the other. The common chord that binds them is animation. On the home front films like Hum Tum, Krishna Cottage, Awara Pagal Deewana and Krish have done fair justice to this creative art form. Indeed use of computer graphics in films is surely turning out to be one of the most viable ways of using digital technology to draw the audience fed on a diet of special effects laden Hollywood films.

With so much happening on the animation front the industry is currently valued at $ 45 billion, ready to leapfrog to $ 75 billion in the not so distant future. Indeed, the world of 3D animation and visual effects is a large one with an ocean of possibilities.

It is not surprising, that quite a number of institutions have come up to empower young creative minds with the skill-set required to be an animation professional. Vikas Tewari, Sr.VP & Zonal Head (North & East) says, “Unlike other professions at Maya Academy we do not look for academic qualifications. The sole quality we require is the originality of thoughts and expression and an innate creative streak. We do not even expect the students to have a prior knowledge of software, since we start from scratch. But determination to stand out in the crowd is of crucial importance”. MAAC offers technical courses in 3D Animation, visual effects and postproduction techniques, supported by live projects, seminars and workshops, Vikas continues,“We take great pride in our intuitive philosophy of evolving strong conceptual knowledge which in turn enables us to focus more on a talent’s conceptual base.It is only then that we move auto the related practical sciences”.

Sunil Sharma
Dil Se Desi Group

Career in Animation - 1

More than just pen and paper


Dinosaurs leaping on the screen, their teeth bared, and trumpet blasts on the soundtrack. In 1993, Steven Spielberg created magic by bringing the 'Jurassic Park' alive on the screen. The movie not only broke box-office records around the world, but also marked a significant time in the evolution of visual effects.

Welcome to the world of film animation - a world where reality meets imagination, where dinosaurs walk across silver s c re e n s, where a ' S t u a r t L i t t l e ' becomes the second son to a family of humans, and a 'Shrek' rules the ' p e r f e c t k i n g d o m ' . This is a world of s p e c i a l e f f e c t s, u n b e l i ev - able graphics and exotic technologies that mesh and converge to create unbelievable real and virtual experiences. It's a world that beckons c re at ive minds to u n l e a s h their power; and it's calling you!

If you have a passion for figures, an incorrigible itch to draw and a creative eye for detail, a career in animation could well be your ultimate destination.

T h o u g h Animation' sounds simple but a lot of work goes into its preparation. It is the art of conceiving an action by d r aw i n g i n a n i m at e objects or characters, which are made suitable for filming. Off late animation has become so high paying a profession that it will soon be m at ch i n g the pay packets of s o f t w a re professional s.

According to a recent survey by N a s s c o m , animation industry is expected to grow by 25 per cent annually. Increase in the use of special effects on screen and success of animated movies like 'Hanuman' has given birth to animation industry in India. Television channels are also applying animation techniques as a relief from the l a ck l u s t e r hum-drum viewing. There are ample career opportunities in the 3-D animation industry and a passion for the job can take aspirants to great heights.

Though one need not be an artist to be a successful animator, he/she should have basic appreciation of art and the requisite skills can be honed at the college. You can be absorbed at various levels depending on your skill sets, as graphics designer, visual artist, supervisor, digital film animator, senior animator, content writer, clean up artist, web designer or web author.

A career in animation offers you a good salary package. As a fresher, one can expect the starting amount to be anywhere between Rs. 8,000 and Rs. 15,000 as a junior artist. Within two years, he/she can become an assistant and earn between Rs. 20,000 and Rs. 45,000 and within seven years the remuneration could go up to Rs.1 lakh a month. What's more, there is no age limit for learning and one can be successful even at a late age.

Sunil Sharma
Dil Se Desi Group

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

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Future Students & Education



Become a student of change. It will remain the only constant' said author Anthony J D'Angelo. Students have been the pioneers of change all over the world. They themselves have also been changing — their quest increasing and their horizon broadening.

The student is becoming increasingly independent. He knows what to do. He lives in the present — well aware of what he is doing. Since he dictates his own terms to life, he does not hold anybody responsible for what becomes of him. Students pursuing unconventional courses like music, choreography and styling may have been a rarity in yesteryears, but today their numbers have increased drastically. They now listen to their hearts and 10 years hence, many more people would take up their hobbies as their profession.The face of an Indian student in the future would coincide with the forces of globalisation, modernisation and urbanisation of society. The transformation of the education system, to suit the employment demands of the future, would manifest itself in the changes brought about in the values, attitudes and lifestyle of the modern Indian student.


No longer does one's gender define one's line of work.The age-old belief 'girls for hospitality and boys for fieldwork' has been broken. Besides, the modern student has no place for unnecessary gender divisions and wants to be classified as a thorough professional. "We can communicate better in the classroom. The outlook towards peer-topeer relationship has finally changed," says Akansha Mishra, a student at National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT). There is also a strong desire for excellence as students keep upgrading themselves continuously.

With the penetration of communication and network technology, awareness about various courses and specialisations has spread immensely. Gone are the days when one's Guru and a copy of the Employment News served as the only source of information.


Two schools of thought exist on this topic; one that can't let go their gurus and one that can get enough of e-learning. In ancient times the Indian system of learning was 'guru-centric' and the production and dissemination of knowledge was a centralised system. Knowledge was accessible and used by a privileged few. Until the 1990s, when the internet was not so popular, there were clear traces of this 'guru-shishya' tradition still persisting in our education system. Indeed it still persists, but to a lesser extent. Critics argue that the 'guru-shishya' tradition only helps students become accustomed to spoon-feeding and that the central concern of the relationship becomes how you 'please' each other, while learning takes a backseat.

On the other hand, with the increasing popularity of e-learning, virtual and open universities and distance education, you can learn anywhere, any time and all by yourself. Madhuparna Roy Chowdhury, an MBA graduate from the Indian Institute of Finance, Delhi, elaborates: "The e-modules and business classes operated from different university departments abroad have helped me immensely. I have taken two online courses in economics from the University of Illinois, which helped not only my knowledge base but also my resume." According to conservative estimates, the worldwide e- learning industry is estimated to be worth over 38 billion euros. But when asked whether teachers and trainers could become dispensable in the future, many remain apprehensive. Says Ngamjahao Kipgen, PhD student at the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences (HUSS), Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Delhi: "Distance learning has definitely eased the process of learning. I have been participating in online seminars and discussion forums since the past year at IIT, which I could have never imagined doing from back home in Manipur. However, it still does not undermine the importance of a teacher.’’

The point of contention lies in the fact that e-learning places most of the responsibility for learning squarely on the shoulders of the student. Madhuparna agrees, saying: "It eventually depends on the individual as to what he or she learns from a programme online. It also reflects on their level of maturity, because you have to work within self imposed deadlines and schedules."

While motivated learners may do well, how many of us actually manage to stay motivated all the time? Unmotivated students either never begin or don't complete their online training course.Whereas the guru serves not only as a caring therapist pointing out our hidden psychological blind spots but also as a constant reminder that the task at hand must be completed. Making students do something rather than merely telling them what to do is where a guru will always beat the computer.

It is, perhaps, as a reaction to this that many online educational initiatives are now looking to incorporate the best of both worlds. One such example is the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) that, in partnership with DirecWay Global Education (DWGE), has launched the Interactive Onsite Learning (IOL) programme. The programme is an advanced form of e-learning wherein students can actually interact with their teachers.The teachers’ live lessons are broadcasted over the internet using video-conferencing and students gather at special centres to attend the same and to interact with the teacher as well.


The need for an alternative system of admission to universities in the future stems not from the fact that various psychological, social and emotional pressures confront students across the country but from the discernible lack of satisfaction the present system brings along. Nitya Talwar, class XII student, Mater Dei High School, opines: "At present, if one doesn't perform well in boards, their entire life, seemingly, goes down the drain. Is that fair?" Most universities have a centralised admission procedure, wherein the university itself or a central body conducts tests and applicants are ranked by exam grades. The applicants may, further, state their preferences for institutes or courses based on their rank and personal choice. Elaborating on the flaw in the modus operandi of course allotment under such a system,Vaibhhav Sinha, third-year student, IIT-Kharagpur, states: "We shouldn't be screened on the basis of exams that have little or no relevance to one's aptitude for a particular discipline. Besides, one shouldn't have to choose a particular discipline unless you have had the opportunity to explore and decide whether or not you wish to pursue it. A lack of this is why we see students with 'bookish' knowledge pursuing technical courses in the country."

Why is academic marks the sole criterion during admissions? One's marks can't really reflect the potential, abilities and skills that a student possesses. Besides, isn’t knowledge subjective and can be acquired? An alternate system of admissions that can be proposed is based on a combination of a series of assessments. A percentile could be taken from the board results and special weightage could be given to the subject that one is applying for.This could then be combined with the results of another test that would ascertain a student's logical-reasoning abilities and his approach towards the subject.

Another flaw in the admission system is that students need to appear for different tests for different colleges. As Gaurav Singla, student, Hindu College, Delhi University, points out: "Taking a different test for every college can drain you.The set up adopted by universities abroad is relatively less disorderly with standardised exams like the SAT, GMAT, GRE and IELTS being accepted by most universities."


Another aspect is the entry of private players. Private spending on education has increased in India at a compound annual growth rate of 10.38% since 1994. Education is among the fastest growing service sectors of the economy, coming only a close second to the health sector growth rate and hence the increase in private initiatives.

Education provides the strongest link between income aspirations and the realisation of income goals. It can be controlled from within a household and without unreasonable dependance on the external environment and infrastructure.

The good thing about the entry of private players is that it provides quality infrastructure, albeit for a price, and transparency and accountability to the client also increases. Moreover, due to intense competition, the courses and degrees offered by different private colleges, institutes and universities are far more updated, better equipped and marketcentric.

However, critics aren't far behind. There is a strong wave of dissent against the privatisation of education because, it could mean that the government relinquishes its duty of providing basic amenities to the underprivileged. Rajneesh Choubisa, PhD student, IIT-Delhi, says: "Growth in private education is an essentially urban phenomenon. It doesn't show the rural reality on the ground, where basic education is still elusive as they simply can't afford it." Perhaps what is needed is more publicprivate partnership (PPP) in education.

Sunil Sharma
Dil Se Desi Group

Monday, August 25, 2008

Tips on Writing an Effective Dissertation

Dissertation dos

Dissertation writing is a complex procedure that calls for thorough research, enhanced presentation skills and conviction to the chosen topic. Tips on writing an effective dissertation
CONSIDERED one of, if not the most exhaustive academic written assignment of a student's life,a college dissertation takes an average of 10 to 12 months of extensive research, reporting and analysis before completion.
Devi Singh, director, IIM Lucknow avers, "A dissertation is reflective of a student's seriousness and analytical bent towards his or her academics. It is one of the best indexes to measure your understanding of any course." He further adds, "Dissertations are also an integral part of the acclaimed master's programme and must always be treated seriously and professionally both by students and teachers." Since it is practically impossible to compile the entire research in a single burst of creativity, teachers often suggest that students take a step-wise approach.
The first step in writing the dissertation is to establish priorities. Nishi Pandey, director of UGC, Academic Staff College, Lucknow University suggests, "Remember that your paper will require a significant investment of time that has been previously devoted to some other activities. You need to develop a strategic plan, which should include a time frame for achieving the set goals."
The basic element for completing a dissertation successfully is to adhere directly to the basic subject knowledge, the format and structure requirements. Nishi emphasizes that it is very important for the student to establish a direct connection with the topic at hand, so that the resulting dissertation is clear and crisp, even to another reader.
Carlyle McFarland, Christian College and English Academician, adds, "As a student or researcher, one must remember to focus on the language usage, in that a command over the language and an in-depth understanding of what you mean and what you are writing is a must."
Other elements such as the abstract, introduction, body, conclusion, references and others should be perfectly formatted as well.
The topic chosen should be quite provoking so as to attract plenty of information for depiction."Filtering the right information, classifying it and breaking it up into contents would make a reader/ examiner appreciate the decision making abilities of the writer and his or her professional spirit towards arguments and their illustration," opines Nishi.
A common myth in dissertation writing is that you start writing at chapter one and finish at chapter five. This is seldom the case. The most productive approach in writing the dissertation is to begin by writing those parts that you are most comfortable with. Then move about in your writing by completing various sections as you think of them. At some point you will be able to spread out in front of you all of the sections that you have written. You will then be able to sequence them in the best order and see what is missing.
To ensure that your final dissertation is neat and clear, prepare a list of key words that are important to your research and use this set throughout. There is nothing more frustrating to a reader than a manuscript that keeps using alternate words to mean the same thing. For instance, if you've decided that a key phrase for your research is 'educational workshop', then do not try substituting other phrases such as 'inservice programme','learning workshop','educational institute', or 'educational programme'.
Finally, refrain from plagiarising. Singh warns, "Students need to be careful as institutes are now updated with plagiarism detecting softwares, which are being used prevalently." Thus the days when a copypaste job was acceptable, owing to the lack of resources to check the originality of a dissertation,are long gone.You can be inspired, but directly copying someone else's text is simply not acceptable.
STAGE 1 Thinking about the topic
STAGE 2 Preparing the proposal
STAGE 3 Conducting the dissertation
STAGE 4 Writing the dissertation
STAGE 5 Sharing the outcomes of the dissertation
STAGE 6 Revising the dissertation

Sunil Sharma
Dil Se Desi Group

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Career : Child Care

Proper care is no child's play

Being with children is fun, but as a paediatrician you have to be prepared for much more,

PAEDIATRICS is a para-clinical branch of medicine that deals with children - from newborns to adolescents. M D Shah, a paediatrician, explains, "Paediatrics is about caring for children. It is a challenging job as innumerable problems can arise during birth and infancy."


According to Chandra Mohan, paediatrician and professor at Narayana Medical College: "Paediatrics is a good career option if you love children."


Welfare of children starting from mother's womb where as a paediatrician you have to screen the child for congenital deformities

Safeguarding the baby's interests by monitoring mother's medication, diet and lifestyle

After a baby is born, assessing the growth and nutrition, immunise the baby against microbes

Helping parents in adopting sound baby care practices regarding physical, emotional, social needs of the baby, so that they can achieve their genetic potential of development

Helping and guiding adolescents through the physical, emotional and psychological changes occurring in their bodies through adolescence


The job opportunities for a paediatrician range from being a District Medical Officer abroad, a professor in a medical college or other training institutions to a registrar in hospitals. Private nursing homes and polyclinics are good avenues.There is the option of setting up your private clinic.


"It requires an MBBS degree and after that three years MD/DNB training and degree in Paediatrics. It's one of the most sought-after branches and hence to get an MD seat you have to be par excellence in academics," informs Mohan.

Shah says, "A diploma in Child Health is imperative after an MD in Paediatrics. "The specialised MD /MS courses normally last for three years while the diploma courses are of a 12-month duration after full registration with the State Medical Council.


According to Mohan, "Though the earning is less, compared to the effort in monetary terms being between Rs 6 lakh to Rs 30 lakh per-annum. But the reward of bringing back a smile on a unwell child's face is priceless. A paediatrician, who is into private practice can earn above Rs 1 lakh per-month. In hospitals, starting salaries can range from Rs 5,000 to Rs 20,000 per-month."

Sunil Sharma
Dil Se Desi Group



'A curator is not merely an exhibition designer'
Deeksha Nath is an independent arts curator who has been part of several shows in New Delhi and London. She also writes for a well-known art magazine in the country and has penned a script on artist Arpana Caur.
In school I had a subject on art, and art history was a component of it. Since I got interested in it my teacher suggested that I study art history at college. At that time, in 1994, M S University in Baroda was the only institution offering an undergraduate degree in art history. However, universities didn't tell you how you could put it to use. I didn't want to immediately do my Master's after getting a BFA degree. I was working at the Sanskriti Foundation organising events when I got the opportunity to do my Master's in arts management at the City University in London.But I didn't enjoy arts management too much. I missed art history. Later, after I began curating shows and writing on art, I applied for the Charles Wallace grant and I got it in 2006. I was in London for a year studying contemporary art theory.

When I returned to India after my Master's degree in arts management I got a job as a consultant assistant curator with the National Gallery of Modern Art during the Picasso exhibition. But I wasn't too happy working in a government organisation. Unless you are part of the bureaucracy, it's hard for the structure to work for you. Later, I got an offer from an NGO named Tarshi to curate a show for Women's Day. I chose five young artists for it. In 2005, I was approached by the director of Devi Art Foundation in New Delhi. I have curated a show for them which will open later this year.When I was in London studying contemporary art theory, I curated a show for the Grosvenor Gallery, which comprised video, sculpture, drawings, photography and other forms of art.

Curating a show takes a couple of months. I first consider the idea for the show, think of the artists who excite me and whose works have themes that overlap. Then I write to the artist and select works, which the gallery will bring to the venue. I prepare a catalogue about the works which includes an essay on the artist four weeks before the exhibition. About two days before the show, I hang the paintings on the wall.

You can quote a flat rate for curating a show. It can range from Rs 1 lakh and more. Besides, you can get a lumpsum at the end of the show or take a quarterly payment.

It's the freedom to explore things that interest you. I don't have the deadlines of a 9-to-5 job. I enjoy interacting with artists and seeing their work.

Sunil Sharma
Dil Se Desi Group

Career in Usability



Leela Chaturvedi was trying to play the nursery rhymes CD that she had bought for her two-year old son. To her dismay, she soon realised that she had to play each rhyme individually, as there was no 'auto run' feature. She had to keep clicking the "Next" button after every song. It also took her some time to figure out where the menu (or home page) was. This CD presented a bad case of usability.


"Usability is about making a product or system efficient, easier and satisfying to use," says Shashank Deshpande, chief of technical staff,Human Factors International, a leading usability consulting firm, "From appliances that we use in our homes to software systems that are used in corporate sectors,understanding human capabilities is extremely important for a positive user experience." Usability derives its knowledge base from various disciplines such as ergonomics, psychology and industrial design.

According to Jayanth Ananthakrishnan, user experience manager of a Hyderabad-based multinational,"Usability at its core is the property or attribute of being easy to use- be it a product or a service. For the user it means the ability to successfully, comfortably and confidently learn or complete a task."

Anirudha Joshi,associate professor, IDC, IIT Mumbai, puts it rightly when he says the usability of a product differs from person to person. He says that a product should be useful, useable and desirable.
It's important.

"Usability makes people more productive and enables them to work the way 'they work' rather than the ‘way machines or software work'. It makes life easier", says Ripul Kumar, head, Research and Usability Consulting, Kern Communications, Hyderabad.

Bad usability can make a product unpopular, even if it has several other strengths. For example, a website should be easy to use: all the information should be 'visible' and easy to understand; easy navigation and a legible font is a must. When people are not satisfied with any of these requirements,they tend to skip the website.

"We have strengths and weaknesses. We also have preferences and dislikes. When products are designed keeping in mind our strengths and preferences, the products becomes more usable and hence more acceptable," exp l a i n s K r i s h n a k u m a r Shankarnarayan, user experience manager.


"Internationally, usability experts are students of cognitive psychology.In India, students from a design background also move into this job," says Joshi. With a high demand for usability experts, organisations are now looking for formal qualifications in prospects such as psychology, industrial design and visual communication.

"Unfortunately, the curricula of such disciplines do not adequately deal with subjects close to usability such as cognitive science, experimental psychology and human computer interface (HCI).There needs to be a strong emphasis on user-focus (reading/listening, interviewing/surveying skills) and a solid knowledge of user interfaces and standards. Most important, a usability professional should be creative and possess the ability to relate seemingly unrelated things," affirms Ananthakrishnan.

Shankarnarayan considers a formal education in human-computer interaction, product design, software and user interface design as essential for a usability expert. He advises usability enthusiasts to attend knowledge forums such as Usability Professional Association and Human Factors Educational Society (HFES). Besides formal training or education,being sensitive to user needs is extremely important for usability professionals.


The services of usability experts are mainly availed by IT companies, multimedia firms, portals, manufacturing companies (such as consumer goods makers), and automobile units."It is definitely a good time to get into the usability field in India. It takes several years of professional experience to become a top-notch expert. Five years from now, more companies will have their own usability groups and will need usability managers," predicts Ananthakrishnan.

"A decade ago there were only 100 odd people in this field. Today India has more than 1,000 usability experts and this number is growing at a healthy rate of 20% to 30% every year," says Deshpande. According to the HCI (Human Computer Interaction) Professionals Salary Survey 2006- India, conducted by the UPA Hyderabad Chapter,India now has a mature group of HCI practitioners,with a professional experience of five to 12 years.

Sunil Sharma
Dil Se Desi Group

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Career in Civil Engineering


with the real estate sector buzzing, the demand for civil engineers is on the rise, analysis on the scope of a career in civil engineering

Ancient lore has whispered through time, of the glory of man’s achievements, and the best testimonials to them are his creations that have stood the test of time. While the overwhelming Pyramids of Giza, the Roman Colosseum, the serpentine Great Wall of China and our very own Taj Mahal remind us of the builders of old, the present, not to be outdone, has its own showcase — the lofty Petronas towers, the ultra modern Louvre Pyramid and the eye catching Burj-Al-Arab. No treatise celebrating the progress of man is ever complete without pointing to his building prowess.

For want of a clear definition, the masterminds behind these masterpieces may have simply been named ‘builders’ in the past. It was only as late as the 18 th century, when the field that involved the design and execution of structural works for civilian purposes, came to be termed as ‘civil engineering’.

India, which has been home to one of the oldest civilisations to exhibit developed levels of structural organisation, has a host of such engineering marvels scattered across her length and breadth. Hindu mythology, in fact, also tells us of Lord Vishwakarma, who is the builder of the palaces of gods and the deity of all builders and craftsmen.

The field of civil engineering has undergone tremendous change over the past few years. Here’s a look at the field.


The field of civil engineering is regarded as one of the core engineering fields, along with electrical and mechanical engineering. Simply put, it is the science of designing and building physical structures for general purposes.

These physical structures include, buildings, bridges, flyovers, roads, reservoirs, dams, etc. it may be further divided into structural, environmental, geotechnical, constructional and materials engineering.

Engineering colleges offer a BE/ BTech in civil engineering, which is a four-year course, post one’s 10+2 education or a three-year diploma in civil engineering, post secondary school. In recent times, with the advent of software and IT enabled services, one finds extensive use of such intelligent programmes that help in designing and testing construction works.


Civil engineers can find employment in the private sector with construction firms, as structural designers or construction supervisors (site engineers, project managers), MEP (mechanical electrical and plumbing) contracting firms, etc. They are also recruited by the public works department (PWD), which oversees the construction and maintenance of roads, bridges, government buildings, etc.

“Owing to the construction boom witnessed in the past two to three years, civil engineers have been in much higher demand now than before,”remarks Professor Patil,from the civil engineering department of a premier institute in Mumbai, adding, “Starting salaries that formerly were merely Rs 7,000 per-month have increased to a whopping Rs 18,000 permonth in the past two years.”

Due to fewer civil engineering departments in the city, it is also much easier to find internships with private firms. Though an internship is not mandatory in colleges in the city at least, they can go a long way in providing students with hands-on experience in the job, while also boosting their chances of finding permanent employment after their degree.

“Civil engineers have also been quite a rare commodity owing to higher attrition rates and fewer graduates to meet the increasing demand,” informs the HR department of Haware Constructions, a private contracting firm in Mumbai.

A profession that was more or less fragmented and disorganised, in addition to being very opaque in its dealings, has now matured into a much more organised industry. The recent BSE listing of DLF, a real estate behemoth, is only the beginning of an increasingly transparent business. All this has translated into a much clearer path for budding civil engineers.

Construction firms may typically take up trainees initially, and after about six months to a year of probation period, confirm them as permanent employees depending on their performance. A fresher joins a construction firm as a site engineer. The job involves supervision of construction activity on specific projects. Since the field is not factory defined and moves from one site to another, engineers are assigned based on the project.

Construction conglomerates like L&T and Shapoorji Pallonji also recruit directly from campuses at salaries of Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000 per month. Usually, about five to seven graduates are recruited by a single company.

IIT Powai naturally witnesses more lucrative job offerings with firms paying up to Rs five lakh (INR) per-annum. “Companies usually require two kinds of civil engineers, for construction work and for structural design; there are obviously more construction contractor openings because of the nature of the job,” says Nimish, a student of the civil department of IIT-Powai. Says a professor in the civil department of S P College, Andheri,“The real estate boom has opened up new doors for young engineering graduates. Moreover, the state government’s initiative of pursuing housing development aggressively in the rural areas with publicprivate partnerships means that a whole new gold mine is just waiting to be discovered.”

The bottom line is: There is a lot of construction yet to be done, not only in the city,but also in places located on the outskirts in addition to rural areas.

Scope abroad

The Gulf has emerged as a hub of commercial activities. It has witnessed the rapid development of private and commercial structures required to accommodate the rich and famous from the world over. The Palm Jumeirah project on the Dubai coast is the stuff of legends. There has also been a steep increase in construction activity in the UAE and adjoining Gulf countries.

Sunil Sharma
Dil Se Desi Group

Career in Cosmetic Care

A beautiful career for all

The herbal queen - an expert , says that cosmetic-care industry is not just creative, but lucrative as well

Today, the beauty world is one of the most exciting places to be in.As the demand for cosmetic-care goes up, the field is asking for professionally trained men and women. For young boys and girls looking for a challenge of something new, cosmetic-care extends a great deal of promise. Similarly, those who are looking to enhance their income, or an older woman, who suddenly finds time weighing on her hands, can all find a satisfying career in cosmetic-care.


Awareness of beauty treatments, skin/hair care and make-up products, grooming and fashion is at an all time high due to the advent of foreign TV channels, changing lifestyles and higher purchasing power. In 2007, the total beauty business in India was estimated to be over Rs 2,000 crore, growing at the rate of 25%. Despite these growth figures, India is still considered to have tremendous growth potential and is one of the largest markets in the world for beauty products.


The emphasis during 2007 has also been on the spectacular growth of the herbal/natural beauty business. In fact, natural/Ayurvedic/herbal products have been growing at a phenomenal pace over the last five years.The growth rate of the herbal beauty business is expected to be higher - at 40%. The traditional Ayurvedic treatments of Panchkarma, Dhara and Kerala massage have increased in popularity. It has even resulted in a boom in tourism, as many tourists come exclusively for such treatments. Beauty salon business has also witnessed an unprecedented growth.The size of the beauty salon industry in India is estimated at about Rs 2,000 crore. Branding, specialty skills, specialised services and niche products are the main drivers of growth in the beauty salon business, especially at the high-end salons. Another new trend is that salons are slowly being converted to 'day spas,' where spa treatments are also being offered. Similarly, with the growth of the fashion industry, television, movies require expert hairstylists and make-up artists. A growth in hospitality industry is also expected to push up beauty business as hotels now offer salon and spa services,so we will definitely see an increase in demand for people who are professionally trained in beauty. Beauty product sales counters are also opening in malls and department stores.These require trained personnel too.


Today, the beauty world offers several career avenues, with tremendous lucrative opportunities for growth and specialisation. A minimum school leaving education is enough to enter vocational beauty training, yet there are opportunities to complete courses right upto an advanced level and also go into related fields. Some major career opportunities in beauty include entrepreneurship - starting one's own beauty clinic, managing salons, health clubs or spas, beauty therapists in salons and day spas,masseurs,beauty consultants/beauty advisors, make-up artists, hairstylists, product consultants in cosmetic companies and even teachers in beauty schools.


Professionalism is the order of the day. The days of apprenticeship training are over.The criterion today is professional training in beauty. One can do a professional diploma course and then take advanced training in a selected field. After completing a professional diploma course in beauty, one can go ahead and obtain advanced training in make-up, hairstyling, nail art, massage, spa treatments, traditional Ayurvedic treatments, aromatherapy or electrolysis. A professionally qualified beauty therapist can open her own salon and become an entrepreneur, or secure employment in a salon. It is also possible to acquire further training and become a beauty school teacher. The fashion industry, advertising, television and the big screen also require expert make-up artists and hairstylists. It is possible to specialise in different kinds of make-up, like bridal make-up, make-up for television, movies, still photography, ramp modeling etc. One can also freelance after advanced training in make-up, hairstyling, massage etc. A special aptitude is always an advantage. For example, a make-up artist should be creative and have a keen eye. This is not only needed for special effects, but also in simple make-up, because the objective here is to improve the appearance. Therefore, one should have an idea of colours and how to relate them to individual features and skin tones and how to bring different techniques, like shadowing, highlighting and so on, into play.


As far as employment is concerned, beauticians who are just starting out, can earn from Rs 5,000 to Rs10,000 per-month. Of course, the salaries depend on the size of the salon business. Beauty therapists with experience and qualifications from a reputed beauty school can expect much higher remuneration,in keeping with remunerations in other fields. Make-up artists and hairstylists, for advertising campaigns, modeling or shooting schedules, charge about Rs 1,500 to Rs 3,000 per day, depending on their experience and reputation. Of course, the top make-up artists and hairstylists make much more. Managers of salons or product consultants in cosmetic companies can earn salaries that commensurate with the corporate world.

Sunil Sharma
Dil Se Desi Group

Mobile School

Educative Street-smart coaches


The mobile schools are equipped with the latest teaching aids
For those who cannot afford to go to regular schools, mobile schools provide a valuable alternative.

THEY are keen to study but don't have the resources. They live in difficult circumstances like red-light districts, construction sites and traffic signals. They are the street children, who can now study, work on computers and play games at their convenience.


With the government launching two 'Chalta Firta' (mobile) schools, for children living in difficult areas of the city, many can now experience education at their doorstep. The buses have been introduced as part of a new scheme under the government's flagship programme — Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, aimed at the universalisation of elementary education. These yellow buses are well-equipped with the basic infrastructure of a classroom along with the latest teaching and learning aids such as VCDs and learning kits. The 'mobile schools' are being operated on a public-private partnership after a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between the department of education and two NGOs — the Salaam Balak Trust and Butterflies. Says Beena Sheth Lashkari, founder secretary and director, Door Step School, Mumbai: "This concept was introduced in Mumbai in1998 and has since been replicated all over the country." Elaborating on Doorstep, she says that the introduction of audio-visual equipment is a source of great attraction for children. Besides, resource bags containing equipment for basic scientific experiments and puzzles that circulate between project areas are an added bonus. Adds Lashkari: "The modus operandi is to conduct a class at a time and place convenient to the group of children being catered to. Emphasis is laid on language and mathematical skills needed in one's day-to-day life. The basic aim is to help the children in being able to read and understand a newspaper, fill in relevant forms as and when required and express themselves through writing."


On a similar note, numerous brightly painted RTV vans carry the 'Tamasha Road Show (TRS)' from one traffic signal to the next. The vans represent the 'School on Wheels' initiative launched by the NGO Katha. Filled with fun-learning material, the roadshow attracts children to a learning environment through theatre, songs, dance, puppetry and even computers. "Under TRS, we are working with street children at 10 selected road crossings, where five teachers and two mentors conduct regular classes," informs Amrita Talwar, networking officer, Katha.


Under 'The Education on Wheels' project, started in 2006 by the NGO Deepalaya, teachers use flash cards, art and craft activities, games, storytelling, role-plays, ice-breaking exercises and educational CDs to hold their students' attention. The bus is equipped with facilities such as a TV, DVD/VCD, music system and even computers. The aim is simple — to attract and retain out-of-school and working children. The concept of 'mobile schools' provides a complete solution to the space restrictions in slums, and therefore allows more utility. The ultramodern set-up in the bus improves its motivational quality and other basic facilities. It is an innovative approach to joyful learning.


Further, 'A school on wheels,' being run since 2000 by I-India, an NGO, offers nutrition, sanitation, medical care and recreation in addition to education. Also, efforts are made to pull out students of their daily routine of living in slums and they are motivated to go to formal schools. Says Prabhakar Goswami, director, I-India: "Our target group includes runaway children, street and slum children, child labourers, ragpickers, beggars and those working at tea stalls and dhabas, among others." He adds: "Besides providing books and other teaching material, we also provide toys, basic sanitation and healthcare material like tooth paste and antibacterial cream to children. Also, an ambulance and nurse, regularly go with the buses to distribute medicines."

Sunil Sharma
Dil Se Desi Group

Management: Practical Exposure

Academia-industry interface is the most critical component of B-School education. And this seems to be the core philosophy of reputed management institutions

A mix of industry interactive programmes combined with state-of-the-art infrastructure, superior faculty, an international exposure for its students and an engaging medley of courses defines the teaching mantra at IFIM Business School. The success of its industry interface programmes is evident from IFIM's 100% placements with high average salaries year-after-year.
Ranked among the top business schools countrywide, IFIM has the unique institutional equity of being accredited by the National Board of Accreditation (NBA). IFIM's programmes are approved by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), the Union Ministry of HRD and also recognised by the Association of Indian Universities (AIU).
IFIM's PGDM and PGDM International Business (IB) programmes offer functional specialisations in marketing, HR, finance, IT and IB. IFIM's Industry Internship Programme (IIP) spans six months and imparts real-life experiences to students by helping transform theoretical knowledge into practice.IFIM has set up IIP centres in Ernst and Young, JP Morgan, the Bombay Stock Exchange and Reliance Capital among others.
The PGDM-IB curriculum at IFIM covers mergers and acquisitions, international logistics and supply chain management, international product launch strategies, business process outsourcing, international trade and export-import management, thereby developing business leadership skills to manage the business processes of global corporations. The IB programme imparts global exposure through its mandatory two-week international study programme abroad in collaboration with reputed universities.
IFIM boasts of an impressive infrastructure consisting of a state-of-the-art computer lab, business simulation lab and a complete wi-fi enabled campus. Come June 2008 and the campus will have 1,20,000 sq ft of additional institutional space along with 2.2 acres of wifi enabled residential facility. The IFIM Business School is among the few institutes in India that create knowledge through research and routinely dedicate a substantial budget for this activity. As a result of its efforts in management research, IFIM is one of the few privileged private schools that offers a PhD programme in conjunction with a prominent university in India. The institute's management journal 'Focus' is revered by the academic community, internationally. IFIM's research cell has published several books, research papers and case studies on strategic management, finance, socio-economic sectors and human resources management as well.
IFIM has also set up a centre for entrepreneurship patronised by bankers, venture capitalists and industrialists. This centre mentors and coaches young entrepreneurs by facilitating and incubating viable business ideas.
Admissions to the PGDM and PGDM - IB courses are done on the basis of CAT/MAT scores, academic record, prior work experience (quality and relevance), extra-curricular activities, group discussions and personal interviews. Further, the Padode Foundation has instituted scholarships by offering attractive grants for meritorious students who score above 85 percentile in their CAT exams. For further details contact at email:; website:

Sunil Sharma
Dil Se Desi Group

Building as Teaching Aids

School Infrastructure as Learning Aids

After the success of Taare Zameen Par, which showed how a school’s infrastructure can serve as an effective learning aid, Delhi’s education department is all set to launch a project called BaLA
Building as Learning Aid (BaLA), also an acronym for a girl, is an innovative way of looking at a student's relation with the school. The project, to be launched by the Delhi government on January 23, focuses on using the existing school infrastructure as a part of the learning process and in making education indispensable to everyday life. The project also addresses inclusive education in mainstream schools.
The fact that one's physical space could serve as a resource in the teaching-learning process is being explored seriously by the project. The school buildings and their constituent elements such as floors, walls and ceilings have been treated innovatively so as to help simplify the learning process. The first series would see transformation take place within the confines of a classroom, while the latter would be aimed at integrating studies with the infrastructure outside the classroom. This is how the school would function, once the first phase of the BaLA initiative is implemented.

Blackboards stretched across the length of the classroom's four walls will replace the traditional blackboard. These boards will also take into consideration the height of the students. "On one wall, calendars will be painted with a black grid wherein children will perform their activities. The border along the calendar could also be used to depict the seasons. This would make learning the seasons and months much easier," informed V P Singh, additional state project director. Further, classes will be painted in various colours to help those who find identifying colours difficult.
Every desk will have a scale painted on it to integrate measurement in a child's day-today life. "Students could enjoy measuring their lunch boxes and books by using the desk scale and learn at the same time. Some desks would even have the desk's actual weight painted on them," stated Reena Ray, secretary, directorate of education.

BaLA will also make learning geometrical angles a lot simpler. Students who have to study angles in their curriculum will find the 'Door Angle Protractor' painted on the classroom's entrances. The angles will be aligned with the swing of the door. "Students will know the exact angle at which the doors are opened as the corresponding angles will be painted on the floor," added Singh. Symmetrical shapes of geometry, traditional motifs, illusions and other patterns will also be painted along the vertical divisional line separating the two parts of the doors.
All the colours of the rainbow will be found on the ceiling fans. However, students would be surprised to find that when the fan rotates only white would be visible. This would help teach students the concept of VIBGYOR and that white light comprises seven colours.
No textbook can, perhaps, integrate learning and fun the way games painted on floors can. "A 6/3 grid would be painted on classroom floors. The note besides it reads - identify even, prime and odd numbers and students can jump only diagonally and towards the left to identify the same clan numbers but not to the right. This makes it both, fun and simple," added Ray. According to Ray, the objective is to help students with learning difficulties without making them feel different. "By the time students reach higher classes, they will be well versed with mental mathematics and their basics will be absolutely perfect." Besides, these innovative teaching techniques would benefit all learners.

Sunil Sharma
Dil Se Desi Group

Making the Right Choice

Careers and Placement


It's the time when most B-school students are caught up in a whirlwind of activities — multiple applications and interviews — and campuses eagerly await judgement day, when students finally learn whether the blood and sweat of the past two years, and the gamble that started it all — their enrolment and investment in a B-school — is about to pay rich dividends. During placement season, recruiters from every sector descend on B-school campuses across the country to ensure that the best business brains bring their extensive resources and fresh vigour to their organisations. Placement season is critical for students; it is the culmination of two years of the finest postgraduate education available, and often students have but a few crucial moments to make an instant and lasting impression on the recruitment committee. How do you make your efforts count?
When you set out to interact with potential recruiters, you need to be prepared to answer a volley of questions and ensure you make a good first impression. Sandeep Bhattacharjee, an IIM-Kozhikode student, currently dealing with his lateral placements, says, “You obviously have to research the company well, because you will be quizzed about your knowledge of the company. Recruiters look for soft skills and want to see confidence and enthusiasm in a student. They pose several questions and try to put a lot of stress on you.You have to be able to deal with it.” In spite of the intimidating and unpredictable nature of placement interviews, there are certain questions and situations you can be prepared for. Bhattacharjee adds, “When you first enter the room, you’re likely to be asked to go over your resume and be quizzed on it. You will also be asked generic questions about why you are applying to that particular organisation, what you think your strengths and weaknesses are, etc.” Brijesh Shirodkar, a National Institute of Industrial Engineering (NITIE) alumni, further elaborates on the types of interviews, saying, “There are usually two kinds of interviews — one for people with work experience, and one for people who started pursuing their MBA immediately after graduation.” Students with prior work experience are questioned to gauge how well they have understood the business process. Brijesh, who has a few years of work experience in the IT industry and landed a job with Cognizant, Pune, explains: “If a student with IT experience is being interviewed by a retail recruiter, they won’t be interested in which IT branch he was involved with, but will checked on how well he’s understood the business process. So retail recruiters will ask him about how retail operations work, and how his IT skills and knowledge can contribute to their business.” Students who have jumped onto the MBA bandwagon straight after graduation have other challenges to face at the interview.“The focus is primarily on academics, on their performance during their MBA programme, and perhaps a little bit on their graduation. Extra curricular activities are extremely important as these demonstrate initiative, leadership skills, and the student’s capacity for teamwork.”
As someone who has invested time and money in pursuing and acquiring a coveted MBA degree, you are expected to be very certain about what you are looking for. A lackadaisical attitude is not going to impress a recruitment committee. Shirodkar says,“You will be asked by recruiters about how you think you can achieve your goals with their organisation.“ The student should be clear on parameters like the company, the brand, the profile he is being offered and so on.
In many cases, if you’re made an offer by an organisation, there is pressure to accept, even if you’re having second thoughts about it. However, that isn’t always the case. Rohan Mathur, Member of Placement Committee, IIM Ahmedabad, says: “Students always have an option, especially in case of lateral placements, because they can play the work experience card. They can negotiate several parameters, whether it’s the job profile, the pay packet or even the location. They can insist they want to work in New York and not in London.” To this, Brijesh adds: “Some colleges allow students to keep taking interviews until they find something suitable. Although companies insist on students accepting offers, colleges also insist on keeping their students’ options open.”
In a situation where you are unhappy with the options open to you, consider individual jobhunting as opposed to compromising on what you want in your first job. Priya Das (name changed), a student from a suburban Mumbai B-school started her own job search when she was dissatisfied with what was on offer during placements. She says, “You will never find the perfect job right away, even if you’re from an IIM. You need to look out for any and every new opening.”
Plenty of MBA students pursue an internship during the length of their programme and like with any other internship, it is an excellent opportunity to grow and learn. Be resourceful and use this brief exposure to the corporate world to network and nurture professional relationships. Abhinav Jain, a student of National Institute of Industrial Engineering (NITIE) was made a Pre Placement Offer (PPO) from Ernst & Young after a summer internship there, and grabbed the opportunity. He offers, “If you have identified an attractive recruiter and are sure you want to start there, you need to give it your best shot and go about making a lasting impression on your manager. You are normally assigned a project during your internship, at the end of which you are asked to make presentations in relation to it. Your manager, HR personnel and other senior members will be present then. This is your time to make your mark. .” Many institutes encourage this practice. Mathur avers, “We have a system of the ‘dream firm’, so even if students have landed preplacement offers, they can enroll to the placement process as well to take a shot at making it to their top option.”
What do recruiters look for? -
Competence in the sphere you are applying to - Personal qualities such as team work, confidence, clarity of direction and abilty to handle stress

Sunil Sharma
Dil Se Desi Group