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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Education & Career Counseling (Visa issues for U.K., Career After Masters/PhD. in Urdu, Career in cultivating aromatic medicinal plants )

Education & Career Counseling (Visa issues for U.K., Career After Masters/PhD. in Urdu, Career in cultivating aromatic medicinal plants )

Visa issues for U.K.

Please tell me something about the new point-based immigration system introduced in UK. Does it mean that it will become very difficult to immigrate there? I work in a hotel and I am very keen to move to London.

Vikas Rajan
The new points-based system was introduced in February this year to rate prospective immigrants based on their skills. Besides making people aware of whether they could settle down in the country or not, this would increase the immigrant flow, although the prevalent view is that it has been brought about to restrict the number of people coming into the UK. Europe being in need of skilled manpower due to its declining population, the points-based immigration system would, in principle, provide a fair chance to skilled Indian workers to work and settle in UK. However, there are always some “ifs” and “buts”. Since the US slowdown has had global ramifications, jobs and hiring have taken a severe beating in the UK as well. And some sectors are more affected than others.

Career After Masters/PhD. in Urdu

I completed Master’s in Urdu in the year 2006. I also cleared NET (Urdu) with 63.11% marks. What type of jobs can I look at?

Gokul Chand

After completing a PhD in Urdu, you can take up teaching at the college or university level. With the proliferation of the media, there is a growing demand for those who can communicate with style, ease and competence. There are large number of Urdu based channels being telecast worldwide. So you have the option to join electronic media. You can work there as announcer, newsreader, anchorperson or scriptwriter. You can also work as a journalist in print media and web content creator in the online medium. Creative writing is yet another option. You can be a copywriter in an advertising agency, technical writer, public relations executive or editor. An additional course in public relation, journalism, advertising or mass communication would give you the necessary professional edge.
You could also look at openings abroad in countries where Urdu is widely spoken. It is in the Middle-East countries and some of the western South Asian countries where you could look for job openings, but be prepared to face stiff competition from the local applicants who might have similar qualifications and the added advantage of regional and market familiarity.If you are fluent with any language other than Urdu ie English or French, a translator or interpreter's job may be worth. The Indira Gandhi National Open University (Ignou) has introduced BEd (Urdu) in collaboration with Maulana Azad National Urdu University, Hyderabad, .

Career in
cultivating aromatic medicinal plants

I belong to a family of farmers in Himachal Pradesh. I have heard that cultivating aromatic medicinal plants is a very lucrative option. How far this true?

Vijay Kumar

Plants have been used medicinally since antiquity. According to the World Health Organisation’s survey, 80% of the world’s population uses plants as medicine for primary health care. Plant based medicines are used in various systems ie Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani, Homeopathy and even in Allopathy to some extent. Nearly 90% of plant-based medicines are obtained from nature, while 10% are from medicinal plants cultivated in farms. However, owing to the growing demand of plant based medicines, there is an urgent need to grow certain medicinal plants on a large scale. Some common spices and condiments are being cultivated in farms on a large scale eg black pepper, chilies, coriander, cumin, fennel, garlic, ginger, mustard, mint, onion, turmeric etc. You could also consider this option.
India has rich plant diversity to meet the growing demands of plant based medicines, perfumery and flavouring. India’s favourable soil and climate plays host to over 320 of the 400 families of flowering medicinal plants in the world. As we have some of the rarest and most needed medicinal plants in
India, we can capitalise on this to capture a large share of the growing global trade. Organic farming would go a long way in increasing the acceptability of these plants. Pharmaceutical companies, manufacturers of ayurvedic medicines, herbal cosmetics, health food, perfume industry and nature cure clinics — in India and abroad namely USA, EU, Japan and Australia constitute the major market for Indian medicinal plants. On the other hand many others like New Zealand, Germany and Korea have shown keen interest. While our domestic market alone is huge, and growing steadily, our herbal exports to the US exceed that of China.
The National Medicinal Plants Board, , expects export of medicinal and value-added products from India to double from the present Rs 800-900 crore, by 2011-12. Several states eg Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Uttaranchal offer incentives for plantation of medicinal herbs. The entire Himalayan region of Himachal Pradesh, particularly the higher reaches of Chamba, Kulu, Shimla and Sirmour districts, is home to over 3,500 species of herbs and aromatic plants. Of these as many as 70 endangered Himalayan herbs with rare medicinal properties are on the verge of extinction.
By 2011-12 government’s new National Mission on Medicinal Plants (NMMP) expects to bring some 80,000-1,00,000 hectares of land under medicinal plants through direct financial assistance for cultivation, and an almost equal area, which will be covered by incentivising farmers who may switch over from traditional crops to medicinal plants. Some 200 nurseries are proposed to be set up, both in the public and private sector, for making available seeds of certified quality.
New testing labs are being created through public-private partnerships. 
Sunil Sharma

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