EDUCATION TRIBUNE Tuesday, January 11, 2000, Chandigarh, India

CBSE to adopt grades, drop percentage
Meenakshi Mehta
WITH the dawning of the much hyped millennium, everyone’s out to make a point and so is the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). It has sprung yet another surprise though it is unlikely that a majority will fail to read the general apathy towards education that is smeared in between the lines of this arguably unacceptable change being inducted in the evaluation system.

Courses in collaboration with foreign varsities
From Jangveer Singh
Punjabi University will don a cosmopolitan look with its decision to start special courses in collaboration with a foreign university from the next academic session.

International MBA in Ludhiana
A professional qualification and a thorough know-how of how to manage maintain and promote business along with an international exposure are the watchwords for corporate success today.As a busy executive in Ludhiana, 315 km away from the Capital options for studying an international management degree were, perhaps, limited till now. The British Council is locally managing the Durham University International MBA Degree, which can be pursued from anywhere across the world.

Career hotline
Pervin Malhotra





CBSE to adopt grades, drop percentage
Meenakshi Mehta

WITH the dawning of the much hyped millennium, everyone’s out to make a point and so is the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). It has sprung yet another surprise though it is unlikely that a majority will fail to read the general apathy towards education that is smeared in between the lines of this arguably unacceptable change being inducted in the evaluation system.

As recently as a month ago, Prof B.P. Khandelwal, Chairman, CBSE, disclosed at the first annual regional conference of Navodaya schools in Chandigarh region held at Sainik School, Kunjpura, the CBSE will introduce “grading system” instead of the present “division system” from the academic year 2000-2001.

After hearing the elaborate preamble, educationists and parents are not exactly jumping with joy. “Shocked”, “surprised” and some are even “stunned”. “How can a student securing 69 per cent be grouped with one securing just 60 per cent marks?”, they whine, but that is bound to be. The grading system intends to give each student the A, B, C, D or E grade henceforth in examinations. This will most likely imply that all students securing any percentage of marks over a particular range, say 70 to 79 per cent, will be awarded a common grade.

Eversince this has been declared, the common refrain of parents and administrators has been that the grading system will create monumental upheavals. For one, they envisage a pandemonium when it comes to deciding the criterion for admission into schools, colleges at the plus one level. Over the years, a cut-off percentage was decided and students admitted accordingly. Will a cut-off grade do justice keeping in mind the plethora of students in one grade?

CBSE asserts that grades are being introduced “in anticipation of the challenges which the secondary education system would face in the new millennium” and “the new grading system is being adopted to end the stigma of being labelled as “fail” in any examination” as put across at the conference. Well, to most educators the idea seems almost ludicrous. They feel the connotations are far more. They are more than convinced that this will only prove more of an escape route, both for students as well as the secondary education system, than face challenges. Students, in fact, will be trained to avoid challenges in the garb of grades, after all CBSE promises “no failures”.

Has CBSE decided to scale back drastically on its students intelligence quotient? Or does it snip, cut and re-tailor its policies based on the feedback it receives on failures and drop-outs. It seems, this scheme is for anyone but high-level performers. Are failures and drop-outs our only concern? And is compromising on standards the only solution? Of the world of repercussions the one that seems most threatening is that complacency is likely to become a second nature. Without the nagging fear of failing, it is only natural that they will not work. Worse still is the fact that it is not going to be limited to the ‘board examination’ students alone. This complacency is going to percolate to the grassroots level, reducing the school authorities to mere puppets. “After all on what criteria will schools detain a child in a class if he/she is unfit for the higher one,” asks a school administrator.

“The only too prompt defence mechanism will be: ‘if CBSE will finally give a pass certificate to the child, why should he/she be detained because of failure in home/internal examinations’. Schools will find themselves at the cross-roads, maintain educational standards or follow counterfeit education, that will shake the very edifice of education which has laboriously been built over the years.”

Education never was the government’s blue-eyed boy. A glance at the portfolios in the Central Government reveal that at the Cabinet rank, there is just one portfolio for education named “Human Resource Development and Science and Technology” while many other fields have more than at least one portfolio.

Educators have been trying hard to see the rationality that has prompted this change from percentage to grade and from “fail” to simply “pass”. Perhaps, it is an attempt to adopt the western education pattern. The contention however is: are we adopting it because it is for the elevation of education, or have a clear record with no failures, no drop-outs or merely because it is western?

It is, indeed a matter of pride that India with its burgeoning population has achieved global distinction in various fields such as space technology and in the latest sweeping wave of information technology, such advancements are crucial to any developing country. What stands out as a glorious feather in India’s cap is that nearly one-third of the technical man-power of the globe is from India, which is the off-shoot of the thorough knowledge students are provided at schools.

Another example of Indian intellect and acumen, being recognised the world over is the fact that foreign institutes not only offer education to our class X and XII pass-outs and graduates, but do so by luring them with liberal scholarships. This may all change with the new grading system.

Education, particularly school education, has many dimensions. It is a constant source of learning and if a child develops a mental block in the acquisition of knowledge of a particular subject, he should be helped and encouraged to overcome it rather than switch off from it. Children being children will obviously opt for the easier way out. An over-all development culminates from acquiring the basic knowledge of elementary subjects at the school level and this is the most precious and dynamic resource, indispensable for sustained growth and attaining targets.

It isn’t for nothing that for so many years our education system has encouraged, nay, insisted on it. Rejection of some subjects by students at the school level and pursuing only the ones in which he/she does well amounts to, perhaps, making inadvertently or even deliberately a rather premature career choice. And what if the choice made so early proves to be wrong?

The proverbial statement that ‘the only thing static about change is change itself’, no doubt holds true and changes are welcome. But change for the sake of change? This remains an open question.


Courses in collaboration with foreign varsities
From Jangveer Singh

PATIALA: Punjabi University will don a cosmopolitan look with its decision to start special courses in collaboration with a foreign university from the next academic session.

The courses being offered initially will be in business management with stress on various types of marketing and those on information technology. The university is holding talks with three foreign universities in this regard and has also offered to run a bio-technology course keeping in view the advanced infrastructure available with it.

University Vice-Chancellor Dr Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia said under the collaboration, students would study on the campus here for a year and go abroad to finish the remaining two years of the course. An allowance had been kept for students who could not go abroad due to a pressing problem. He said these students would be given a bridge course and absorbed in the mainstream relevant courses.

The Vice-Chancellor said the university expected to earn from this venture as the collaborating university would be offered infrastructure in the campus after 3 p.m. by which time teaching of regular courses was over. He said the participating university would also profit as it would get infrastructure and trained manpower.

He said the teaching faculty for the courses would come from the participating university. However, later there was a provision for a faculty exchange programme. Under this programme, university teachers would go abroad and broaden their horizons which would benefit campus students.

The Vice-Chancellor said under the proposed agreement, the selection of students for various courses would be done jointly and the curriculum would also be prepared jointly.

Wisconsin University, which had proposed courses in Chandigarh, may also come to Punjabi University as the technical institute which had been selected by it for the purpose would need Rs 10 crore for completion. He said Wisconsin and other foreign universities did not want to spend on capital expenditure and the project at Chandigarh could be delayed because of this.

Dr Ahluwalia said though Wisconsin was welcome to start courses at the university, proposals for collaboration were being seriously discussed with three other American universities. Declining to name the universities, he said a proposal would be finalised soon.

He said if there was a need for any expansion at a later stage, the university could augment its facilities. He said the participating university could also be given land to develop specialised infrastructure it wanted as the university still had 75 acres of open ground available with it. He said the money generated from the venture could be used to improve infrastructure and facilities.


International MBA in Ludhiana

A professional qualification and a thorough know-how of how to manage maintain and promote business along with an international exposure are the watchwords for corporate success today.As a busy executive in Ludhiana, 315 km away from the Capital options for studying an international management degree were, perhaps, limited till now. The British Council is locally managing the Durham University International MBA Degree, which can be pursued from anywhere across the world.

In October ’99 the British Council planned a major promotion for the distance learning MBA degree programme from the University of Durham in Chandigarh. Over 300 corporate professionals enquired from all over North India about the MBA degree and over 50 for screening, leading to admissions later.

The British Council now takes the opportunity to offer the signed up Distance Learning MBA Degree programme from the University of Durham for working executives who would like to continue with their careers and yet advance academically and professionally.

An International MBA Degree today is one of the major routes to corporate success, but it is not possible to give up well-to-do careers to study an MBA for a year in the UK Corporates in India have also started to appreciate the international Distance Learning MBA’s for their stringent assessment.

The Durham MBA Degree programme is a welcome option for high-flying working executives who like to enhance their careers further without any breaks. Durham University is the third oldest University after Oxford and Cambridge and has wide international interests. Durham University was one of the first to start MBA courses in the United Kingdom.

The Durham MBA offers an opportunity for students to extend their abilities beyond the field of their specialised knowledge and experience to develop their skills further in the broad business environment. With over 90 centres across the globe, the Durham MBA graduates throughout the world have access to an active Alumni Association to enhance networking during and after the course.

The DL, MBA Programme of Durham is one of the few accredited by the AMBA (Association of MBA’s). In addition to Durham’s reputation, accreditation by AMBA confirms the quality of the programme and its equivalence to full-time programmes are also AMBA accredited.

The distance learning programme also offers complete geographical flexibility. The Durham Distance Learning programme provides students with extremely flexible means of study. The MBA programme is specially designed for working individuals. The students begin to use their skills and knowledge almost immediately, demonstrating the immensely practical nature the business expertise contained within the MBA programme. At the project stage of the MBA, the student gets to experience the benefits of concentrating on a problem.

The Durham MBA is spilt in four stages and takes a minimum of three and a half years to complete.

Stage 1: Foundation Subjects (with exams either in April or August)

Stage 2: Strategic Core Subjects (with exams in April)

Stage 3: Integration (with optional specialisation’s and exams in April)

Stage 4: Project/dissertation

Students receive full course material from Durham and Tutor support through the phone, e-mail and workshop once in a year. At the end of stage 2, intensive seminars are conducted in Durham and Hong Kong. For Indian students the contact of The British Council is an additional benefit, which provides them with facilities of library, cyber centre and counselling and Alumni networking in India itself.


Career hotline
Pervin Malhotra

Since I scored poorly in maths in the previous CBSE Board exams, I will be reappearing for the exam to improve my score. However, a new syllabus was introduced this year. Can I still prepare on the basis of the earlier syllabus?

Gurpreet Singh, Amritsar

I am afraid not. The Secondary/Sr. School Certificate Exams conducted by CBSE which will be held in March/April 2000 will be based on the revised syllabus in mathematics and a few other subjects.

This means that examinees appearing for these exams as private candidates (either because they failed in the previous attempt or as a second chance compartment or those who want to improve their performance) will have to prepare on the basis of the revised syllabus and text books. So get hold of the new syllabus and get cracking pronto.

A friend of mine is a good swimmer from Orissa. But he is only a matriculate. Can you suggest suitable employment opportunities for him.

Manjeet Kaur, Patiala

Life guard is one emerging employment opportunity for your friend. Besides being an expert swimmer, a professional life guard is trained in life saving techniques including resuscitation procedures. If you are a Bay Watch fan, you would, have observed what all falls within their line of duty!

Despite having a long coast line, several beaches, water amusement parks and swimming pools in the metros, the concept of life guard is not as popular in India as it is in the West where it is a mandatory requirement.

The tragedies that accompany religious occasions like immersion of Ganesha, Saraswati, Durga, Kumbh Melas etc. also underscore the relevance and importance of competent life guards.

YMCA, New Delhi is the only organisation in the country that imparts a training programme in this field in Mumbai and New Delhi. In this 15-day course (Rs. 2,000/-) students have to undergo rigorous training of 55-hours. On successful completion of the training a certificate is issued by the YMCA. However, these courses are not conducted regularly.

The average monthly salary of a life guard in good hotels and clubs starts at above Rs. 5,000 plus. p.m.

I am interested in retail management. What are the requirements for this field?

Parminder Singh, Ludhiana

Retail management occupies an important link in the marketing chain. But unfortunately in India we do not have much experience in this field. However, with emergence of mega stores like Shopper’s Stop, Nanz, Crosswords etc., the need for trained professionals is now being acutely felt.

Although formal degrees are not required for this purpose, they do help the candidates in other ways. Retail management requires long hours of work, organisational ability, and an eye for detail. Above all, you must have an ability of handling large and diverse activities with the customer’s satisfaction uttermost in your mind. An engineering degree, in this case, helps in understanding engineering and electronics gadgets while a management degree will help in allocating resources in an efficient way and getting the work done in time. If it is a garment store, you should have an eye on saratorial trends of fashion and an understanding of different fabrics. Similarly a CA or CS background will help if you opt for the financial aspect of retail management.

Can you please explain how the credit system followed in western educational institutions works?

Daljeet Singh, Faridkot.

A credit may be defined as a quantum of input received by a student in one hour of classroom instruction by the teacher and an equal measure of work put in by the learner outside the classroom which may fall within or outside his normal work schedule (i.e. reference work in the library, or experiments in the lab or collecting data for a presentation). No credits are awarded for preparatory or remedial work to catch up with a course. Let me elaborate. Each of the five courses in a semester (of four months in a trimester system) carries three credits. Thus 30 hours of work per week fetches you 15 credits adding upto 120 credits in an average 4-year undergraduate programme.

The purpose of the choice-based credit system is to maximise the opportunities for developing a student’s potential and interests — ranging from gardening to Spanish Opera, from creative writing to women’s’ studies and from vermiculture to operations research. Harvard, for instance, offers a mind-boggling variety of over 200 optionals to choose from!

Who is a software trainer? Is he different from a software engineer? Please explain.

Amarjeet Kaur, Muktsar

The dynamism of the software industry coupled with the growing trend of outsourcing trainers has given birth to a new breed of software professionals known as software trainers. They are engaged by software companies for imparting training in the areas in which they (trainers) work. So the emphasis is now shifting from theoretical concept to hands-on experience.

On the trainer’s part, it is sheer love of teaching and the opportunity to keep abreast with the latest in technology. While choosing this career, a software professional should keep in mind two constraints. Firstly it requires considerable development experience in the concerned area. Secondly full-time software professionals may not choose this option due to time constraint.





Feb 15 Institute of Town Planners, 4-A, Ring Rd, IP Estate, New Delhi 110002. Ph: 3318571, 3355722 Associateship Examination, 2000.

Elig: BArch, BE/BTech (Civil), BPlanning, MSc/MA in Geo/Sociol/Eco or Post Dip in Town Planning (55% agg). Candidates engaged in town planning work.

Appln Form: Send Rs. 120/- by DD favouring “Institute of Town Planners, India, New Delhi” along with a self-addressed envelope (9” x 11”), stamped (Rs. 15/-).

Armed Forces

Jan 31 Indian Coast Guard, Recruitment Cell, Coast Guard HQ, National Stadium Complex, Near Patiala House Courts, New Delhi 110001.

Recruitment of Naviks (General Duty). Elig: Males with Class X (55% agg) (45% for SC/ST). Age: 17-22 yrs (27-yrs for SC/ST).

Interview/Test: At several centres including New Delhi, Bangalore, Ambala, Jalandhar & Jammu.

Physical Elig & Appln Form: Employment News, 1-7 Jan, 2000.

Engineering Mar 16 Institute of Engineering & Technology, Sitapur Road, Lucknow-226021. Website: // Uttar Pradesh State Engineering Admission Test (UPSEAT-2000) for admission to BE/BTech/BArch /BTech (Ag. Engg)/BPharma

Elig: Intermediate/10+2. Dip holders can apply for entrance test for direct 2nd year admission in 2nd yr.

Entrance Exam: May 18 & 19, 2000.

Appln Form: Send Rs. 450/- by crossed DD favouring “Coordinator, UPSEAT-2000, IET-Lucknow” payable at Lucknow till March 9. Also Rs. 400/- in cash at counter and designated branches of Vijaya Bank. For detailed information see Employment News Jan 15.


Feb 10 Apeejay School of Marketing, Sector-8, Institutional Area, Dwaraka, Pappankalan, New Delhi 110048. Ph: 5087275/6, e-mail: PG Diploma in Business Management (PGDBM) (2 yr F/T, 3 yrs P/T)

Elig: For F/T): Bachelor’s degree in any discipline (50% agg). Scores in MAT.

For P/T): Bachelor’s degree in any discipline (45% agg) and interview. Working exp preferred.

Appln Form: Send Rs. 550/- by DD favouring “Apeejay School of Marketing” payable at New Delhi to the above address or Rs. 500/- in cash at counter. Also available at Apeejay Education Society Pragati Bhawan, Jai Singh Road, New Delhi 110001.

Feb 26 Lal Bahadur Shastri Institute of Management, Shastri Sadan, Venkateshwara Mandir Mg, Sector-III, R.K. Puram, New Delhi 110022. Ph: 6191081/6172407. E-mail: Postgraduate Programme in Management (3-yr, Eve).

Elig: Bachelor’s Degree in any discipline.

Selection Procedure: GD & interview.

Appln Form: Send Rs. 750/- by DD favouring “LBS Institute of Management” payable at New Delhi, to the Admissions Coordinator at the above address, or Rs. 700/- in cash at counter before Feb 21.

Mar 31 Symbiosis Institute of Management Studies (SIMS), 15th Lane, Prabhat Road, Pune 411004. Ph: 020-5658233/5673719, Telefax: 020-5671909. Web site: PG Dip in Management (PGDM)-Dual Specialisation: 2 Div (F/T) PG Dip in Management (PGDM) Spl in Personnel & HRD: 1Div (F/T) Masters Dip in Business Admin (MDBA) (2 yr corresp) Specialisation in Personnel, Marketing, Intl Trade & Fin. Masters Dip in Intl Trade (MDIT) (2 yr corresp) Masters Dip in Personnel Mgmt & Indl Rel (MDPM) (2 yr corresp) Elig: For 1 & 2) children/dependants of serving/ex-servicemen from Armed Forces and public with Bachelor’s Degree (50% agg). Industry sponsored candidates who may not be dependants of servicemen can also apply. For 3, 4 & 5) Gen Public: Graduation. For Defence Officers: All officers eligible notwithstanding educnl qual. For JCOs/NCOs: Graduation. For Clerical cadre/store keeper tech: 5 yr work exp, fluency in Eng for MDPM. Entrance Exam : 4 June at 9 centres including Delhi, Ambala, B’lore. Appln & Prospectus: Send Rs.650/- (Rs. 700/- by Regd Post, Rs. 750/- by courier) by DD in favour of “The Director, SIMS, Pune-411004” till Mar 31.

Jan 29 G.H. Patel Postgraduate Institute of Business Management, Sardar Patel University, Vallabh Vidyanagar 388120, Gujarat. MBA (Gen.) & (Self-financed)

Appln Form: Send Rs. 300/- by crossed DD/IPO favouring the “Registrar, Sardar Patel University” payable at Vallabh Vidyanagar 388120, Gujarat till Jan 29.

Jan 31 Management Development Institute, Mehrauli Rd, Sukhrali, Gurgaon 122001 (Haryana). Ph: 340153/340173 Email: (i) Fellow Programme in Management (FPM)

Elig: Bachelor’s degree in Engg or Master’s in any basic discipline (55% agg). Preference to candidates with professional exp, Faculty Members from AICTE recog instts may also apply.

Selectn: Test and interview.

Appln Form: Free of cost from above address.

Mar 06 Cochin University of Science & Technology, Kochi 682022. Registration for Common Admission Test for the following programmes:

Undergraduate Programmes BTech. Naval Arch & Ship Bldg/Civil/Mech/Electron & Comm/Comp Sc & Engg/Info Tech/Safety & Fire Engg./Instrumentation. Post Degree Programmes LLB BTech Polymer Sc & Rubber Tech MSc App Chem, Biotech, Maths, Stats, Phy, Industrial Fisheries, Meteorology, Hydrochem, Marine Biol, Marine Geol, Oceanography, Environ Tech, Electronic Sc, Marine Geophysics. MCA. MBA Master of International Business (MIB) Master of Business Economics (MBE) MA (Hindi).

MA Translation (German/Russian)


Diploma/Certificate Programmes (P/T)

PG Dips:

Functional Arabic/Translation, Administrative Drafting & Reporting in Hindi/Functional Hindi/German-Russian/Japanese

Integrated Dip


PG Cert

German/Russian/Japanese/French MPhil Programmes Chem/Stats/Phy/Chem Oceanography/Appld Eco (F/T)/Commerce/Hindi

MTech Programmes

Comp & Info Sc/Atmospheric Sc/Electronics/Polymer Tech/Comp Aided Structural Analysis & Design/Opto-Electron & Laser Tech/Ocean Tech/Engg Stats/Industrial Catalysit. PhD Programmes Offered in all the Teaching Depts/Schools of the University except the Dept. of Foreign Lang.

Appln Form: For all courses (except MPhil/PhD & Dip/Cert) send Rs. 525/- (Rs. 90/- for SC/ST) by DD favouring “The Registrar, Cochin University of Science & Technology” payable at State Bank of Travancore, Thrikkakara (Code 0235) or SBI, Ernakulam (Code 1015), to the Director, IRAA Unit at the above address.

For: Mphil/PhD from concerned deptt/schools at counter or through post.

For Dip/Cert: Send Rs. 125/- (Rs. 50/- for SC/ST) by DD to respective Deptts.


Mar 15 Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi 221005. All India Combined Competitive Written Test (PMT/PAT) 1) MBBS 2) BAMS 3) BDS 4) BPharma Elig: For (1 - 4): Intermediate Sc/Pre Med Course/10+2 (50% agg) (40% for SC/ST) in Eng, Phy, Chem & Biol

Appln Form: Send Rs. 500/- by DD favouring “The Director, Institute of Medical Sciences, BHU” payable at Varanasi along with request letter mentioning your name, address and DD particulars and two self-addressed slips (10 x 6 cm). Superscribe on the envelope “Request for Appln for PMT/PAT-2000, BHU” before Feb 22.

Feb 28 All Indian Institute of Hygiene & Public Health, (GoI), 110-Chittaranjan Avenue, Calcutta 700073. MD (SPN) (3yrs) Dip in (2 yr) Public Health (DPH), Maternity & Child Welfare (DMCW), Industrial Health (DIH) Master of Veterinary Public Health (MVPH) Master of Engineering in Public Health (MEPH) Dip in (2 yr) Dietetics, Health Education (DHE), Health Statistics (DHS), Public Health Nursing (DPHN) (10 mts) Cert in Public Health Nursing Supervision (CPHNS) (13 wks)

Appln Form: Send application on plain paper with self-addressed stamped envelope to: “Office of the Director, at the above address.

Unless otherwise specified, the dates mentioned above are deadlines for receipt of completed application forms.

CARING (Career Information & Guidance), New Delhi