EDUCATION TRIBUNE Tuesday, January 9, 2001, Chandigarh, India

IT transforms studies
by Meenakshi Mehta
HE world is bedeviled by a spectre — the spectre of dotcom start-ups and the increase in the number of geeks and nerds. Every age is controlled by a rage. This is the age of generation e and the rage is controlled by the internet. The net hailed as a mighty force is out to overhaul the world and usher in digital brilliance. The fantastic wealth of the new economy and the renegade attitude of netizens has pleased not everybody, not the older order at least. The conflict has brought to the fore speculations and arguments as “ will everything be digital?” “Will society go the way of the book or the way of the screen or both ways ? ( thanks to the miracle of e-ink)”.

Career hotline




IT transforms studies
by Meenakshi Mehta

THE world is bedeviled by a spectre — the spectre of dotcom start-ups and the increase in the number of geeks and nerds. Every age is controlled by a rage. This is the age of generation e and the rage is controlled by the internet. The net hailed as a mighty force is out to overhaul the world and usher in digital brilliance. The fantastic wealth of the new economy and the renegade attitude of netizens has pleased not everybody, not the older order at least. The conflict has brought to the fore speculations and arguments as “ will everything be digital?” “Will society go the way of the book or the way of the screen or both ways ? (thanks to the miracle of e-ink)”.

The future of the internet is predicted as 50 per cent in the USA , 40 per cent in Europe, 5 per cent Japan and Korea and 5 per cent the rest of the world. It is also assumed that within three years the developing world will represent more than 50 per cent of the web. The doubling and redoubling of computer power is the drive behind the information technology (IT) era.

The rudimentary question, however, is how much is the present-day education doing to equip students to become a part of this dynamic flux of the screen ? Education must reflect the influence of technology. The exigency, today, is new interpretations of the instructional process and a continuous process of evaluation and re-evaluation in the light of technology influences at all levels.

Educators have to be imaginative and flexible to renew their vision of teaching and learning to realise, to the optimum, the potential of educational technology to meet the demands of IT. “ Knowledge management” should be the buzz words, being more pertinent that creating ‘ knowledge banks’ at all levels.

For starters at the first level, that is at schools, education must be essentially on the net, which is easy and uniquely interactive. Appropriate computer technology places users in control of their learning . It encourages both independent and collaborative learning, while extending and supporting the learning process. The rapidly changing nature of computers continues to expand the range of resources available for any subject-specific learning. Teaching through the multimedia offers an environment enabling minds to respond quickly and naturally to appropriate technologies that offer a high level of physical control and quick feed-back. This initiates exploration and deliberations of information.

Investigation of the mathematical process, scientific concepts, language patterns, geographical differences or historic events, within a meaningful context, is not only easy but also interesting.

When educational gurus are ruing over the death of strategy, the dotcom has given a new life to modes of learning the means to do the same thing better, each time it is attempted. What with setting up a click kiosk for books which is inexpensive beyond imagination. Computerised libraries can acquire course material based on academia that will be digitised and posted on the sites of terminal schools for students to access.

For all its simplicity, the net is profound. The net is not about technology alone. It is about a new society and a new educational system. Who can deny this considering how one of its creation, the e-mail is changing the culture of education.

Transfer of information and data to library users can take place through the e-mail which is not only economical but speedier too. Guided research work through distance modes and telecounselling are also possible. Besides, making the most of webcasting of lectures, students can e-mail their doubts to the teachers concerned and have clarifications on-line .

The most advantageous is “ peer interaction”. Students, teachers, working professionals and home learners can interact with experts at schools, colleges, universities and industries. This not only broadens their horizons beyond classroom instructions but also helps them to learn at their convenience.

Besides, computerised testing is fast gaining momentum . Perhaps, the only limitations it has is that it can only perform objective- tests, or else this method is par excellence.

At another level it has the means to provide a basic infrastructure for an efficient and meaningful consortium of engineering universities. Such a digital consortium can make systematic and concerted efforts to coordinate the activities of several universities in the country. The current engineering practice demands redefining to make full use of the available and emerging it. Globalisation will not only open avenues for new markets. But I it also means overseas competition entering traditional markets. But is it really being encouraged ? Considering the growing number of engineering institutes in the country, there is a serious deficit of trained manpower in the areas of engineering education and training. The plethora of engineers that pass out each year only add to the list of the unemployed. The crevice in their employment is gaping wide. So much so that the ratio of jobs available and job applications is 1:140. The status of engineers is so commonplace that they are now being hired as salesmen and the emoluments, easy to guess — a pittance. This blatantly reflects the miserable failure of their education. After all why should a computer engineer feel the need to do a commercial certification course in Java ( the latest in software) after his graduation?

The fact is that in the IT age the nature of work will continue to change in terms of demand for professional, technical and service skills. The world of IT revolution will keep everyone on their feet as constant refinement, modification and updating are the watchwords.

As a natural corollary, it has amply exhibited transformation in the way people view career options. It the collective term of the various technologies involved in processing and transmitting information, includes telecommunications computing and micro electronics. The economic destiny and prosperity of entire nations rests on the use of the silicon-based computer technology that has truely taken the world by a storm.

The computer hardware and software areas both offer promising career prospects. The hardware jobs include the jobs of computer network specialists and computer maintenance engineers. The best job offers, however, go to graduates in computer science and engineering or electronics. The software jobs include job options of programmers, system analysts and computer operators. Software Engineers’ excellence at mathematical skills, indicative of the potential for analytical work by software engineers, and formal education and work experience are a bonus. After 10+2 students can take up a four-year bachelor’s degree in computer-electronic engineering or a three-year bachelor’s degree in computer science or computer applications. Commercial certification is another route to software engineering. In the digital world where everything is IS and OS or bits, the sooner the student community attunes itself to it, the better it will be. Computers are coming out of the box. Our grandchildren will look back at the personal computer as a gaint artifact - considering the fast-changing technology.

The government is resolute to make the country a superpower in it. This is evident from the fact that on the recommendations of the National Task Force, the Planning Commission has devised an action plan to establish a “ National Qualification Framework” for computerised online objective system of knowledge acquisition. It also suggests implementation of an “ Education Credit Bank” meant for giving flexibility to integrate credits earned in different institutions/ systems towards eligibility for diplomas and degrees. The efforts being put in are immense though a lot of spadework needs to be done.


Career hotline
Pervin Malhotra

I have passed Class XII with biology as subject and am going to seek admission to a medical college. Could you please tell me the difference between a college approved and recognised by the MCI and DCI, respectively?

Manjit Singh, Chandigarh

MCI stands for the Medical Council of India while DCI represents the Dental Council of India. All dental colleges seek their recognition from the Dental Council of India while medical colleges specialising in areas other than dental medicine are approved by the Medical Council of India. In reality, there is no difference between ‘recognised’ and ‘approved’ for they are both interchangeable terms which mean one and the same thing as far as medical courses are concerned.

I have passed Class XII with science subjects and wish to take up marine radio officers course in the merchant navy. Could you tell me where I can get training for this course.?

Suresh Nambiar, Ludhiana.

To become a radio officer, you need a certificate of proficiency as a Wireless Operator which is issued by the Wireless Advisor to the Government of India, Wireless Planning & Coordination, Ministry of Communications, Sardar Patel Bhawan, New Delhi 110001. To prepare for the test, you can undergo training at any of the following institutes: All India College of Engineering & Marine Communications, 548-B, Rishi Nagar, Rani Bagh, Near Punjab National Bank, Delhi 110034 Dr. Ramana’s Institute of Marine Electronics, 4, Shastri Park (Bhagat Singh Road) Chandra Nagar, Delhi 110051 (Regular & Corresp. courses) New Delhi Professional Studies, 16/681, Faiz Road, Karol Bagh, New Delhi 110005 Oceanic Institute of Marine Electronics, B-39, Panchsheel Enclave, New Delhi 110017 Besides these, there are several other training institutes at Mussoorie, Ludhiana, Dehradun, Chennai, Bangalore, Pondicherry, Coimbatore, Hyderabad and Jaipur.

Could you tell me something about the Indian Foreign Service. How can one join this service?

Shiv Prakash Mehta, Mohali

The Indian Foreign Service (IFS) is considered the most elite service in India. IFS personnel are posted in the M/o External Affairs in New Delhi and in the Indian diplomatic missions around the world where they serve as the Government of India’s representatives. To join the IFS, you must take the Civil Services Examination and secure a high rank as IFS is ranked topmost in the Group ‘A’ Services and ranks next to the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) in terms of power and status. The exam conducted by the Union Public Service Commission comprises three stages: Preliminary (Objective type) Exam, Main (Written) Exam and the Interview. You have to clear all these stages and secure a good rank at the same time. You will have to work very hard to ensure that your name figures in the top 50 positions. Eligibility: Graduation. Age: 21-30 yrs Watch out for the advertisement in Employment News and leading national dailies in the month of December. For further details, you could contact: Secretary, Union Public Service Commission, Dholpur House, New Delhi 110011.

What kind of work is involved in multimedia and does it have a good scope? Could you advise me on selecting a good institute for training?

Esha Tiwari, Amritsar

Multimedia is a generic term for technology that integrates video, audio, text, illustrations, graphics, photographs, animation and colour. It has become an increasingly popular and widely accepted tool for commercial artists, graphic designers, animation specialists, etc. It finds application in a large variety of fields, e.g. advertising, publishing, print and electronic media including web page designing on the internet, architecture, training, entertainment, marketing, etc. The computer has rapidly taken over many tasks that were formerly done by a pen or a brush. Work is now done much faster and is less messier and laborious than in the manual mode. However, what is really essential for anyone aspiring to join this field is that they have oodles of channelled artistic talent and creativity — neither of which can be substituted by the smartest of computers. Regardless of what the training institutes may claim in their haste to enroll students for their high-priced courses, if you wish to work as an independent professional, a background in commercial art or graphic designing would give you a solid grounding. While there are any number of institutes offering training in multimedia, be careful of which one you select. Satisfy yourself on the following scores:

  • Will they teach you to handle the latest multimedia software — should be ideally Mac and Windows compatible.

  • How many hours of actual hands-on computer time is allowed?

  • How experienced are the instructors?

  • Are placement facilities offered?

  • Will they train you in the fundamentals of design?

  • What is the duration of the course? What do senior students have to say about the facilities offered by the institute and the quality of teaching (experienced, full-time faculty), placement record, etc. In Delhi, a good number of private institutions like Arena Multimedia of Aptech, Priyadarshini Training Centre, American Institute of Technology, CADD Centre, Apeejay Institute of Design, etc. offer training in multimedia and computer graphics.

I am interested in TV production. I’m told that perhaps the best way is to start as a production Assistant. What does the work entail?

Vijoy Chatterjee, Shimla

Scratch below the surface of any successful TV producer and you’re sure to find that one of his or her first jobs in the business was that of a production assistant. Look for the people carrying the walkie-talkies around the set and you’ve found a production assistant. PAs are the troops who work under the supervision of the producer or production manager. They are the gofers and busy bees, making sure everyone is where they need to be, transporting actors and crew to the sets, getting the reams of paperwork signed by the right people, making up and distributing the call sheet for the next day’s shooting schedule, making the late-night telephone calls to announce costume fittings, or last minute changes and on and on ad infinitum. While some people make a good career out of working as a production assistant, this position is considered a perfect hands-on entry-level job for those who have the ambition to move into the production end of the business. I have done BSc (Maths) with a diploma in Production Engineering. Could you please tell me about the institutes offering one or two-year courses in Production Management through distance education. Rajiv Malhotra, Khanna Two universities in the country offer diploma courses in Production Management through distance learning:

  • Annamalai University, Directorate of Distance Education, Annamalainagar 608002. Duration: 1-year. Eligibility: BE/ MCom/ MBA/MA (Eco)/MSc Maths/ Stat/Diploma in Engineering/ AMIE. The university’s study centre in Delhi is at Tughlakabad Institutional Area, Near Batra Hospital, New Delhi 110021. Tel: 6987638, 6989082.

  •  Punjabi University, Directorate of Correspondence Courses, Patiala 147002. Duration: 2 years. Eligibility: Graduation with work experience. Production Management is also offered as an optional subject in many MBA programmes.




Civil Services

Feb 05 Himachal Pradesh Public Service Commission, Nigam Vihar, Shimla 171002. Combined Competitive Exam 2000 (Prelims, Mains & Viva-Voce). For recruitment to Class I/Gazetted posts in HP Administration/services in HAS, HP Police Service, Excise & Taxation Officer.

Elig: Bachelor’s degree, Age: 21-34 yrs, knowledge of customs & dialects of HP preferred.

Appln F: Send Rs. 25/- by crossed DD favouring the "Secretary, HP Public service Commission, Nigam Vihar, Shimla171002 before Jan 25.

Environmental Sciences

Jan 22 Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh 202002 Post Diploma in Environmental Engineering Elig: Dip in Civil/Mechanical/Chemical Engg.

Interview: Jan 30.

Appln F: Send Rs. 50/- by crossed DD favouring the "Finance Officer, AMU, Aligarh" payable at SBI-AMU Branch, (Code 5555) with self-add, stamped (Rs. 50/-) envelope (25x20 cm) to the Office of the Principal at the above add. Also in cash at counter.


Jan 29 G.H. Patel Postgraduate Instt. of Business Management (Affl: Sardar Patel Univ), Vallabh Vidyanagar 388120 (Guj). MBA (Gen/ Self-Fin)

Appln F: Send Rs. 300/- by crossed DD/IPO favouring the "Registrar, Sardar Patel University" payable at Vallabh Vidyanagar 388120 (Guj) before Jan 29.

Medicine Mar 26 Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (Kasturba Health Society), PO Sevagram, Wardha 442102 Entrance Exam MBBS Elig: 10+2 PCB (50%) (SC/ST & OBC: 40%) with English. Exam: May 6 at Nagpur, New Delhi, Hyderabad & Mumbai.

Appln F: Send Rs. 790/- (Inclusive of syllabus & 5-yr papers of Gandhian Thoughts & PCB) by MO favouring "Dean, Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Sevagram, Dist. Wardha 442102". Write full add in caps in "space for communication" & "sender’s add".


Jan 13 Sardar Bhagwan Singh Post Graduate Institute of Biomedical Sciences & Research, Balwala, Dehradun 248161 (Uttaranchal) BPharma (4 yrs) Bachelor of Physiotherapy (41/2 yrs) BSc (Medical Lab Tech) (3 yrs) BSc (Home Sc) (3 yrs) MSc (Microbiology) (2 yrs) MSc (Pharm Chem) (2 yrs) Elig: (1): 10+2 (PCB/M) (50%) (2): 10+2 (PCB) (50%) (3): 10+2 (PCM/B) (45%) (4): 10+2 (PCM/B/Home Sc - girls only) (5): BSc with Microbiology/ Biochemistry/ Genetics/ Industrial Microbiology/ Botany/ Zoology/ Chemistry (50%) OR BPharma OR MLT. (6): BSc with Chemistry or Biochemistry (50%).

Test & Interview: Jan 14 & 15.

Appln F: Send Rs. 500/- by DD favouring "Gaurav Bharti Shiksha Sansthan" payable at Dehradun with application on plain paper stating: Name of course (3 choices); Your Name; Name of Father/Husband; Dt of Birth; SC/ST/others; Address with tel no; qualifications (exam passed, univ/board, yr of passing, Div/%age) and 2 PP sized pics to the Director at above add.


Mar 15 Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), Krishi Anusandhan Bhavan, Pusa, New Delhi 110012. Entrance Exam for ICAR Undergraduate Programmes & Award of National Talent Scholarship in Agri & Allied Subjs 2001-2002. Exam: May 20 at various centres. Elig: 10+2 (single attempt) (60%) (SC/ST: 50%) in PCB/M/Agri with English.

Appln F: Rs. 300/- (SC/ST: Rs. 150/-) by DD favouring "Deputy Director General (Edn), ICAR" payable at Delhi with request letter, self-add envelope (12"x10") to: The Sr Scientist (Exam), Room No. 405, ICAR, Krishi Anusandhan Bhavan, Pusa, New Delhi 110012 before Feb 28.

In cash: Rs. 305/- (SC/ST: Rs. 155/-) at: North: CCSHAU, Hissar (Har); Dr. YSPUH&F, Nauni, Solan (HP), PAU, Ludhiana; SKUA&I, Rly Rd, Jammu; SKUA&T, Srinagar; WBUA&FS, Calcutta (WB) Delhi: Syndicate Bank branches: KABA Extn Counter, Pusa; Super Bazar, CP.

Veterinary Feb 22 Veterinary Council of India, 16/15, WEA, Arya Samaj Road, Opposite Sat-Bhrawan Public School, Karol Bagh, New Delhi 110 005.

Common Entrance Test

Admission to 15% seats for BVSc & AH in veterinary colleges Elig: 10+2 (50% in Eng, PCB) (SC/ST: 40%).

Appln F: Send Rs. 500/- (SC/ST: Rs. 250/-) by DD favouring "Veterinary Council of India, New Delhi" with self-add, stamped (Rs. 15/- ordinary/Rs. 30 Regd/Speed Post) envelope (24 x 18cm) before Feb 15. Also in cash at counter before Feb 15.

University Mar 06 Cochin University of Science & Technology, Kochi 682022. Common Admission Test (CAT) & Departmental Admission Test (DAT) for admission to: Undergraduate Programmes BTech Civil/ Mechanical/ Electronics & Communication/ Computer Science & Engg,/ Information Tech/ Safety & Fire Engg/ Instrumentation/ Naval Architecture & Ship Building/ Polymer Science & Rubber Tech. BCA For Grads MSc (5-yr Integrated) Software Engg LLB

PG Programmes

MSc: App Chem/ Biotech/ Maths/Operational Research & Computer Applications/ Physics/ Industrial Fisheries/ Meteorology/ Hydrochemistry/ Marine Biology/ Marie Geology/ Oceanography/ Environmental Tech/ Electronic Sc/ MSc Tech Marine Geophysics. MCA MBA (F/T, P/T) MIB MBE MA (Hindi). MA Translation LLM MTech Computer & Information Sc/Atmospheric Sc/Electronics/ Polymer Tech/Computer Aided Structural Analysis & Design/ Opto-Electronics & Laser Tech/ Ocean Tech/Engg Stats/Industrial Catalysts/Software Engg. Diploma/ Certificate Programmes (P/T) PG Dip Functional Arabic/ Translation, Administrative Drafting & Reporting in Hindi/ Functional Hindi/ German/ Russian/ Japanese/French PG Cert/ Integrated Dip German/ Russian/ Japanese/French MPhil Chemistry/ Physics (F/T, P/T) /Photonics/ Chemical Oceanography/ Ecology/Applied Economics/ Commerce/ Hindi ME (By Research F/T, P/T) PhD: In all Teaching Depts/Schools of the Univ except D/o Foreign Lang. Appln F: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 before 23 Feb. For MPhil/PhD: Send Rs. 500/- (SC/ST: Rs. 65/-) by DD to respective School/ Department. For Dip/ Cert: Send Rs. 125/- (Rs. 50/- for SC/ST) by DD to respective Dept.

CARING (Career Information & Guidance), New Delhi