EDUCATION TRIBUNE Tuesday, February 13, 2001, Chandigarh, India

More community polytechnics on cards
by Damodar Agrawal
HE Union Government has in a major initiative announced its decision to publish its ‘National Vocational Education Policy’, likely to be the only of its kind in any developing country.

Admission deadline

Pervin Malhotra, Tribune’s career expert, answers all your career queries.




More community polytechnics on cards
by Damodar Agrawal

THE Union Government has in a major initiative announced its decision to publish its ‘National Vocational Education Policy’, likely to be the only of its kind in any developing country.

Aimed at creating a work force of skilled hands to be absorbed in the USA and the European countries, where Indian engineers are in great demand, the policy, when implemented, will also stem the ever-increasing braindrain.

The infrastructure now available for vocational education in the country today falls much short of our needs. So in the engineering colleges, even the teachers’ posts are going abegging. Lesser numbers of students get admitted to postgraduate courses, and still less go in for teaching jobs.

This was recently revealed by the Parliamentary Consultative Committee on the Ministry of Human Resource Development. It says in contrast to heavy rush for undergraduate courses, over 60 per cent of about 10,000 postgraduate seats in 101 institutions remain vacant and less than 7000 students complete the courses in any given year.

As compared to many other countries, India continues to produce a huge technical manpower. Yet the facilities are so meagre that less than 400 research scholars complete their Ph.D. courses. Hence, the country is heavily losing out in terms of qualified teachers. Low enrolment in postgraduate and research programmes is due to lack of interest and inadequate rewards.

By 2007, the demand for IT teachers will also increase, which, according to a HRDM source, may go up to 2-3 million. The government will, therefore, have to gear up the resources to meet the challenge. For all this and much more a national policy on vocational and technical education was badly needed.

At the lower level, the HRDM plans to open more community polytechnics, the number of which may be raised from 516 at present to around 1000 very soon. In these about two lakh persons being trained at present are being absorbed in local industries, in which there is a great demand for trained personnel to apply technology in rural development.

But all this is being done on a piecemeal basis. What the country now urgently needs is a comprehensive vocational policy. And this must be framed without any political pre-considerations. When recently the HRD Ministry started considering a proposal to give the “deemed university” status to the Regional Engineering College, it was blocked by the state governments being run by different political parties.

The policy mentioned above envisages restructuring of the existing facilities and broad-basing the stake holders by including in the scheme the other providers of similar facilities. In view of the developments in the anticipation of the globalisation, this should have been included in the 1986 Educational Policy itself, but then it was not done.

The salient features of the Vocational Education Policy have been well-defined. These are aimed at empowering the Central Government to restructure the system and to create an autonomous body to replace the existing plethora. Funding by private industry in search of qualified professionals has also been provided for.

The other features are related to improved participation of women and the other disadvantaged groups, international cooperation to augment training programmes, participation by job-trainers and job-providers and the revised modes of evaluating the management capabilities of the job-seekers. The strengthening of the research facilities has also been comprehensively talked of.

Obviously there is nothing in vocational education that the policy document does not cover, and if you read it well you are bound to be confused. It will not seem to have been prepared with clarity on implementation. While it talks of increasing the facilities at the lower level, it seems to be enthusiastic also on improving research and planning in the higher institutes of learning.

Otherwise there seems nothing new in the policy. Already in vocational education a lot of work is being done. More polytechnics are being opened, engineering colleges are being upgraded and we are soon going to have more Indian institutes of technology. Also, the government has already allowed renowned institutions like the Birla Institute of Science and Technology, Pilani, to open units in other countries (BITS has set up a centre already in Dubai) and sponsored research in IITs has become a routine.

If these and much more is being already done without any professed policy, one wonders what must have been the real motive behind a new policy document. Was it to save the image of the HRD Ministry which was tarnished by its scheme of spiritual education?

No policy on vocational education can ever be complete without the commitment to develop computer education, the greatest bane of which at the moment is the mushrooming of computer institutes in towns and cities, the products of which are substandard.

Why can’t the government select a few good ones and take them in the mainstream. Far from this, the computer courses run even by the universities have been recently derecognised. An example of this is Delhi University which had recently banned its own IT and Computer Science courses being run by its own affiliated colleges.

In the document on vocational education, loose threads are a little too many to digest. There are contradictions, repetitions and ambiguities. It speaks specially of training for women and the disabled groups, but says nothing about how to improve upon their educational status already in existence.

And to implement all that, the ministry plans to do in the field, it will require a huge amount of money. on the pattern of the UGC, it must, therefore, create a funding body to take care of the vocational needs. As the private funding agencies in our welfare state have not been willing to stake money in government-run institutions the only alternative is to encourage self-financing by the learner.

More important than all this will be the need for the government to guard against over-optimism about the employability of the new products. The country already suffers more from unemployable graduates than from unemployment.


Admission deadline

Armed Forces

Mar 05 Indian Navy, Recruitment Cell, DMPR, Naval HQ, Sena Bhavan, DHQ (PO), New

Delhi 110011.

* (1) Artificer

(2) Artificer Apprentices

(3) Matric Entry Recruits (MER)

Elig: Single males with (1): 3 yrs Dip (50%) in Mechanical/ Electrical/Electronics/Telecomm/Aeronautical/Ship Bldg/Instrumentation/Metallurgical Engg.

(2): Matric (65%) with Sc & Math or 10+2/equiv (60% Phy & Math).

(3): Matric (55%) with Sc & Math or 10+2 equiv (50% Phy & Math).

Age: on Aug 1: (1) 18-22 yrs (2) 15-18 yrs (3) 17-20 yrs. Appln Format: Employment News 10 Feb.

Feb 28 The Indian Navy, Directorate of Manpower Planning & Recruitment, Naval HQ, Room No. 205, “C” Wing, Sena Bhawan, New Delhi 110011.

* Recruitment of Engineers as Short Service Commissioned Officers Elig: For Men: BE/BTech (55%) in Telecommunication/ Aeronautical/ Avionics/ Instrumentation & Control/ Electrical/Electronics/Mechanical/ Production/Naval Architecture.

For Women: BE (4 yr) Naval Architecture (55%) or Equiv recog by Instt of Engineers (India).

Age: Born bet: 2 Jul ‘76-1 Jan ‘82, single. Appln Format: Employment News 3-9 Feb.


Apr 04 Indian Instt. of Information Technology (IIIT), Hyderabad (AP).


* Programmes in Information Technology

UG (4 yr & 5 yr Integrated)

PG (1 yr & 2 yr)

Elig: (1) 10+2 with Maths & Phy.

(2): BE/BTech/MCA/Masters degree in any discipline with Maths & knowledge of programming.

Age: Born on or after 1st Oct 1980

Exams: UG: May 12; PG: May 13 at 24 centres including B’lore, Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi, Jammu, Shimla & Thiruvananthapuram.

Appln F: Send Rs. 600/- (UG)/Rs. 900/- (PGP) favouring “Educational Consultants India Limited” payable at Delhi to the: Project Manager (IIIT-Hyderabad), Educational Consultants India Ltd., Ed. CIL House, 18A, Sector 16A, NOIDA-201 301, UP.

Sciences - CSIR NET

Feb 23 Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), CSIR Complex, Library Avenue, Pusa, New Delhi 110012.

* National Eligibility Test, NET (Joint CSIR-UGC Test for Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) and Eligibility for Lectureship (LS).

Test: 01 July.

Elig: MSc in the relevant discipline (55%). Candidates have to appear in their PG subject only.

Age: JRF (NET): 19-28 yrs (SC/ST/OBC/PH/Females: upto 5 yrs relaxation) LS (NET): Above 19 yrs

Appln Format: Employment News 3-9 Feb.


Mar 26 Instt. of Engineering & Technology, Sitapur Road, Lucknow-226021. http: //

Uttar Pradesh State Engineering Admission Test (UPSEAT-2001)

For admission to BE/ BTech/ BArch/BTech (Ag. Engg)/BPharma

Elig: Intermediate/10+2. Dip holders (60%) can apply for entrance test for direct admission to2nd yr (Lateral Entry). Exam: May 18 & 19.

Appln F: Send Rs. 550/- by crossed DD favouring “Secretary, UPSEAT-2000, IET-Lucknow” payable at Lucknow with 2 self/add stickers (10x5 cm) before Mar 19. Also at notified branches of Vijaya Bank or State funded institutions Rs. 500/- cash. Further Info: Employment News Feb 17.

Science & Tech

Mar 05 North Eastern Regional Instt. of Science & Technology, PO: Nirjuli, Arunachal Pradesh 791109 Ph: 0360-257401-3 (Extn. 123)

* NERIST Entrance Exam I & II 2001:

Base & Diploma Modules in Technology

Civil/Mechanical/Electrical/Electronics & Communication/ Agricultural Engg./Comp Sc

Base (2 yr) & Degree Modular (4 yr) in Forestry

Exams: (1): 2 June

Exams: (2 & 3): 3 June.

Elig: (1): Class X/XII (Sc & Maths). Age: Below 19 yrs (SC/ST/Girls: 22 yrs) on 1 Aug.

(2): Diploma: 10+2 (PCM/ PCMB)/ 10+2 (CBSE Voc) in specified displine/NERIST Cert (E& T) of Comp Sc

Degree: 10+2 (Voc in Forestry/Horticult)/NERIST Cert in Forestry.

Appln F: Send Rs. 20/- by DD favouring “Director NERIST” payable at SBI (Code No. 9535) with self-add, stamped (Rs. 28/-) envelope (28x12 cm) to the Deputy Registrar (Academic) at the above add before Feb 26. Also at Directorates of Higher/Technical Education of respective Eastern States (cash/DD).


Apr 25 Symbiosis Society’s Law College, Senapati Bapat Road, Pune 411004. Ph: (020) 5655114

* 5-Year Law Course

Elig: HSC (10+2) (45%).

Test: 12 May at Chennai, Calcutta, Delhi, Patna & Pune.

Prospectus & Appln F: Send Rs. 250/- by DD favouring “Principal, Symbiosis Society’s Law College, Senapati Bapat Road, Pune 411004. At counter: Rs. 200/- in cash.


Feb 24 Mathematics Training & Talent Search Programme (Funded by National Board for Higher Mathematics), C/o Programme Director, MTTS, D/o Mathematics, Univ of Mumbai, Vidyanagari, Mumbai 400098.


Level ‘O’, Level ‘I’, Level ‘II’

Elig: (1): Meritorious 1st/2nd yr students of BSc/BStat/BTech etc. with Maths as a subj.

(2): Final yr students (BSc/ BStat/BTech etc.) with Maths as a subj

(3): Ist yr students (MSc/ MStat/ MTech etc.) with Maths as a subj.

Selection: Merit, academic record & recommendation letter from Maths Professor.

Appln F: Send self-ad, stamped (Rs. 6/-) envelope (10x22 cm) superscribed “MTTS-2001 Application Form” to the Programme Director, MTTS, at the above add. Forms downloaded from website can also be submitted.


Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, Kashmere Gate, Delhi 110006.


Common Entrance Test-2001 for various UG/PG Courses.

Appln F: Send Rs. 140/- by DD favouring “Registrar, Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University” payable at Delhi to the above add. At counter: from following Punjab & Sind Bank branches at New Delhi: Extn. Counter, GGS Univ, Kashmere Gate; M Block, CP; Tilak Nagar Chowk & Nehru Place.

Further info & Forms can be downloaded from website.

Mar 26 Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi 221005

* Entrance Test

Admission to various Undergraduate/ Postgraduate, PhD (Ag) and Advanced PG Dip Courses-2001 


I wish to be a customs officer. Please advise.

Q I am interested in taking up photography as a career. Could you please tell me about the job prospects in this field?

Prahlad Kumar, SAS Nagar

A Photography has acquired the status of a viable career option although it still continues to be widely pursued as a hobby by amateur shutter-bugs. As with other professions, photography too has undergone considerable specialisation namely Press Photography, Food Photography, Advertising Photography, Fashion Photography, Industrial Photography, Forensic Photography and Wildlife Photography.

Regarding job prospects in this field, there are several options. You can work as a photographer for a newspaper, magazine or a news agency on a regular basis. The second option is to work as a freelancer. This appeals to most photographers as it gives them the freedom to shoot what they fancy and at their own convenience. Later, a seasoned photographer can even set up his own studio.

Since there are just a handful of good professional courses, your best bet would be to learn the basics and apprentice with an established photographer as an understudy. Although it may involve long hours of doing odd-jobs, lugging heavy equipment and setting up lights and props, it would be an invaluable learning experience, if you keep your eyes open.

Anybody with good colour vision, some imagination, eye for detail and composition can make a go of it .

Q I am interested in doing a beautician’s course. Could you suggest some good institutes in Delhi?

Mrs. Shashi, Ferozepore

A There are numerous institutes offering courses beauty care, in course duration ranges from 3 months to 2 yrs. In some of these institutes you can also get on-the-job training which exempts your from paying fees. Admission to such courses is relatively easy.

Some of the institutes offering these courses in Delhi are :

Women’s World International (Shahnaz Hussain’s Beauty School), M-43, Greater Kailash-I, New Delhi 110024

Herbal Beauty Clinic, B-109, Sarvodaya Enclave, New Delhi 110017

Polytechnic for Women, A-3 South Extension-I, New Delhi 110049

Habib’s Hair Academy, M-3 South Extension-II, New Delhi 110049

Alps School of Hair Designing and Beauty, 843, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi 110018.

Q If a course is AICTE approved, does it mean that its quality is guaranteed?

Rani Mukherjee, Chandigarh

A AICTE approval only signifies the credibility and capability of the institution to offer technical programmes in Engineering and Technology, Computer Applications, Architecture & Town Planning, Pharmacy, Management, Hotel Management & Catering Technology, Applied Arts & Crafts etc. In simple language, it is equivalent to permission granted to a kiranawala to open shop. It is in no way a proof of the institution’s or programme’s demonstrated capability to comply with specified norms and regulations. For this AICTE “accredition”, is the appropriate indicator. While the GoI has made accredition of programs mandatory for all higher and technical educational institutions, presently only a handful of institutions have come forward.

Q What is the difference between BCom and BCom (Hons)? Will I face any problem in future. Can I do MCom and then take up teaching as a profession?

Prakash Deep, Bathinda

A It is always better to go in for an Honours degree wherever it is offered by a university — particularly if you wish to pursue postgraduate studies in that field. An Honours course is somewhat more exacting and consists of additional paper/s in specific subject areas. As far as doing a BEd is concerned, there may be no problem, but you will certainly face a road-block as far as doing MCom or going in for a lectureship is concerned. Should you decide to go in for an MBA or any other professional course where admission is purely on the basis of an entrance test, your BCom (Pass) should not prove too much of a problem, though.

Q I have passed Class XII with 58%, but I am under 16. As a result, I was not eligible for any undergraduate courses offered at Delhi University. I want to know whether there is any university that will admit me and whether I can take up CA or CS?

Taurij Alam, Amritsar

A It’s a pity that you’ve had to miss out on a year simply because you’re too young! But rules are rules. However there’s no need to lose heart. You can try your luck at any of the several Open Universities in India where the age factor is not such a hard and fast rule. I have personally checked out with the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), Delhi, and they have said that you are eligible to enrol in any undergraduate course provided you fulfill the other basic eligibility criteria. So go ahead and best of luck. Who knows — you may well be the next Doogie Houser (the youngest reel-life medico-prodigy of the small screen) or our very own real-life Indian, Balamurali Ambati, who holds the distinction of being the world’s youngest medical doctor (he graduated from Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, USA). As far as CA and CS are concerned, you can enrol for their foundation courses the moment you turn seventeen.

Q I am interested in taking up biophysics and biogenetics as subjects while doing BE/BTech. Could you please tell me about the institutions offering these courses in BE/BTech programmes?

Kalyan Das, Behala, Shimla

A Since you are keen on taking up a course in Biophysics or Biogenetics in BE/BTech programmes, the following institutions offer specialisation in Biotech/Biomedical Engineering and Chemical and Bio Engineering:

* University College of Engineering (affiliated to Osmania University), Hyderabad-500007. Course: BE (Biomedical Engineering).

* Manipal Institute of Technology (affiliated to Mangalore University), Manipal-576119. Course: BE (Biomedical).

* Model Engineering College (affiliated to Cochin University of Science & Technology), BMC PO, Thrikkakkara, Ernakulam-682021. Course: BTech (Biomedical Engg).

* Dwarkadas J Sanghvi College of Engineering (affiliated to University of Mumbai), Plot No. U-15, JVPD Scheme, Gulmohar Road, Vile Parle (W), Mumbai-400056. Course: BE (Biomedical Engg).

* Mahatma Gandhi Mission’s College of Engineering (affiliated to University of Mumbai), Sion Panvel High Way, Kamothe, Navi Mumbai-410209. Course: BE (Biomedical).

* Thadomal Shahani Engineering College (affiliated to University of Mumbai), Linking Road, Bandra (West), Mumbai-400050.

* Watumull Institute of Electronic Engineering & Computer Technology (affiliated to University of Mumbai), 47, Dr RG Thadani Marg, Worli, Mumbai-400018. Course: BSc (Tech) (Biomedical)

* Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur-721302. Course: BTech (Biotech).

* Dr. B. R. Ambedkar Regional Engineering College, GT Road Bye-Pass, PO Suranussi, Jalandher-144027. Course: BTech (Chemical & Bio Engg).

Q I am a BSc (I) student. I wish to pursue a career as a customs officer. Could you please help me in realising my ambition?

Jyoti, Ludhiana

A A customs officer deals with the formulation of policies for collection of customs and central excise duties, prevention of smuggling, etc. And to become a Customs Officer you will have to take the Civil Services Examination after graduation in any stream. This exam provides entry into 27 different services including the Indian Customs & Central Excise Services. The exam is conducted in two parts consisting of a Preliminary and Main Examination. You can obtain further details from the Secretary, Union Public Service Commission, Dholpur House, Shahjahan Road, N. Delhi 110011 or watch out for the UPSC notification in Employment News and leading national dailies in the month of December.