EDUCATION TRIBUNE Tuesday, February 12, 2002, Chandigarh, India

Read the lines, not between the lines
Change in curriculum for school education
J.S. Rajput
very dynamic system of school education is required to respond to the changes occurring all around in every sector of human endeavour. A responsive system of school education is one which is alert to these changes, their impact and imperatives and has the necessary in-built capacity to assimilate these in the system.





Read the lines, not between the lines
Change in curriculum for school education
J.S. Rajput

Every dynamic system of school education is required to respond to the changes occurring all around in every sector of human endeavour. A responsive system of school education is one which is alert to these changes, their impact and imperatives and has the necessary in-built capacity to assimilate these in the system.

Education in the initial years reshapes the future of the country by nurturing young persons to draw out the best in ‘body, mind and spirit’. A comprehensive system of school education is also judged by its process which nurture the children not only in cognitive aspects but also in other aspects required for fulsome growth and development as good citizens.

Curriculum renewal, consequently is a continuous process. The NCERT has recently changed the curriculum of school education which would be responsive and dynamic as per the needs of present and requirements of the future. It has continuously encouraged in the past, the state-level agencies to study and analyse the NCERT curriculum, syllabi, and textbooks and prepare their own keeping in view local and regional requirements.

It is in this light and spirit that the NCERT prepared a Discussion Document on Curriculum for school in January, 2000, and disseminated it throughout the country to seek opinion of stakeholders on the future shape of school education in India. What has been presented by the NCERT as the curriculum framework for school education is the consensus of various inputs received.

Serious concerns are being expressed on inclusion of values and mention of religions of the people of India. Critics’ attention needs to be drawn to the 81st report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Human Resource Development headed by Mr S.B. Chavan presented to the Rajya Sabha and laid down on the table of Lok Sabha. The report is dated January, 1999. It was passed on to the NCERT by the Ministry of Human Resource Development in March, 1999, for implementation and sending back an action taken report. This committee is a very high powered committee and the contents of its report need to be taken seriously. The NCERT has included its stipulations on values and religions almost verbatim in the curriculum framework. The committee examined ‘the entire gamut of value-orientation of our educational system so as to come up with some effective suggestions for bringing about a much-awaited change.’ It made the following significant suggestions:

"Truth (satya), righteous conduct (dharma), peace (shanti), love (prema) and non-violence (Ahimsa) are the core universal values which can be identified as the foundation stone on which the value-based education programme can be built. These five are indeed universal values and respectively represent the five domains of human personality: intellectual, physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual. They are also correspondingly co-related with the five major objectives of education, namely, knowledge, skill, balance, vision and identity."

The report goes on to state that primary school is the period in a child’s life when the seeds of value education can be implanted in an impressionable manner and if this can be done half, the battle of building national character can be done.

Reference is often made to religious values. Once again it is an outcome of having totally ignored what has been ‘written’ in the curriculum framework. At no stage any dose of religious value has been proposed. Religions have been the source of values for ages and generations have benefited from it. What has been proposed is the inculcation of moral, ethical and humanistic values along with constitutional ones. There is no harm in stating that children must know the fundamental rights and fundamental duties as enshrined in the Constitution. Interpretation based upon deliberate ignorance and a manipulative mindset would not distract the attention of the people from the need to underscore this point at this stage for the benefit of future generations.

I would sympathise with critics for such statements as ‘that there is an unashamed promotion of Sanskrit from the primary stages. The NCERT is certainly not ashamed about its recommended on Sanskrit.

"We entertain no doubt in our mind that teaching of Sanskrit alone as an elective subject can in no way be regarded as against secularism. Indeed, our Constitution requires giving of fillip to Sanskrit because of what has been stated in Article 351, in which while dealing with the duty of the Union to promote spread of Hindi, it has been provided that it would draw, whenever necessary or desirable, for its vocabulary, primarily on Sanskrit. Encouragement to Sanskrit is also necessary because of it being one of the languages included in the Eighth Schedule."

This is an extract from one of the judgements of the Supreme Court of India delivered on October 4, 1994, by Mr Justice Kuldip Singh and Justice B.L. Hansaria.

"If I was asked what is the greatest treasure which India possesses and what is her finest heritage, I would answer unhesitatingly-it is the Sanskrit language and literature, and all that is contains. This is a magnificent inheritance, and so long as this endures and influences the life of our people, so long the basic genius of India will continue."

Incidentally, the NCERT’s recommendations are well within the boundaries of the three-language formula and it has resisted all attempts to move beyond the boundaries laid down by the National Policy on Education 1986 and 1992.

The NCERT has prominently displayed at the entrance of its various buildings Gandhiji’s famous statement. "My critics are my best friends". We respect our critics in the same spirit. We are, however, dismayed and disillusioned at attempts to ignore facts and efforts to cast aspersions on the intentions of institutions which have been established with great hope and aspiration. The NCERT is one such institution which shall continue to serve the cause of school education professionally.

The author is the Director, NCERT



Could you tell me about the programmes offered by MICA? 

I am in my final year of BCom and interested in joining the advertising industry. Could you please tell me something about the programmes offered by MICA?

Karan Yadav

MICA, Shela, Ahmedabad 3800058 ( HYPERLINK offers following course for graduates:

Postgraduate Programme in Communications (2-yr)

Selection for PGPC is through CAT followed by MET (Mica Entrance Test) in Mar/Apr. (Questions on lateral thinking, quick thinking, general awareness, Indian ethos, brand knowledge), GD & Interview.

Patent regime

Of late I have been hearing a lot about the international patent regime. What does the work in this field entail?

Gaganpreet Kaur

Work in IPR (which includes patents, trademarks, copyrights and designs) is a mixture of legal, scientific and technology.

Patent Agents advice inventors and those concerned with inventions on validity and infringement of patent rights in India and abroad. As patents encompass new areas like molecular biology and biotechnology — genes, cell, plants, new and complex issues relating to ethics need to be factored in. The field is very diverse. IPR Law is highly technical and carries a whole lot of legal jargon.

Patent Examiners work for the government and require higher degrees in science, engineering or maths.

Patent Lawyers protect new inventions, processes, machines, etc against infringements. Patent laws vary from country to country. Besides advising clients on technical legal issues, Patent Attorneys also help draft the necessary applications.


Is there scope for microelectronics in India? Is it taught anywhere in any engineering college?

Adhar Gupta

There is tremendous opportunity in chip design as technology is increasingly moving towards embedded software (in hardware). India can really tap into this market if we can train sufficient people in this area. This will give us a great opportunity to hop on to the hardware bus, which we missed earlier (in the ‘70s).

Only a handful of engineering colleges in India offer specialisation in microelectronics at the moment. The main ones I can suggest are IIT-Mumbai, IIT-Madras, IIT-Kanpur, IIT-Guwahati and BITS, Pilani, which offer ME/MTech Microelectronics with/without VLSI Design (Very Large Scale Integrated Des.).

IIT Madras also offers a 5-year dual degree (BTech & MTech) in Microelectronics & VLSI Design.

IIT Delhi and IIT Kharagpur only offer MTech in VLSI Design. Do check their respective websites for details.


What exactly is biometrics? From where can I get more information on this subject?

Narendra Bhojwani

Once the stuff of futuristics and science fiction, biometrics — the authentication of identity through an individual’s unique physical or behavioural traits has been hailed as one of the top 10 emerging technologies that will change the world.

The biometric industry is growing at the rate of 300 per cent, especially after the September 11 attacks. The impact is evident from the rise in stock prices of companies in this sector.

Common physical biometrics includes fingerprints, hand geometry, retina, iris and facial characteristics. Behavioural characteristics include signature, voice, keystroke pattern and gait.

Iris-recognition based systems for access to high security areas and biometric signatures for speedy clearance of large quantities of cheques in a Bank are already in use.

The challenge lies in making them more user-friendly and fool-proof (by minimising the FAR (false acceptance rate) wherein a wrong person is identified and well as the and FRR (false rejection rate) wherein a the right person is denied access.

An army of biologists, forensic and software experts are involved in research and development of new applications.

You only have to key in the word "biometrics" in your search engine on the Internet to be presented with a plethora of listings on this subject. Happy browsing!

Merchant navy

I am keen on pursuing a career in the Merchant Navy. I am told getting in as a rating is the easiest way. Could you please tell me what the job entails and whether it is a good idea?

Alok Dighai,

In terms of functional hierarchy, Ratings work under the Officers in three major departments: deck, engine room and catering. In ships that operate with small general-purpose crew, Ratings work both in the engine room as well as on the deck.

Deck Ratings: mostly work manually — cleaning, sweeping, chipping off the rust, polishing etc. They are also involved in the maintenance and operations at the time of loading and unloading the cargo.

Moreover, Ratings act as ‘look-outs’ and helmsmen on the bridge. At the port, they assist in the mooring of the ship, preparing for cargo operations and taking stores on board, and participate in fire and security patrols.

A recent international study has projected an over-supply of Ratings by 2.55 lakh by the end of 2010, from today’s excess of 2 lakh ratings. Besides there is stiff competition from the Chinese, Philippinos, Bangladeshis and Russians for these jobs because they are willing to accept cheaper wages (even lesser than those specified by the International Transport federation (ITF).

Retail Mgnt

I am interested in retail management. What are the requirements in this field? What’s in store for this sector?

Jaspinder Bindra

With new developments in organised retailing and the projected growth of the consumer class retail management will occupy an important link in the marketing chain.

Although we donÆt have much experience in this field, the entry of mega-stores like ShopperÆs Stop, Ebony, Nanz, Crossroads, Music World or Pantaloon underscores the need for trained professionals in customer care and retailing in this sunrise industry.

The Indian retail industryÆs total market size across sectors is estimated at about $180 billion, with grocery constituting the largest chunk at around 50%. By 2010 it is expected to have a market size of $ 300 bn. The upbeat McKinsey Report on Retailing in India pegs the figure at $450-500 billion.

However, achieving this target will depend on a number of factors namely easing of supply-chain constraints, a more organised real estate market, simpler and more rationalised tax structure.

High supply chain and intermediation costs, inflexible labour laws, multiple statewise licensing requirements and the heavy investment costs have been responsible for retailing remaining the least evolved of sectors in Indian Industry despite its size and immense potential. With the emergence of e-tailing and the exciting future prospects it holds out, the use of IT and logistics also need to be addressed.

Giving retailing an industry status and allowing 100 percent FD, would also go a long way to boost this sector.

Although the organised retail industry is yet to hit upon the success formula the overall industry accounts for nearly 15-20% employment with tremendous potential for growth.

What it takes: Working in retail management calls for long hours of work, organizational ability, and an eye for detail. Above all, you must be capable of handling large and diverse activities with the customers satisfaction uppermost in your mind.

Although formal degrees are not required for this purpose, professional training does give you a leg-up in many ways.

While an engineering degree, would help in handling engineering and electronics gadgets, 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 keep a sharp eye on sartorial trends and familiarity with different fabrics.

Similarly a CA or CS background will help if you opt for the financial aspect of retail management.


I am doing BSc (H) Statistics. Could you tell me what biostatistics actually entails? Also suggest some recognised courses.

Suchitra Suman

Biostatistics is a multi-faceted field involving the application of statistical methods and techniques to data collection, data management and data analysis related to living organisms and biological systems.

It also involves the application of experimental design, projection methods, descriptive statistics and specific applications to biological disciplines.

Yet another aspect involves studying the risk factors that lead to the development of a disease. The real skill of a statistician lies in identifying and assessing the sample and accurately analysing the mass of data.

Biostatisticians also analyse clinical trials of new medicines before they are released into the market.

There are three phases of a trial: the first step is to check the toxicity of new drugs on volunteers; the next step is to study the economic viability of the drug and the last step is deciding upon the exact dosage. All these assessments are performed by Biostatisticians. However, in India, biostatistics — and even applied statistics — are only just beginning to take shape.

Courses in Biostatistics are available at the PG level in the following institutions:

Indian Statistical Institute (ISI), 203, Barrackpore Trunk Road, Kolkata 700035.

Indian Statistical Institute (ISI), 7 S.J.S. Sansanwal Marg, New Delhi 110016.

University of Pune, Ganeshkhind, Pune 411007 offers Biostatistics as a component of the BSc and MSc courses.

Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay, PO IIT Powai, Mumbai 400076 offers a course in Applied Statistics & Informatics.

Tamil Nadu Dr MGR Medical University, Chennai. Course: MSc Non-Clinical Biostatistics.

University of Madras, Centenary Bldgs, Chepauk, Chennai 600005. Course: MSc Biostatistics.

Biostatistics is also offered as a subsidiary subject at the BachelorÆs degree level in BSc Zoology courses in some universities.




Abroad (Studies)

Mar 1 National University of Singapore, 10 Kent Ridge Crescent, Singapore 119260


SIA-NOL Undergraduate Scholarship, 2000-03

Elig: Indian students who have completed (in 2001)/are completing 10+2 (Sc) with min 85% in Class 10 with Eng.

Selectn: Test & Interview.

Appln F: Apply online and details

Agri & Fisheries

Central Institute of Fisheries Education, Fisheries University Rd, 7, Bungalows, Andheri (W), Mumbai 400061 India (Deemed Univ-ICAR)Website:

Training Programme 2002-03

At Mumbai, Kolkata, Rohtak, Powarkheda, Kakinada & L ‘know Elig: For Indian Participants: Aspiring entrepreneurs, professionals, officials, students, researchers and those in fisheries sector. Grads with field ex prefd.

Details: Employment News (2-8) Feb.

Mar 16 Indian Council of Agricultural Research, R 226, Krishi Anusandhan Bhavan II, Pusa, New Delhi 110012

All India Entrance Exam

(For 15% seats in UG Progs in SAUs, CAU & NDRI & Award of National Talent Scholarship in Agri & Allied Subjs 2002-03).

Elig: 10+2 (Ist attempt, 60%) in PCB/M/Agri with Eng. Dob: 1 Jul’ 79 - 1 Jul ‘85.

Appln F: Send Rs 300/- by DD favouring "Deputy Director General (Edn), ICAR, New Delhi" payable at New Delhi with unstamped, self-add envelope (12"x10") to the Controller of Examination (Educn Div), at the above add by 4 Mar. At PAU, Ludhiana: Rs 305/- (cash) by 11 Mar.

Details: Employment News (2-8) Feb.

Armed Forces (Navy)

Feb 25 Indian Navy, PB No 488, Gole Dak Khana, GPO, New Delhi 110011Website:

Direct Entry Diploma Holders (3-yr) — 2/2002 Batch

Elig: Single, Indian males with 3-yr Dip (50% agg) in Mech/Elect/ Electron/Telecom/Aero/Ship Bldg/Instru/Metal Engg. Dob: 1 Aug 80 — 31 July 84.

Selectn: Written test, Physical Fitness Test & Medical Exam.

Appln F: Employment News (2-8 Feb).

Feb 25 Indian Navy, PB 5270, Chanakyapuri PO, New Delhi 110021Website:

Matric Entry Recruits — 2/2002 Batch

Elig: Single, Indian males with Matric/equiv (Sc & Maths, 55%) or 10+2 (Phys & Maths, 50%). Dob: 1 Aug 82 — 31 July 85.

Selectn: Written test, Physical Fitness Test & Medical Exam.

Appln F: Employment News (2-8 Feb)

Territorial Army

Mar 15 Group HQ, Western Command, Bldg No 750, Sector 8B, Chandigarh

Officer in Territorial Army

Elig: Employed Indian males and Ex-Service Officers with Bachelor’s degree. Age: 18-42 yrs (on 28 Feb).

Appln F: Civilians: Send Rs 10/- by PO favouring "TA Group Commander, Chandigarh" to TA Group Commander at the above add. Ex-Service Officers: Send Rs 10/- by PO favouring "ADG TA, Army HQrs" to Addl Directorate General TA, Army HQs, ‘L’ Block, New Delhi 110001. Send stamped (Rs 12/-), self-add envelope (28 cmx12 cm) and brief bio-data with request by 28 Feb.


Indian Institute of Industrial Engineering, Sector-15, Plot No 103, CBD Belapur, Navi Mumbai 400614

Ph: (022) 7579412/7562562


Graduateship Exam in Industrial Engg (equiv to Bachelor’s degree)

Elig: HSc or equiv with 2 yrs wk ex or Bachelor’s degree with 1 yr wk ex or Dip Engg/Tech with 1 yr wk ex or Passed 2nd yr of Engg/Tech or BE/BTech.

Appln F: Send Rs 300/- by DD favouring "Indian Institute of Industrial Engineering" payable at Mumbai to the above add.

Details: Employment News (2-8 Feb).

Government Jobs

Mar 4 Union Public Service Commission, Dholpur House, New Delhi 110011


Indian Forest Service Examination, 2002

Elig: Indians with Bachelor’s degree in Agri/Forestry/Engg or equiv/BachelorÆs degree in AH & Vet Sc/Bot/Chem/Geol/Maths/ Phys/Stats/Zool as a subj. Age: 21-30 yrs (on 1 July 02).

Exam: 13 July.

Appln F: Available at designated HPOs/POs: Rs 20/- (Cash).

Details: Employment News (2-8 Feb).

Hotel Management

Apr 15 Welcomgroup Graduate School of Hotel Administration, Manipal 576119 (Kar) (unit of Dr. T.M.A. Pai Foundation)

Ph: 08252-571101

BachelorÆs Degree in Hotel Mgt (4-yr)

Aff to Mangalore Univ

Elig: PUC/Class XII (50%).

Selectn: Entrance exam (at Kolkata, B Ælore, Manipal, Mumbai & Delhi), followed by GD & Interview.

Appln F: Send Rs 500/- by crossed DD favouring "Welcomgroup Graduate School of Hotel Administration" payable at Manipal/Udupi to the Admissions Coordinator at the above add.


Mar 31 Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra 835215, Ranchi (Jhar) (Deemed Univ)


Selectn: AIEEE conducted by CBSE.

Appln F: Send Rs 150/- by DD favouring "Birla Institute of Technology" payable at Ranchi to Prof S.P. Bhatnagar, OSD & Controller of Entrance Examinations to the above add by the above date.


Apr 30 Indian Institute of Forest Management, PB No 357, Nehru Nagar, Bhopal 462003 (MP)

Ph: 775716, 773799


Post-Masters in Natural Resource Mgt (1-yr, equiv to MPhil)

Elig: Master’s or equiv Degree/Dip, Fluent in Eng. Wk ex in forestry, or related fields prefd.

Selectn: Seminar & Interview.

Appln F: Send Rs 250/- by DD favouring "Director, IIFM", payable at Bhopal along with request letter to the Coordinator-MRM Admissions, at the above add.


Apr 3 Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Gen A K Vaidya Marg, Goregaon (E), Mumbai 400065 (Mah) (Deemed Univ) Website:

MPhil/PhD Prog in Development Studies, 2002-03

Elig: MA (Eco, 55%); MBA/MMS (60%) with Bachelor’s degree in Eco/Engg/Physical Sc; MSc in Physical Sc/Environ Sc (with Maths at UG level)/Maths/OR/Stats (60%); MTech/BTech/BE (60%).

Selectn: Written Test (Apr 28), Interview and acad performance.

Appln F: Send Rs 100/- by DD favouring "Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research" payable at Mumbai, with request letter and your name, dob, sex, add, acad quals & choice of test centre by Mar 15.