EDUCATION TRIBUNE Tuesday, February 19, 2002, Chandigarh, India

Parents to blame for exam phobia
J.P. Garg
EWARE the ides of March”, said Shakespeare and “April is the cruelest month”, wrote T.S. Eliot. These truisms have never been so relevant as in the lives of students preparing for their annual examinations.






Parents to blame for exam phobia
J.P. Garg

“BEWARE the ides of March”, said Shakespeare and “April is the cruelest month”, wrote T.S. Eliot. These truisms have never been so relevant as in the lives of students preparing for their annual examinations.

The sword of damocles never hangs so precariously on the heads of students as it does during these two months. This time of the year is especially crucial for those students who have to appear for their qualifying examinations, which will determine the future course of their careers.

The examination phobia and the fear of ultimately not being able to fare among the top rankers brings along with it many physical problems and psychological disorders, forcing some students to the very edge of precipice.

It has been observed that there occurs a marked increase in the cases of stomach disorders, headache, fever, loss of appetite, insomnia and even acute depression. Says Anuradhika Gautam, a student of class XII (medical): “With hardly a few weeks to go for my board as well as entrance tests, I feel quite jittery and nervous. The very thought of not making it to a medical college gives butterflies in my stomach.” Hers is not a solitary case.

Parents are more responsible for the high levels of tension of their children and create a do or die situation for them. They consider any activity other than reading and writing a waste of time of their offspring. Amit Sachdeva, who has been enjoying working on his computer daily at home for the past two years, finds it difficult to discontinue this fruitful activity even during his matriculation examination. But his mother, herself a teacher, forces him to close down the computer during this period.

Anuradhika cites a very damaging instance of this parental obsession. The father of one of her classfellows went to the extent of assaulting his wife during a parent-teacher meeting because he considered his wife’s negligence to be responsible for the dismal performance of their daughter.

This couple, despite their ward’s known dislike for science, has forced their daughter to take up the medical stream after matriculation. Now this helpless girl confides in her friends that she shuts herself in her room without making any headway in her studies while pretending all the time that she is very serious in her work.

Parental imposition of an academic stream without proper assessment of child’s aptitude results in such aberrations.

Examinations are, no doubt, an essential component of our system of education and even a few marks this or that side can turn a student’s dream topsy-turvy. Our exams lay more emphasis on vomiting out whatever has been mugged up a few weeks before. Only a few questions seek to test the comprehension and understanding of the subject-matter, for which no last-minute cramming may be required. Due to this flawed examination system and the highly competitive situation governed by market forces, some degree of stress is natural.

What is the way out of this pathetic condition? Does excessive pressure by overzealous parents bring the desired results? Certainly not. This attitude is most likely to boomerang. They should play it cool and provide adequate physical and moral support to their children.

Besides encouraging them in their efforts, they should take care of their diet which should be nutritious, light, rich in vitamins and minerals and be given at regular intervals.



Q I am in Class XII. I have taken commerce without maths. Will I be able to take the NDA Entrance exam?

Arjun Kapoor

A The syllabus for mathematics in the NDA exam conducted by the UPSC was changed last year. Hitherto it comprised questions up to the level of Class X. this has now been changed to the level of class 12. Students of Arts and Commerce stream may find it difficult to cope. But nothing is impossible. If you are very keen to take the exam, do take some additional coaching alongside.


Q Is it possible to do PhD in Life Sciences through correspondence? I would be very grateful if you give me this information because I am working in a govt office?

Jatin Gill

AA Kota Open University, Rawat Bhata Road, Akhelgarh, Kota 324010 (Raj.) offers PhD in Commerce, Mass Communication and Life Sciences.

Duration: 3-5 yrs. Eligibility: Master’s degree with 50% marks. The notification usually appears in September-October.



Q I am planning to enrol for a pre-sea cadet course. What is the scope for a career in the merchant navy?

Sandeep Bhatnagar

A A major study conducted by the International Maritime Federation predicts a global shortage of 46,000 marine engineers and naval officers by 2010 (from the present shortage of 16,000).

The study has placed Indian officers right at the top in segments such as specialty vessels and tankers that require quality seamen, where they even command a premium over their counterparts from Philippines, Russia and China. Many ship manning and management companies are looking at India as a major supplier of quality crew members. Several of them have made commitments in the country’s premier training institutes.

However, at the lower end, there is an over-supply of 2 lakh Ratings at present, which is expected to further escalate to 2.55 lakh by 2010.


Q I have just completed my B. Com. Could you please tell me how I could become an Actuary and what the work actually involves?

Rakesh Mahajan

A An Actuary applies the mathematical theories of probability, compound interest and statistical techniques to financial matters with long-term implications and possible future contingencies particularly in areas such as life insurance, investment and pension schemes. In developed countries actuarial techniques are also used to appraise capital projects.

Combining the skills of a statistician, an economist and a financier with knowledge of law, marketing and management, an Actuary forms the backbone of these industries.

In short, their professional competence ensures that today’s liabilities are met, and those of tomorrow are correctly anticipated by carefully managing the inflow and outflow of investment funds. As the key technical persons in any insurance company, Actuaries are globally in demand and command hefty salaries and perks.

The long and exacting study and the paucity of a real market for these skills till recently, was responsible for restricting the number of qualified Actuaries in the country to a mere handful. However, IRDA’s new regulation stipulating that all insurance companies (Life as well as Non-life) must have an Appointed Actuary has fuelled the demand for these specialists in the country, now that several new players have entered the field.

Realising the paucity of Actuaries in India, LIC invited applications a while ago for Actuarial Apprentices.

How do you become one? You must be a Fellow of a recognised professional examining body like the Actuarial Society of India (ASI), Mumbai (, or the Institute of Actuaries, London, which conducts exams in different centres in India (

While Actuarial Science can be pursued at various universities, the ASI alone confers the Fellowship. Exemptions are allowed in a few subjects only at the Associate level for students who have taken these courses from universities recognised by ASI. The minimum qualification is a Bachelor’s degree with a strong base in maths/stats.



Q I will be finishing MSc in Zoology this year. Will I get a job easily after clearing the NET/SLET?

Babli Kaur

A Getting a lecturer’s job is not that easy. Nearly one-fourth of teaching posts in premier universities have been lying vacant for years. And this is not just true of Social Sciences for which there are fewer and fewer takers, but also for some of the "hot" disciplines like Technology and Management as well.

Saddled with shrunken budgets, colleges and universities are loath to hire new teachers. Teachers are recruited on ad hoc basis whenever necessary and these teachers are not confirmed to save on PF and salary during vacations. Neither are they readily re-appointed for the same reason.

Colleges also prefer to get by with part-time lecturers and guest-faculty who are paid less than half the prescribed salary. So all said and done, the prospects are not exactly rosy.

However, to reverse the declining interest in science education and research, UGC has decided to introduce an innovative "National Lectureship" system. First divisioners who have topped MSc courses in their universities can now apply for National Lectureship. The recruited candidates can take up their posts from the next academic year itself (after clearing the UGC NET in the interregnum) at any central university in the country with salaries and promotional avenues that are on par with other lecturers. The scheme will be extended to other streams as well in the near future.

NB: The revised NET syllabus was applicable from the June 2001 Exam. For details log on to



Q I have a diploma in electronics & telecommunications and I’m keen on doing graduation in engineering except through Institution of Engineers. Please help.

Tulika Garg


  • SLIET, Longowal, Distt Sangrur 148106 (Punj) offers lateral entry to diploma holders to the 2nd year of engineering courses. Application deadline is 30 April. For details log on to

  • Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, Kashmere Gate, Delhi also offers lateral entry for Ist class diploma holders in its affiliated colleges. Application deadline is 21 May. For details log on to

  • Faculty of Engineering & Technology, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi-110 025. It offers a 4-year BE (part-time).

  • Delhi College of Engineering also offers a 4-year BTech (part-time).

All these institutions admit students through an entrance test.

Alternatively, you could also enrol for the Associate Membership of the Institution of Electronics & Telecommunication Engineers, at 2, Institutional Area, Lodhi Road, New Delhi-110 003 which is considered equivalent to an engineering degree.

Please send in your query preferably on a postcard along with your name, complete address and academic qualifications to:

Editor, Career Hotline,
The Tribune, Sector 29,





Mar 20 Indian Army

Ph: (011) 6196220,6173215


NCC Special Entry Scheme - Oct 2002 (SSC, NT, 5-yrs)

Elig: Bachelor’s degree (50%); min 2 acad yrs of service in Senior Div of NCC; min ‘B’ grade in ‘C’ Cert exam.

Age: 19 - 25 yrs (Dob: 2 Jul ‘77 - 1 Jul ‘83).

Appln F: Send in prescribed format to the nearest OC, NCC Unit from where your NCC ‘C’ Cert has been issued.

Details: See Employment News (9-15 Feb) or website.



Mar 4 Indian Navy, Directorate of Manpower Planning & Recruitment, Naval HQ, R & R Section, Room No 204 ‘C’ Wing, Sena Bhawan, New Delhi 110011


Officers for Tech Br - July 2002 (SSC, 7 yrs)

Elig: Single Indian males. BE/BTech (55%):

For Engg Br: Mech/Prodn/Aero/Mett;

For Naval Arch Cadre: Naval Arch/Mech/ Aero/Civil/Mett.

For Elect Br: Elect/Electron/Tele Comm/Avionics/Instru & Control/Naval Arch.

DoB: 2 July ‘77 - 1 Jan ‘83.

Selectn: SSB Interview followed by medical exam.

Appln F: Send in prescribed format superscribing "Application for SSC-July 2002" on envelope.

Details: Employment News (9-15 Feb)

Art & Design

Feb 28 Indian Institute of Crafts & Design, B-16/A, Bhawani Singh Rd, C-Scheme, Jaipur 302001 (Raj)

Ph: (0141) 384236/383548


PG Dip in Craft Design (3-yr)

Elig: Bachelor’s degree.

Selectn: Entrance Test (3 Mar) in Del, J ‘pur & Kol, Aptitude Test & Interview.

Appln F: Send Rs 350/- by crossed DD favouring "Director, Indian Institute of Crafts & Design" payable at Jaipur.



Feb 28 Indian Institute of Aircraft Engineering, A-Block, 5th Fl, Mauryalok Complex, Patna 800001 (Bih)

Ph: (0612) 202827


Aircraft Maintenance Engg (3-yr)

Elig: 10+2 (PCM, 55%).

Selectn: Admission Test (10 Mar) followed by Interview.

Appln F: Send Rs 300/- by crossed DD favouring "Indian Institute of Aircraft Engineering" payable at Patna with 2 self-add slips (9 cm x 6 cm) with your choice of test centre to the Chief Manager at the above add by 28 Feb.

Details: Employment News (9-15 Feb).



Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore 560012 (Kar)


i) Research Progs

in Sc & Engg faculties

Apr 5 ii) Course Progs

  • MSc (Engg)

  • PhD

  • ME (1-1/2-yr)

  • MTech (1-1/2-yr)

  • MDes (2-yr)

Mar 15 iii) Integrated PhD Progs

iv) External Registration Prog

Elig: See Employment News (9-15 Feb) or website.

Selectn: For all: Interviews for shortlisted candidates.

For Course Progs: GATE percentile + Interviews.

For MDes, MTech: Aptitude test.

For Research Progs: IISc Entrance Test (28 Apr)

Scholarships: All students except Sponsored & External Reg categories are eligible for financial support.

Appln F: For i, ii & iii: Send Rs 500/- by DD favouring "Registrar, IISc, Bangalore" with 2 self-add slips & details of qual & choice of prog to the Asst Registrar, Admissions Unit at the above add by 8 Mar. At specified Canara Bank Brs (incld Sec 17C, Ch): Rs 500/- (cash) by 8 Mar. For iv: Send Rs 1200/- by DD favouring "Registrar IISC, Bangalore" to the Asstt Registrar at the above add by 8 Mar. Can apply online.

Appln Deadline: For 1: 15 Mar (For those who want to write IISC Entrance Test) & 5 Apr (For those with valid GATE/CEED/CSIR-UGC NET for JRF/UGC-NET for JRF NBHM fellowship).


National Law Institute University, PO Box No. 369, Central T T Nagar HO, Bhopal 462003 (MP)

Ph: (0755) 234635, 696965

Integrated BA, LLB (Hons, 5-yr)

Elig: 10+2 (55%). Age: Below 21 yrs (on 1 Jul ‘02).

Selectn: All India Admission Test (12 May) at Bhopal L’know, Del & Chennai.

Appln F: Send Rs 550/- by DD favouring "Professional Examination Board" Bhopal to the Professional Examination Board Chayan Bhawan, Main Rd No 1, Chinar Park (East), Bhopal 462011. Ay specified PNB Brs (incldg New Del): Rs 500/- (cash).



1. Name the former Yugoslav President whose trial recently began at The Hague on charges of genocide and ethnic cleansing during more than a decade of conflict in the Balkans.

2. Which were the only two Indian films before Lagaan to have been nominated for an Oscar in the best foreign language film category?

3. What rank has been given to Kapil Dev’s knock of 175 runs in the 1983 World Cup by the Wisden in its list of top 10 one-day batting performances?

4. Name the world’s first-ever cloned cat.

5. Name the two types of the disease plague.

6.Where are the XIX Winter Olympics being held?

7. When is Pakistan’s national day military parade held every year?

8. When is the first direct flight linking China with India going to begin?

9. Where is a film city equipped with modern facilities and latest gadgets going to be set up in Rajasthan?

10. Expand C-DAC.

11. Which is the first-ever animated feature film to have been nominated for an Academy Award?

12. What is the capital of Norway?

13. With which musical instrument is Pt Kishen Maharaj associated?

14. With which sport is Svetlana Feofanova associated?

15. Who has been made the captain of the Australian cricket team for the forthcoming one-day series against South Africa?


School address............................

Winners of quiz 150. The first prize by draw of lots goes to Vishesh Bahl, Class VII, Chaman Vatika, PO Kakru, Ambala- Chandigarh highway, Ambala-134007.

Second: Tejeshwar Singh, VII-A, Mount Carmel School, Sector 47, Chandigarh-160047.

Third: Aditya Kapoor, VIII-A, 39, Innocent Hearts School, Green Model Town, Jalandhar.

Answers to quiz 150: Arjan Singh; Sikkim; Pakistan and West Indies; Qatar; Dalip Kaur Tiwana; Baljit Singh Dhillon; China; Multimedia Messaging Service; Tirana; Astrophysics; Hyderabad; Sitara Devi; Russia; Jennifer Capriati; Thomas Johannson.

Cash awards of Rs 400, 300 and 200 are given to the first, second and third prize winners, respectively. These are sent at the school address.

— Tarun Sharma