CAREER GUIDE Friday, July 26, 2002, Chandigarh, India
Artistic careers with a dash of realism
Kapil M

RTISTIC people are thought to be moody, dreamy, lost in their own world, impractical, etc. etc. In short, anything but realistic. As with other cliches, this is true only in parts for most people combine within themselves many, often quite contrasting, traits and interests.

Which branches are open for women in the Navy?




Artistic careers with a dash of realism
Kapil M

ARTISTIC people are thought to be moody, dreamy, lost in their own world, impractical, etc. etc. In short, anything but realistic. As with other cliches, this is true only in parts for most people combine within themselves many, often quite contrasting, traits and interests.

We present below summary snapshots of four career options which combine artistic interests with a grounding in reality. While all of these require the artistic flair for working with forms and design, and an ability for self-expression, these career options also typically involve practical, hands-on activities and problem-solving.

The options included are in diverse fields, but what is common to them is that they all require professional or postgraduate study, and often involve a few years of on-the-job training for proficiency.


This a more traditional, better-known profession. An architect’s core job comprises researching, planning, designing, and executing building by applying knowledge of design, construction procedures, building laws and building materials: An architect first determines the client’s functional and space requirements and then prepares an architectural plan of design, also specifying materials, colour, fittings, estimated costs, and construction time. Once the client approves the blueprint and costs, the architect prepares scale drawings and contract documents for the building engineers and contractors. He also obtains bids and awards the construction contract on behalf of the client and also conducts periodic on-site supervision of work during construction to monitor compliance with plans.

To be an architect requires a minimum 5-year professional B. Arch course after 10+2; the course is restricted to science (PCM) students though. The course itself is tough and demanding much like engineering courses. There are a number of well-established and respected architecture colleges to choose from.

Key knowledge areas: Design, building and construction materials and techniques, administration and management. The key skills that characterise an accomplished architect include mathematics, coordination, idea generation and implementing of plans.

Professional life: Many architects continue to practise on their own or in small groups, though the concept of large architect firms is likely to catch on in the future.

Outlook: The number of architects needed has plateaued off. Many have turned their attention to interior design, exhibition design, and furniture manufacture as small, independent buildings give way to large-scale building projects developed by local governments or private developers.

Set designer

As the title suggests, a set designer designs film or television production sets, signs, props, or scenic effects, and prepares scale drawings for use in their construction, modification, or alteration. He coordinates with the production’s art director and reviews illustrations to determine set requirements and design ideas based on which rough draft and scale working drawings of the set take shape. The end-result: a setting of the 1920s is recreated to shoot the life and martyrdom of Bhagat Singh in the environs of 21st century Mumbai!

Though many set designers may be “born” with an innate gift, the best bet today is for you to undertake a professional 3/4-year course in interior design, now available at several institutes in the country. A knowledge of design, fine arts and building and construction are the ingredients that make a fine set designer.

The real excitement for set designers lies in the huge Indian film industry, to get in where you need to knock at many doors and be prepared to wait for the right break. The enormous growth of the television industry has also created openings for set designers, though these are not, typically, large or elaborate sets.

Creative writer

Writes original prose material for publication: Selects subject matter based on personal interest or receives specific assignment from publishers (books, magazines, Internet, television, radio). Conducts research and makes notes to retain ideas, develop factual information, and obtain authentic detail. Organises material and plans arrangement or outline. Develops factors, such as theme, plot, order, characterisation, and story line. Writes draft of manuscript. Reviews, revises, and corrects it and submits material for publication or broadcast. Confers with publisher’s/broadcaster’s representative regarding manuscript changes. May specialise in one or more styles or types of writing, such as descriptive or critical interpretations or analyses, essays, magazine articles, short stories, novels, and biographies.

To be a writer one requires a high degree of accomplishment in a language; so probably a master’s degree would stand you in good stead. Mass communication and creative writing courses are also now available which seek to buttress your knowledge of the language with the skills and craft of creative writing.

Prospects: This can be an entirely unpredictable area. While an Arundhati Roy can command mind-boggling earnings and world-wide recognition, the struggle for the not-so-fortunate can be grim and prolonged. Many an aspiring creative writer is forced to create a predictable earning from taking up journalistic or editorial responsibilities.

Jewellery designer

Designs jewellery, utilising knowledge of properties of metal, gems, fabrication techniques, principles of design, and artistic talent. The work involves sketching and measuring, selecting designs from pattern books, altering or creating original designs according to customer specifications. Drawing detail sketches and prescribing fabricating techniques, fabricating products from original design or working models and recommending stones to be inset are all part of the designer’s job.

To become a jewellery designer, you require a course in jewellery design offered by a good private institute or an accessory design course from NIFT, etc. Reckon on about 2 to 3 years of professional education and training after class 12.

Key knowledge needed: Design, sales and marketing to understand consumer behaviour, sketching, and an awareness of production and processing techniques.

Professional life: Many jewellery designers are self-employed and consult or freelance; some are employed by big jewellers and jewellery exporters.

Prospects: This is not a huge-numbers field. But the Indian woman’s - and now the Indian man’s -unending romance with jewellery coupled with the popularity of branded jewellery and growing jewellery exports from India assure a good future for the talented.

Which branches are open for women in the Navy?

Q I’m keen on joining the Indian Navy. Which branches are open for women?
Ranu Thukral

A Here’s some great news for you. The Cabinet Committee on Security has decided to allow induction of women officers into all branches of the Navy. This includes engineering, electrical and all branches of the executive cadre. However, it is not yet clear whether this includes the flying and submarine wings of the Navy as well.

So far, women officers were only permitted to seek Short Service Commission of seven years in the education, logistics, legal and air traffic control (ATC) branches of the Navy.

For further information log on to the Indian Navy’s official website:


Q What is GPA? I would be grateful if you could explain how it is calculated.

Gurjinder Singh

A Grade-point average (GPA) or ratio is a standard formula used by almost all colleges and universities, particularly in the USA for evaluating the overall performance of students.

“Grade points” are evaluated by first multiplying the number of hours (units, credit, or credit hours) assigned for a course by the numerical value of the grade and then dividing the sum of all grade points by the total number of hours. The most common system of numerical value for grades on a 4.0 scale is A=4, B=3, C=2, D=1, and E or F=0. The values assigned to each letter grade may differ at some schools.

There are pre-programmed calculators available on websites like to help you calculate your GPA in an instant.


Q Could you please tell me something about the course in new media offered by the NID? What does it cover?

Sukhwinder Mann

A The postgraduate programme in new media is ideal for young filmmakers who wish to diversify into digital cinema and interactive media.

The industry today operates at multiple levels. When a film is made, not only is it screened in theatres but a slew of games and books based on the film are launched as in the case of “Lagaan”.

Besides web design, the emerging opportunities will be in the area of e-learning, interactive fiction, instruction design.

Eligibility: Bachelor’s or equivalent in Fine/Applied Arts, Design, Architecture, and Communication Media.

The course focuses on multimedia, digital imaging, systems, interface, web and game design, linear editing and operate digital camera, etc (8 seats).

Selection to the course consists of an admission test, followed by a workshop & interview for short-listed candidates.

The notification appears in October and the application deadline is November end. Forms can be downloaded from the NID website:


Q I have passed class XII with 58 per cent marks, but I am under 16. As a result I was not eligible in terms of age requirement for any of the undergraduate courses offered at Delhi University. Please help me in continuing my studies. I want to know whether there is any university that will admit me and whether I can take up CA or CS.

Ravi Kapoor

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 Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), Delhi, and they have said that you are eligible to enrol in any undergraduate course provided you fulfil 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 17.


Q Who are risk managers and where do they work?

Rajeev Sidhu

A Opening a factory in Bangladesh may help a garment manufacturer’s bottom line - but is it worth the risks? Progressive firms are relying on risk managers, previously the worriers who recommended safety plans and disaster insurance, to plan the future. While looking at the plant in totality, the risk manager might assess earthquakes, currency fluctuations, and damage to reputation if an unscrupulous manager begins using child labour. Then the manager proposes solutions: Spend more to make the building earthquake-proof, pay foreign expenses in local currency, closely monitor employees. If the project is deemed worthwhile, risk managers will transfer the risk to another party, perhaps an insurer. It goes without saying that companies which know how to manage risk will have a competitive advantage.

A background in finance, calculus, economics, accounting, and insurance plus knowledge of investment banking is important, as many firms will use risk managers from investment houses.

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, Chandigarh-160020, or at [email protected]



1. Who was recently selected the ‘Indian Cricketer of the Century’ in a poll conducted by Wisden?

2. Whose innings has been declared the ‘Best Indian Batting Performance of the Century’ by Wisden?

3. What was the target in the second highest run-chase in one-day international cricket match?

4. Where are the 17th Commonwealth Games being held?

5. Who votes in India’s presidential poll?

6. Who was recently elected the 12th President of India?

7. Which Indian state tops in foreign direct investment (FDI)?

8. Who was the first Defence Minister of India?

9. Name the Sri Lankan bowler who recently equalled Richard Hadlee’s world mark of 36 five-wicket hauls in Test cricket.

10. Which city has replaced Tokyo as the world’s most expensive city, according to a recent survey by multinational Mercer Human Resource Consulting?

11. Expand Nalco.

12. What is the capital of Peru?

13. With which sport is Murugappa Cup associated?

14. Which car was recently presented to Sachin Tendulkar by automobile major Fiat for equalling Sir Donald Bradman’s feat of 29 Test centuries?

15. Which African nation will host its first international cricket match featuring Pakistan and South Africa in August?


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

Winners of quiz 161. The first prize by draw of lots goes to Kanwarpal Singh Aneja, 10+1(Non-Med), DAV Public School, Budhlada, district Mansa, Punjab.

Second: Anil Kumar, VII-A, Govt High School, Alampur, dist Kangra (HP ).

Third: Harpreet Sandhu, class XII (Humanities), Sacred Heart Convent Senior Secondary School, Sarabha Nagar, Pakhowal Road, Ludhiana.

Answers to quiz 161: Kanwal Sibal; Riaz Kokkar; Ministry of External Affairs; Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel; Mahabodhi Temple; Arabian Sea Monsoon Experiment; 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994&2002; South Korea; Oliver Kahn; Ronaldo; West Germany & Italy; Germany; New Zealand; Serena Williams; Lleyton Hewitt.

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