CAREER GUIDE Friday, January 24, 2003, Chandigarh, India

Could you throw some light on GIS?

Access to IIT education no longer a dream
Sanjay Bhatnagar

New Delhi
The elite and quality education imparted by seven Indian Institutes of Technology  will no longer remain a pipe dream for lakhs of students across the country.


Could you throw some light on GIS?

Q Geography is my pet subject. I have heard that the GIS is the latest in this field. Could you please throw some light on this subject?

Pawan Kant, Ludhiana

A The GIS finds wide application in telecommunications, oil and gas exploration, agriculture, forestry, roads, railways, port management, local administration, energy, environment, radio transmission, etc.

The GIS is a computer system capable of assembling, storing, manipulating and displaying geographically referenced information, i.e., data identified according to location. The job involves conversion of data (maps, records, aerial photographs, etc.) to digital data that can be used for modelling and analysis.

The GIS is opening up new avenues as there is need for data in computerised format for marketing and related fields. India is emerging as a major data conversion centre for the GIS for companies in the USA, Europe, Japan and Austria.

Geomatics involves processing of raw data from remote sensing satellites for commercial applications. GIS/GPS experts are exploring the use of new mapping technologies like internet GIS, high resolution mapping and mobile mapping for applications to disaster management, health, environment, transportation, railways, defense, power, telecom, industry and agriculture.


Q I am in class XII (commerce). I want to make a career in management. So could you tell me the names of universities offering integrated course in management. Is it a good idea to opt for such course?

Karan Kapoor, Ludhiana

A Quite a few institutions do. But many of them are private enterprises that offer courses of X Y Z foreign universities that are not recognised in India.

While integrated courses are fine, they won’t be of much value unless done from a top-notch institution. I think it is better to do your graduation first. Work for a while to gain some practical experience and then try for an MBA from a really good B-school that offers excellent placement facilities. This is a better option than tying yourself down to a mediocre 5-year course.

The following are some of the universities that offer MMS/MBA (Integrated Master of Management Studies/Business Admin) courses for students who have completed Class XII:

University of Lucknow, Badshah Bagh, Lucknow 226007. 5-yr. Eligibility: Class XII.

Birla Institute of Technology & Science, Vidya Vihar, Pilani 333031 (Raj). 4-yr. Eligibility: Class XII (PCM).

Devi Ahilya Vishwaviyalaya, Indore, Instt of Professional Studies, Khandwa Rd, (MP)

Maharshi Dayanand University, Rohtak (Har) 5-yr

Gujarat University, Ahmedabad (Guj) 5-yr



Q Since I could not get admission to a good engineering college I proceeded to do BSc instead. Is there any way I can now acquire a professional qualification on a par with a BE/BTech in electronics or computers?

Kush, Hoshiarpur

AAll is not lost if you could not secure a seat in an engineering college. If you have done your BSc with physics and maths, you could follow this up with a post-BSc tech programme (3-yrs) in electronics & communication or computers offered by several engineering colleges. Selection is typically on the basis of merit in the qualifying exam. If you would like to specialise in applications software, you could also opt for a Master of Computer Applications (MCA) or even a MSc in information technology { MSc (IT)} .


QI would like to go abroad for further studies. What are the basic criteria for choosing a course in a foreign university.

Kiran Ahuluwalia, Chandigarh

ATypically the higher education sector in the USA, the UK or even Australia offers a bewildering choice of courses and combinations running into several thousands. Therefore, in addition to selecting a course that is best suited to your aspirations and aptitude, you should also consider the following:

a) the type of degree (undergraduate, postgraduate, associate, etc.)

b) the subject options available

c) the potential availability of postgraduate studies in the field

d) the size and facilities offered by the institution

e) extra-curricular facilities

f) financial support offered to students by the institution

g) location and climate

h) proximity to relatives/friends living in the country

i) availability of accommodation.

* Scanning the information available in the reference section of the embassy concerned or high commission would be of considerable help. You could search either on the basis of subject, institution or type of course.

You could also get a lot of information regarding courses from various websites. Each university has its own.

There are several composite websites that give you complete lists of courses for each country. You should also look at the rankings published by independent bodies like the US News & World Report ( and the Kaplan Newsweek Supplement published each year for American colleges. Similarily, the Sunday Times University Guide is also a very handy source of reference for studying in the UK.


Q I am doing BSc (Hons) with statistics as my subject. Could you please tell me about the job options available for this subject.

Saikat Banerjee, New Delhi

A Statistics offers a wide field of employment opportunities, in teaching, government service, industry, commerce, computers, data processing, research and testing, banks and insurance.

Postgraduates in statistics can combine teaching with research at a number of universities and institutes, although for such posts an M.Phil/Ph.D is preferred.

As for government jobs, the Central Statistical Organisation (CSO) and the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) recruit statistical investigators to process statistical data. The B.Stat (Hons) course provides for entry at the junior level.

The Indian Statistical Service (ISS) has an annual examination for which the eligibility is M. Stat. in any specialisation. After qualifying as an ISS probationer, one starts as an Assistant Director in the CSO. The CSO is the main controlling agency, and other organisations such as the state level Directorates of Economics and Statistics also come under its purview. These posts are also open to graduates in mathematics with knowledge of statistics.

Several other government organisations such as the Planning Commission, and government funded agencies such as the NCAER, the IAMR, the ICMR as well as other central and state government offices, statistical and economic bureaus, institutions associated with socio-economic research, banks and various public sector undertakings, employ statisticians. Posts include those of research officers, research assistants, investigators and technical assistants. Senior level positions in the central government are filled through the UPSC and in the state governments through the state service commissions. Junior positions are advertised or filled through employment exchanges. Statisticians who have specialised in quantitative economics and planning can find employment in planning projects in government and other institutions. They may also join the Indian Economic Service.

Private companies employ statistics postgraduates as analysts and developers of financial and statistical software and for analysing complex data and interpreting and analysing project-related information, generating reports, etc.

Quality control and operations research, which are offered as a specialisation in the M.Stat course, is yet another area of work. .These professionals work in leading industries in the areas of statistical process control, statistical quality control and scientific styling with statistical and management tools. They develop and design cost-reduction and efficiency enhancement programmes. Operations researchers also apply scientific methods and mathematical principles to organisational problems. They work on problem areas and help in formulating policies, planning strategies and allocating resources.

Market Research is another field where statistics is useful. A market researcher collects facts and opinions on products, sales and various other topics, and provides statistical analyses. Market researchers can work for private companies or for government organisations.

A number of other fields including bioinformatics, actuarial science, demography and population studies, accountancy [cost & works and chartered], stock broking and financial analysis, are open to statistics graduates with specialised training.

Actuaries, who apply the mathematical theories of probability, compound interest and statistical techniques, to financial matters with long-term implications such as life assurance or pension schemes are employed by insurance corporations, banks and stock exchanges. Demographers collect and analyse statistics relating to population. Bio-statistics and demography is another option offered in MStat. Postgraduates in statistics and mathematics are also recruited as senior field officers in the Cabinet Secretariat and other departments of the GoI.

UPSC exams

QI am very confused about selecting a coaching academy to prepare for the UPSC exams. How should I go about it?

Pinky Kaur, Jalandhar

AArguably one of the most gruelling competitive exams of its kind in the world, the Civil Services exam is attempted by over 1.5 lakh aspirants of which barely a fraction (not even 300) are finally selected.

And now with engineers and doctors in the fray the competition gets even more gut- wrenching. Very few manage to make it in the first attempt.

The course is so vast that you need proper guidance to focus your effort. Be prepared to put in 2-3 years of serious single-minded effort.

A good coaching centre gives you the opportunity to interact with professors who are specialists in their subjects. They also provide photocopies of relevant articles published in various journals, which students may not ordinarily have access to.

The courses fall into two broad categories: consolidated for prelims & mains and modular ones. Much like detachable Lego pieces, the components can be taken singly or in combination.

A veritable coaching industry has sprung up to cater to this market (we have 15-odd in Delhi alone), apart from subject experts!

Before you select a coaching centre, make sure you verify its success rate and track record: How many of their students have actually cleared the prelims and the mains and made it to the UPSC in the last 2-3 years? Also check out the faculty. Are they sufficiently experienced in this line? More importantly, talk to the students to get a clear picture. Then check out the fees. The most expensive need not necessarily be the best!

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


Access to IIT education no longer a dream
Sanjay Bhatnagar

New Delhi
The elite and quality education imparted by seven Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) will no longer remain a pipe dream for lakhs of students across the country.

Thanks to the latest technology and a novel initiative in this regard by the Human Resource Development Ministry, students pursuing engineering and other technical courses will have something to cheer about this Republic Day. Over 1,200 engineering colleges, 12 National Institutes of Technology (NITs) and other institutes across the country will now have an unlimited access to IIT education, which may have been a dream for lakhs of students.

This has been made possible after years of efforts to bring a dedicated Technical Education Channel on which lectures of IIT faculties will be broadcast. The students across the country could listen and record the lectures which would be curriculum-based.

The channel, claimed to be the first attempt of such kind in the world, will be officially launched on January 26 by the HRD Minister, Dr Murli Manohar Joshi.

According to HRD Ministry sources, the channel has been planned with an objective to make available the best of education to all. The various institutes will have to spend very less to make use of it for their students.

Never before has any country attempted such innovation in the technical education. This novel attempt would not only help in bridging the gap between quality of education but also help in improving the overall standard of technical education.

A pool of teaching faculties of seven IITs namely Chennai, Kanpur, Delhi, Mumbai, Kharagpur, Guwahati and Roorkee has already been prepared and lectures are being recorded to be broadcast when the channel is officially declared open. The lectures will be curriculum-based and given in the same way as taught in the IITs.

The All-India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) has written to all major institutes to make use of this facility as much as possible. To start with, about 100 courses on six subjects — Civil, Electrical, Mechanical, Computers, Electronics and Tele-communication will be broadcast.

The sources said the facility would be extended to other subjects afterwards. After the Edusat, the dedicated educational satellite by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is put into orbit, another technical education channel may be thought of. UNI