CAREER GUIDE Friday, April 4, 2003, Chandigarh, India

Well (hand)written is well said
Umesh Ghrera
ad handwriting is a sign of imperfect education," the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, used to say. The basic function of the written word is to communicate and handwriting plays an important role in determining how effective the communication is. At times bad handwriting can result in distortion of the message.

Please suggest some courses in human rights
Pervin Malhotra, Director, CARING



Well (hand)written is well said
Umesh Ghrera

"Bad handwriting is a sign of imperfect education," the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, used to say. The basic function of the written word is to communicate and handwriting plays an important role in determining how effective the communication is. At times bad handwriting can result in distortion of the message.

Good handwriting is not only pleasing to the eye and easy to understand, it also tells us a whole lot of things about the person wielding the pen: clarity of thought, ability to organise, and balance in presentation. Universities have calligraphers to prepare degree certificates since they bring out the beauty and structure of the alphabet and lend dignity to the document.

It is a known fact good handwriting can help students fetch that extra mark in examinations since teachers are conscious of neat presentation. It certainly is a plus point, say teachers.

"Good handwriting is like the doorstep to the hall of communication," says Prof Jitendra Mohan of the Panjab University Psychology Department. He maintains that well-presented answers in good handwriting help examiners evaluate correctly. He adds that some students try to camouflage their ignorance by bad handwriting, especially their spelling mistakes. This does not work.

In terms of personal communication also, good handwriting is a beautiful way to enhance the appeal and adds charm to a letter.

Doctors and administrators are generally known to have poor handwriting, which is attributed to pressure of work. Says Prof Jitendra Mohan in a lighter vein, "If a doctor writes to his beloved, the poor girl has to go to a chemistís shop to get it read."

Another important aspect is the uniformity of handwriting. If a person has a good handwriting in a particular language, he invariably would write beautifully in other languages also. However, it is difficult to improve oneís handwriting late in life. The best time to learn the skill is kindergarten or primary school. Unfortunately, due to teachersí and parentsí lack of concern, at times students miss out on this very important tool of communication.

Please suggest some courses in human rights
Pervin Malhotra, Director, CARING

Q Could you please tell me about some recognised courses in human rights and the prospects in this field?

Rajesh Jindal

A Human rights is the study of our basic rights irrespective of all man-made classifications like caste, creed, sex, nationality, etc. These rights are the basic rights of a person to survive i.e. the right for good, healthy food, right for clean water, freedom of movement and speech, freedom from slavery and discrimination. Although in India, human rights is still in its budding stage there are many avenues open for a student of human rights. Many international organisations and NGOs are on a constant lookout for human rights students. These include United Nations (UNIFEM, ILO, UNESCO, UNDCP, UNFPA, WHO, etc) CRY, the Red Cross, DANIDA, YMCA, YWCA and many more.

BA in human rights

Bundelkhand University, Jhansi 284128 (UP).

Postgraduate courses in human rights

Calcutta University, Anthropology Deptt, Ballygunge Science College. (MA in human rights.)

Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh 202002 (UP).

Babasaheb Ambedkar University, Lucknow ( offers an LLM in human rights. Eligibility: LLB.

Indian Law Institute, Bhagwan Das Road, New Delhi ( Course: PG Diploma in Human Rights Law (1-yr). The course is sponsored by the National Human Rights Commission.

Indian Institute of Human Rights, Green Gate, A 14-15-16 Paryavaran Complex, South of Saket, Maidangarhi Marg, New Delhi 110030 Ph: 6858609. E-mail: Course: PG Distance Learning Programme in Human Rights (2-yr). Eligibility: Bachelorís degree. (In collaboration with Pondicherry University, Directorate of Distance Educn.)

RLEK Human Rights Centre, 68/1 Suryalok Colony, Rajpur Road, Dehra Dun 248001 (Utt) offers a PG Diploma in Human Rights (1-yr) in affiliation with Visva-Bharati Univ, Santiniketan.

NLSIU, Bangalore, ( offers a PG Diploma in Human Rights Law (Corresp).

NALSAR, Barkatpura, Hyderabad 500027 ( offers a PG Diploma in International Humanitarian Law (1-yr). Eligibility: Bachelorís degree with 2 yrs work ex.

Civil Services

Q I am a final year student doing BA (Hons) in Hindi. Mathematics is one of my elective subjects in BA. As I am preparing for the Civil Services exam, could you please tell me if I can succeed in the exam by taking maths as an optional paper. 

Gitanjali Sood

A The choice of optional subjects can make or mar your final success in the Civil Services examination. Both in the Prelims as well as Mains, your performance in the optional paper plays a deciding role in your selection.

At the Prelims stage there is one optional paper while in the Mains you have to choose two optional subjects, each of which consists of two papers.

While choosing an optional for the Prelims, do keep the Mains in mind. This means that you should preferably opt for the same optional subject for both. This will not only lead to better understanding of the subject but will also save you extra effort.

The syllabus for the optional paper is typically of a Bachelorís degree-level, but it is better if you prepare for a level equivalent to that of an Honours degree programme.

Since your performance in the optional paper must be excellent if you wish to succeed, do select the subject pragmatically after careful consideration. As extensive study is required to achieve mastery of the subject and its fundamentals, make sure you pick one that is both scoring as well as likely to sustain your interest throughout the course of preparation. Also make sure you have easy access to the necessary texts and reference material. Compactness of the syllabus and the subjectís relevance to administration are other criteria to be considered.

Prepare the reading list after consulting your professors, seniors or peers. If possible, try and talk to those who have either taken the exam or are planning to do so. Discussing your doubts and queries with them will be extremely helpful.

Every optional paper has two sections. One question in each section is compulsory. Besides the two compulsory questions you get to choose from a group of three others. Opt for those whose answers are fact based and where the scope for subjective assessment is minimal.

Adventure Sports

Q I am keen on learning outdoor sports like rock climbing and white water rafting. Could you please suggest some institutes that offer such courses that are not too expensive?

Ramandeep Singh

A The National Adventure Foundation offers courses in mountaineering, trekking, rock climbing, skiing, white water rafting, paragliding and powered hang-gliding. Students enrolling for these courses must only bear their travelling expenses while the rest of the cost is borne by the NAF which is a government body.

You could contact the NAF at: East Plaza, Indira Gandhi Stadium, New Delhi 110002. Ph: 26327382.

The basic and advance courses are usually of a monthís duration and cost approximately Rs. 2000/.

The following institutes offer mountaineering and rock-climbing courses.

Indian Mountaineering Foundation, Delhi; Nehru Institute of Mountaineering, Uttarkashi; Institute of Mountaineering & Allied Sports, Manali; Himalyan Mountaineering Institute, Darjeeling; Gen Themayya National Instt of Adventure Sports, Bangalore; Jawahar Institute of Mountaineering & Water Sports, Batote (J&K), Dharamsala (HP); ITBP Training Centre, Auli; Sonam Gyatso Mountaineering Institute, Gangtok.

Directorate of Mountaineering & Allied Sports, Manali (HP) with training centres at Dharamsala, Shimla, Jispa and Bharmour and Narkanda offers courses in water sports like rafting and kayaking, skiing and high-altitude trekking.

Rock Climbing Institute, Mt Abu, (Raj) with training centre at Junagadh.

GMVN Skiing Institute, Auli (Utt)


Q Madam, I am studying in class X. Please explain to me what does a journalist do?

Upinder Singh

A A degree in journalism or mass communication is a good starting point for a career in journalism.

Journalists write news reports and features for newspapers, magazines, radio, television or the Internet. Some may get openings in large commercial organisations and government departments where the work involves preparing annual reports, speeches and media releases. For the print and broadcast media, a journalistís job is to collect and analyse facts about newsworthy events by interviewing, investigation or observation. Journalists usually start as junior reporters to write about routine events. In the press and on radio, Internet and television, most reporters are expected to be Ďgeneralistsí; that is, be able to cover almost any topic of interest. All journalists are required to understand the laws of defamation, contempt and copyright. You may have to work long and irregular hours - often under severe deadline pressures. With a few years of experience both in reporting, and at the copy desk, journalists grow to become editors.

If you donít wish to be tied down, you could even choose to work as a freelancer/stringer, art, fashion, or theatre critic, book reviewer, web content developer, technical writer, etc. The growth of the ICE (information, communication and entertainment) sector and the increasing proliferation of satellite and broadcast channels, media networks and PR agencies generates a steady demand for savvy communication experts.

Industrial Chemistry

Q I am a Science graduate. Can you please tell me what future prospects does BSc (Industrial Chemistry) offers?

Kumar Gaurav Kalia

A Industrial chemistry is a multi-faceted field which opens up a wide range of options in pure research as well as commercial applications. However, a Bachelorís in the subject is not sufficient if you are looking at career options at the professional level. Youíll need a Masterís at the least and even further if you wish to teach or go into research.

Besides teaching, the main areas open to you are pure research or research-based assignments directly or closely related to your field of specialisation in the chemical and allied industries (chemical, pharmaceutical, agrochemicals, toiletries, plastics, polymers, etc.) and other industries (food, gas, electricity, water, nuclear, etc.). While an MPhil or PhD is necessary for working as a scientist, you could work as a research assistant straight after MSc in various research-oriented organisations.

Some areas of specialist work in this field are:

As a Research Chemist, you would investigate or evaluate new ideas, materials and processes.

As a Product Development Chemist, you would nurture new research ideas so that they can become practical production processes or improve existing products.

As a Process Development Chemist, you would devise or scale a sequence of operations leading from the lab stage to safe, viable and efficiently manufactured product.

As an Analytical Chemist, you would prepare quantitative product and formulation analysis in collaboration with other scientists.

Please send in your query preferably on a postcard along with your name, complete address and academic qualifications to: 
Editor, Query Hotline,
The Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh-160020, or at



1. Which country has reported the maximum cases of atypical pneumonia, a mysterious respiratory disease, that has recently spread to nearly 15 countries worldwide?

2. What is the full form of SARS?

3. Name the military operation that was recently launched by the US and UK forces in Iraq.

4. On which river is Baghdad situated?

5. Which movie musical won the Oscar for the best film at the 75th Annual Academy Awards?

6. Which is the worldís most populous Muslim country?

7. Who founded the Otis Elevator Company in 1853?

8. Which Asian country recently launched its first spy satellites?

9. Expand VAT.

10. What is the capital of Cyprus?

11. Which country recently lifted the Sultan Azlan Shah hockey trophy?

12. Who has been appointed the coach of the West Indies cricket team in place of Roger Harper?

13. Who was the Man of the Tournament in the recently concluded cricket World Cup?

14. Which is the only country to have won the cricket World Cup thrice?

15. What is Australiaís biggest-ever score in a one-day international cricket match?


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

Winners of quiz 178: The first prize by draw of lots goes to Albee Gupta, 8th-D, Halwasiya Vidhya Vihar, Bhiwani, Haryana.

Second: Amber Kanwar, Class X, Mount Carmel School, Rakkar Colony, Una-174303.

Third: Nishchay Verma, VI-A, St Josephís, Sector 44, Chandigarh.

Answers to quiz 178: Hu Jintao; Al-Samoud 2; Digboi refinery; Fidel Castro; Nepal; India & China; Kumar Malavalli & Mihir Parikh; Kolkata; West Bengal; National Dairy Development Board; Sandip Patil; Graeme Smith; Kenya; Brett Lee; Zaheer Khan.

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.

ó Tarun Sharma