CAREER GUIDE Friday, April 18, 2003, Chandigarh, India

Opportunities in insurance
R.C. Agarwal
ith the opening of the insurance sector, new career opportunities are becoming visible in several streams of insurance.




Opportunities in insurance
R.C. Agarwal

With the opening of the insurance sector, new career opportunities are becoming visible in the following streams of insurance:

Marketing: Every insurance company is in great need of persons who can market its products. Such a person can be an agent/ adviser of the companies concerned, an employee-cum-associate of an insurance broker or a corporate agent of an insurance company. The minimum qualification required is class XII. A person has to undergo at least 100 hours of training to be arranged by the insurance company and has to pass a test, after which a licence is granted by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority. If one is willing to work sincerely for at least three to four hours daily, then he can earn about Rs 10,000 per month, which will continue to increase.

Insurance companies are also recruiting unit/sales managers, who recruit and guide agents to bring new insurance policies. The person to be recruited as a sales manager should be at least a graduate, with some experience in marketing.

Training: All insurance companies are in need of persons who can impart training to their marketing force and other staff. Such training is being outsourced from insurance colleges by some companies while some have their own training managers. A majority of these imparting such training are retired insurance officials.

Insurance courses: At present about 20 private insurance companies are in the market and are in the process of expanding their activities. They will require qualified persons. Many colleges are introducing insurance as a subject at the graduation level. Some private institutions also offer insurance courses. While choosing a course, a candidate is supposed to be vigilant, as placement cannot be guaranteed by any such course.

Actuarial Science: If one goes for the actuarial science exam and qualifies even in a few papers, then placement is not a problem. The eligibility for admission is:

(i) 10+2 (HSC) or equivalent with at least 85 per cent marks in mathematics/statistics.

(ii) Graduate/postgraduate with subject like mathematics, etc and must have at least 55 per cent marks in mathematical sciences.

(iii) The medium of instruction must be English.

The total number of papers is 16 and the exams are held every year in May and November, with no restrictions on the number of papers you want to appear in at a time and with no age restriction. The hand book can be obtained from the Actuarial Society of India at the following address: 9, Jeevan Udhyog Building, 3rd Floor, Dr DN Road Fort, Mumbai-400001.


This is one stream of insurance, where the future is secured with a handsome salary.


Q After completing my MBBS, I would like to specialise in sports medicine. Are there any institutes in India offering courses in this field?

Harjeet Saini

A Sports medicine is a great idea. The nation’s collective sigh of relief on Tendulkar’s bouncing back during the New Zealand tour onto the pitch (pun intended) after weeks of nail biting will-he won’t-he, uncertainty only serves to highlight the importance and shortage of highly trained professionals in sports medicine.

As sports gets increasingly competitive and the stakes increasingly higher, nothing short of 200% fitness can give the player the crucial winning edge. A simple swelling on the wrist may not only result in a dropped catch but could well cause the World Cup to slip from your hands!

Not only does a huge vacuum exist in sports science and medicine, but India also needs top-flight trainers, physiotherapists, nutritionists, psychologists, physiologists and masseurs and biomechanics to keep our athletes and sportspersons fighting fit. Sports medicine is concerned with the prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of sport-related injuries.

Sports physiologists objectively assess the athlete’s physiological condition and capacity through various tests and regularly monitor their progress. These findings help the coach devise an appropriate training and remedial exercise programme to improve the athlete’s strength and optimise his physical potential.

MSc (Sports Physiothearapy) is offered at Alagappa University, Karaikudi (TN). This university and the University of Madras also offer a PG Diploma in Sports Physiotherapy (1-yr) after Bachelor’s degree in Medicine/Physio/Phys Ed.

Specialists in sports medicine are hired by the Sports Authority of India, and that of respective states, sports federations and large private hospitals and sports clubs and institutes.

The following institutions offer courses in Sports Medicine: Netaji Subhas National Institute of Sports, Motibagh, Patiala-147001 (Under Sports Authority of India & affiliated to the Baba Farid University). Course: PG Diploma for Medical Graduates (2-year). This is the only course recognised by the Medical Council of India. Seats: 6. Selection: Interview (July). Boarding & Lodging: Free. Establishment charges (Rs. 1,500/- to be paid on admission). Hospital for Orthopaedics, Sports Medicine, Arthritis & Accident-Trauma (HOSMAT), Bangalore. Course: a) Fellowship Basic Course after MBBS. Duration: 1-yr. Fees: Rs. 1,000 p.m. b) Advance Course for Orthopaedic Surgeons. No Fees. All India Institute of Hygiene & Public Health, Kolkata-700073. Course: Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Medicine, MD (SPM). University of Calcutta, Kolkata offers a Certificate in Sports Medicine. Elig: MBBS.


Q I am interested in taking up computer engineering after class XII. Could you please advise me whether I should opt for software or hardware engineering?

Harvinder Kaur

A Tough question, but let me attempt an answer by explaining what each entails and their pros and cons.

In the computer hardware industry, most of the engineering jobs are held by electronics engineers as well as computer engineers since computers are primarily electronic machines. The work includes designing of the central-processing unit (CPU) and peripheral equipment such as terminals, input-output devices such as printers, tape and disk drives, etc. These engineers also work in the areas of production, maintenance and deployment of networking solutions. The work of a computer technician or field engineer however, is confined to assisting in the areas of manufacture, maintenance (repairing), troubleshooting, and networking of computers. In software programming, there is a great demand for software engineers - programmers and systems analysts - to design the sophisticated programmes, languages, operating systems, web pages, etc. At the lower end, there is a continuous demand for computer operators who are familiar with various software packages, Internet, etc. Since computers are mainly manufactured abroad, in India the job of a computer hardware specialist gets confined to the aspect of repairing and maintenance of computers. As a result, software engineering offers more scope in terms of job prospects, both in India as well as globally. Indian programmers are in great demand the world over. Also, these jobs fetch a hefty pay packet. Moreover, to keep up with the pace of computerisation in every field, including e-commerce, there is an increasing demand for software professionals the world over.

However, on the flip side, you have to keep updating your knowledge by learning new/ newer versions of software all the time, while in hardware, this will automatically happen on-the job. And last but not least, hardware is relatively stabler in the sense that it is not as prone to the vagaries of the market as we have seen in the case of software which is reeling under the effect of the slowdown in the US and world markets.


Q I am a third-year BCom (H) student. I am confused whether I should pursue CA or a CFA after graduation or opt for MBA instead?

Amarjeet Singh

A Both CA and MBA are complete stand-alone professional courses while CFA is a good complimentary course, particularly for those in the financial services sector like equity analysts, etc.

MBA, on the other hand, has a more general outlook and grooms you for a large number of managerial jobs in the corporate sector in finance as well as other areas like marketing, HR, systems, etc.

CA is essentially a finance-related course that empowers you to certify all accounts, including the balance sheet of the organisation. It also gives you a better grasp of financial statements along with an extensive knowledge of tax laws, management accounting and corporate laws. The CA curriculum was considered to be lacking in inputs on other aspects of management and business. Hopefully, the revised course would have hopefully filled in the gaps. On completing their articleship, students have to now take a compulsory course on General Management & Communication skills before they can apply for membership of ICAI.

As regards CFA, the curriculum includes comprehensive understanding of project appraisal, planning, financial services and international finance. As discussed above, it is a good add-on qualification. However, the course also suffers from the inherent drawback of distance learning.

While the CA and CFA courses are offered by a single institution (ICAI and ICFAI, respectively) the MBA programme is offered by hundreds of B schools (good, bad and indifferent). However, the plum, top-of-the-line jobs typically go to students of the top B schools.


Q I am a graduate from Kolkata University having passed through 10+2+2 pattern. Can you please tell me if I am eligible for taking CAT conducted by the IIMs?.

Amita Bhatia

A The eligibility for the CAT is 10+2+3. However, the 1-yr bridge course for 10+2+2 students offered by some universities is also considered valid.

Bridge course is offered at the following universities:

Chaudhary Charan Singh University, the Institute of Correspondence Courses and Continuing Education, Meerut-250002. Courses: BA/BCom.

The University of North Bengal, Directorate of Distance Education, Bengal Univ, Darjeeling Distt. Camp off: Sect 3, Salt Lake, Kolkata. Course: Bridge course in English, Bengali, Nepali, Pol Sc, gist, Phil, Maths (1-yr).

The University of Jammu, Institute of Correspondence Education, New Campus, Jammu 180004. Courses: BA/BCom.

Vidyasagar University, Directorate of Distance Education, Midnapore 721102. Course: BA.


Q I have passed class XII (PCB) and later did my graduation with Home Science. I took DU’s BEd entrance exam but could not clear it. Now I am at the crossroads as regards my career. My parents won’t let me go out of Delhi? Please advise.

Alka Sodhi

A There is no reason to give up. Try again this year. Moreover, Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, Delhi offers BEd in five colleges with a capacity of 300 students. Admission is through an entrance test.

Jamia Millia Islamia also offers BEd. So you do have other options to choose from, besides giving DU another shot this year.

Alternatively, you could also look at the two-year Diploma in Elementary Teacher Education, which will equip you to teach students of elementary school level (classes 1-8). The course is conducted by the State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT), Varun Marg, Defence Colony, New Delhi-110024, at seven District Institutes of Education and Training (DIET) in Delhi. Admission is through an entrance test.

Although the eligibility is only 10+2 (50 per cent), not only graduates but also postgraduates and MPhils are found to take the test. The 900 seats are exclusively reserved for Delhi students. As there are more primary schools than secondary schools, jobs are easier to get. With experience, you will be promoted to the secondary level in any case.

Jamia Millia Islamia also offers a two-year Diploma in Elementary Teacher Education (also known as JBT in other states like UP etc). Eligibility: 10+2. Selection: entrance test and interview. (Total seats: 100. Special quota is reserved for candidates from Hindi/Urdu medium.

You could also look at a good nursery teacher training course offered by a recognised polytechnic or institute.

Science Stream

Q Are there any specific guidelines regarding admission of children to the science stream in Class 11?

Indira Kumar

A There are no guidelines in the Delhi School Education Act regarding admission in the three streams. According to instructions of the Directorate of Education, any student securing more than 60 per cent in class X is entitled to admission in the science stream.

However, the science stream (PCB/PCM) is pretty tough. There is also a quantum jump in the level of difficulty between class 10 and classes 11 and 12. So if the student has been pretty much average academically, he or she should think twice before opting for it.

Pervin Malhotra, Director, CARING

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. Whose autobiography is titled ‘Wings of Fire’?

2. Which advanced multipurpose satellite — the country’s biggest spacecraft with a 12-year mission life — was recently launched from Kourou in South America?

3. From which province of China is the pneumonia-like disease SARS said to have originated?

4. Name the only Bollywood star to have been invited to become a jury member of the Cannes International Film Festival.

5. Name the Commander of the US armed forces in the ongoing operations in Iraq.

6. Which two cities were recently linked by the Jallianwala Bagh Express?

7. When is the National Safe Motherhood Day observed?

8. Name the former Commonwealth Secretary General who has been selected for the Indira Gandhi Peace Prize for 2002.

9. Which party was headed by Saddam Hussein in Iraq?

10. Name the country’s first genetically modified crop which was given conditional approval by the government last year.

11. What is the capital of Syria?

12. What is the full form of EIL?

13. In which city was ‘Chai bazaar’, said to be first authentic Indian tea bar, inaugurated recently?

14. Name the cricket umpire who was recently honoured with Padma Shri.

15. Which nation recently won the four-nation Sharjah Cricket Cup?


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

Winners of quiz 179: The first prize by draw of lots goes to Sukhjinder Mohan, XII-M, Guru Nanak Public School, Sarabha Nagar, Ludhiana.

Second: Chand Chopra, X, Sacred Heart High School, Dalhousie (HP).

Third: Pridhi Sharma, XII, Laurete Public School, Shimla.

Answers to quiz 179: China; Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome; Operation Iraqi Freedom; Tigris; Chicago; Indonesia; Elisha Graves Otis; Japan; Value Added Tax; Nicosia; Pakistan; Bennett King; Sachin Tendulkar; Australia; 359/2.

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