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

Hard work saw him on top
Umesh Ghrera

Brijesh TakkarBrijesh Takkar, who has topped the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) entrance test, feels on top of the world today.
He has reason to do so. Of the seven medical entrance tests he took after topping Sacred Heart Convent School, Sarabha Nagar, Ludhiana, in the Class XII CBSE examinations scoring 94.6 per cent marks , he has made it to six, the results of which have been declared so far. He spoke to The Tribune about his achievements.

Be a VLSI design engineer
CHANDIGARH: A career in VLSI (very large scale integrated) technology is the latest choice of electronic engineers as a majority of the major international players in chip designing and fabrication like Texas Instruments, Intel, Sun, ST Microelectronics and Wipro are setting up designing houses in India.


Hard work saw him on top
Umesh Ghrera

Brijesh Takkar, who has topped the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) entrance test, feels on top of the world today. He has reason to do so. Of the seven medical entrance tests he took after topping Sacred Heart Convent School, Sarabha Nagar, Ludhiana, in the Class XII CBSE examinations scoring 94.6 per cent marks , he has made it to six, the results of which have been declared so far. The result of the seventh is awaited. And it is no mean achievement. Of the six, he has come on top in three. He has also been drawing an NTSE scholarship after Class XI and was nominated by his school for further studies in Washington University, which he is not too keen on. Brijesh attributes his success to hard work, God’s grace, parents’ blessings and guidance from teachers. He spoke to The Tribune about his achievements. Excerpts from the interview:

Q. How does it feel having topped the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences entrance test?

A. I feel on top of the world. This has come to me as a pleasant surprise and I am very happy. Though I was confident that I would make it through, I had never imagined that I would secure the first position. In fact, everyone in the family, except me, thought that I would come out with flying colours. The moment we came to know of the result, my sister and I started running after each other in a circle in exhilaration even as our father attended phone calls.

Q. How many entrance tests did you take and what was the outcome?

A. I took seven entrance tests in all — CBSE PMT, AIIMS, the Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Wardha, Christian Medical College, Ludhiana, Banaras Hindu |University, AFMC, Pune, and CMC, Vellore. Six results have been declared so far. Of these, I secured the first position in AIIMS, CMC, Ludhiana, and Banaras Hindu University. I secured the third position in the Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Wardha, while I was ranked 41st in the CBSE PMT. I qualified the AFMC written test but didn’t go for the interview.

Q. What is your mantra for success?

A. See, there is no substitute for hard work. You have to burn the midnight oil to achieve the desired results. It is not the quantity but the quality of study that matters. Your attention has to be focused. Recreational activities are also a must.

Q. How many hours did you put in daily for your studies?

A. After passing out Class X, I started devoting nine to 10 hours daily to my studies.

Q. Both your parents are doctors and both your sisters are studying medicine. Did this influence your decision to study medicine?

A. Yes it certainly did. There was no second opinion regarding it. I knew right from the beginning that I had to study medicine. It is a noble profession and you get to serve ailing people, which is a big service to humanity. Secondly, what I like about this profession is that it keeps you occupied all the time and I like remaining busy.

Q. How has been the reaction from friends and relatives?

A. Fantastic. Everyone seems to be thrilled with my achievement. I have received countless number of calls, congratulating me on my success and wishing me good luck for the future. The school Principal, who was away to Karnal, also rang me up to appreciate the feat.

Q. Did you join any coaching centre? If yes, do you think these are helpful?

A. Yes, I joined a coaching academy for my tests. I think coaching does help you because you get personal attention and can get your doubts cleared. You need not join a coaching centre but there has to be someone to pay personal attention to you and solve your problems.

Q. What are your hobbies?

A. I like listening to music, watching television, especially Cartoon Network, playing table tennis and football. I am also fond of eating and sleeping.

Q. A number of medical graduates join the IAS. Do you have any such plans?

A. See right now, I want to focus only on studying medicine. Once I complete my degree, I may give it a thought.

Q. Do you believe in God?

A. I started believing in God more after my results started trickling in since I found luck played a crucial role. I thank God for His blessings.

Q. What is your message for those aspiring to study medicine?

A. Hard work is the key to success.

Be a VLSI design engineer
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH: A career in VLSI (very large scale integrated) technology is the latest choice of electronic engineers as a majority of the major international players in chip designing and fabrication like Texas Instruments, Intel, Sun, ST Microelectronics and Wipro are setting up designing houses in India.

The very large scale integrated circuit technology is a revolution in the miniaturising of electronics and offers a golden career opportunity for Indian VLSI designers and electronic engineers.

The VLSI technique is sophisticated and requires talent. Though the integrated chip is hardware, the design work is in “soft” form and can be exported over the Internet, the reason why: it is being outsourced to Indian companies. As VLSI design houses in India are meeting the demand from US-based companies at more competitive costs, the VLSI industry is going to see a high growth rate in India due to a US slowdown. And since it is a new industry, the demand for VLSI design engineers exceeds the supply. Chip and processors are now used in almost everything — from computers, laptops, mobiles, complex electronic gadgets to everyday appliances like dishwashers. It is the VLSI design engineer’s efforts that make this possible. They conceive and design these chips and later send them for fabrication.

To work as a VLSI design engineer, a BE or B Tech degree in Electronics, Telecommunications or Instrumentation is a prerequisite. Apart from VLSI design knowledge, the engineers should also know assembly-level programming and C programming.

A number of institutes offer these diploma courses. Though a majority of the institutes are located in the South, Semiconductor Complex Limited (a Government of India Enterprise), Mohali, leads the list in North India. It offers a six-month postgraduate diploma in VLSI design.


I want to work with UN as interpreter. Please advise

Q. I have done my Master’s in French and would like to work with the United Nations as an interpreter. How do I go about it? 


Working in the United Nations Organisation (UNO) as an interpreter calls for proficiency in more than one foreign language. Fortunately, French happens to be one of the six official languages of the UNO. However, you can apply for the post only upon successful completion of the Simultaneous Interpretation Course from either of the schools at Geneva or France. At the UNO, interpreters are recruited after qualifying in a test which is administered individually. They usually work for six months in a year and are paid approximately $650 per day plus overtime. A university degree coupled with extensive general knowledge is essential.


Q. I am an Eco graduate. Could you please tell me about the job prospects after pursuing a Master’s in the subject? 

Gautam Kothari

To begin with, you can take the Indian Economic Service or the Indian Statistical Service Exams conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) almost every year.

If selected, you will be absorbed in the various economic and statistical departments of the Central Government such as the Planning Commission, the National Sample Survey, the Central Statistical Organisation, Indian Statistical Institute and the State Bureau of Statistics and Economics, the National Employment Service, M/o Labour, M/o Agriculture and other government departments.

The Planning Commission also recruits Economic Investigators for its Programme Evaluation Organisation through the UPSC. Postgraduates in Economics with two years of research experience are eligible.

You could also take the Civil Services Examination which is also conducted by the UPSC or other competitive examinations held by the state service commissions, Life and General Insurance Corporations, nationalised banks, etc., where economics is permitted as one of the subjects and eligibility is graduation. The Probationary Officers Examinations are conducted by various recruitment boards of various banks.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) attracts young and dynamic postgraduates in economics with its high pay scale and good working conditions. Besides inducting personnel at the general administration level, the RBI has a Planning Division which recruits research officers in its D/o Economic Analysis & Policy (DEAP).

Large private companies also employ business economists to plan strategy and operations, assess and analyse market factors, costs and sales, labour and productivity, raw materials, equipment and customer demand. As a business economist, you may also specialise in market research, international trade or exports & imports.

There are well paying jobs in other banking and financial institutions and insurance companies. As a matter of fact, several recruitment ads for management trainees ask for MBA/MA (Eco) as the desired qualification. Business Economists can also enhance their job prospects by doing an MBA or postgraduate degree in Finance, International Business (MIB).

Besides working on projects for research bodies such as the Institute for Applied Manpower Research, or the Institute for Economic Growth or the National Council for Applied Economic Research, economists also work for leading international organisations such as World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Down the line, you could also work as consultant or financial analyst for business and industry. The growth of the derivatives market will generate several openings in the financial sector.

Teaching is another evergreen option. And if you have a flair for writing, you could also venture into journalism. Whether print, television or radio, economic analysis and reportage is at a premium. In fact, business journalists are amongst the best-paid journalists today.


Q. If a course is AICTE approved, does it mean that its quality is guaranteed?

— Suresh Bhalla

The AICTE approval only signifies the credibility and capability of the institution to offer technical programmes in Engineering and Technology, Computer Applications, Architecture & Town Planning, Pharmacy, Management, Hotel Management & Catering Technology, Applied Arts & Crafts, etc.

In simple language, it is equivalent to permission granted to any kiranawala to open shop. It is in no way a proof of the institution’s or programme’s demonstrated capability to comply with specified norms and regulations.

For this the AICTE "accreditation" is the appropriate indicator. In simple terms, accreditation means recognition and guarantee of minimum quality. It is a sort of quality assurance whereby a technical institution’s performance is critically appraised to verify that it and it’s programmes meet the criteria and weightage prescribed by the National Board of Accreditation. The NAB has introduced a new two-part grading system. Programmes that score more than 650 marks are considered as accredited whereas those scoring below 650 are not accredited.

To differentiate between institutions getting more than 650 marks, those that score between 650-750 are accredited for a period of 3 years, whereas those scoring more than 750 are accredited for 5 years.

Accredited institutions qualify for financial grants from government agencies. The NAB feels that students studying in such institutions would qualify for better placement and even international recognition for higher study abroad.

The list of accredited programmes can be accessed on the following websites: and

The AICTE is a regulatory body, set up by an Act of Parliament to ensure co-ordinated and integrated development of technical education and maintain norms and standards throughout the country. It also grants approval for starting new technical institutes and introducing new courses or programmes.

However, there is no penal provision under the Act to initiate any legal action against institutes that run illegal and unrecognised courses without obtaining their approval.

Sign language

Q. I am working as a social worker in a small school for the hearing handicapped. Could you please suggest where I could formally learn how to interpret sign language? 

Kulpreet Kaur

The Ali Yavar Jung National Institute for the Hearing Handicapped (, Mumbai and Sri Ramakrishna Mission Vidyalaya, Coimbatore, offer courses for Sign Language Interpreters at three levels (of 3-mths each). On completion of each level, you will be given a certificate. Completing all three levels will make you eligible for a diploma in the subject that is recognised by the Rehabilitation Council of India (a statutory body under the M/o Social Justice & Empowerment). To enrol for the courses, contact the institutions directly.

The RCI also offers a 2-week orientation course for existing users/interpreters of sign language after which they can take the relevant A/BC level exams to pursue higher level courses.

For details, contact the RCI, 23-A Shivaji Marg, New Delhi 110015 or log on to the RCI website:


Q. Could you please tell me something about paragliding? Is it taught in any university? 

Manjeet Singh

Paragliding has evolved into a popular flying sport all over the world. It’s sheer simplicity and convenience, makes it possible for even a layman to experience the thrill of flying. This sport has international recognition.

Although paragliding does not form part of any university curriculum, there are many flying clubs and associations that conduct short-term courses for beginners.

Typically, the course begins with orientation, ground handling techniques and the basic theory required to keep you safe and informed. To begin with, you will take off from a manageable height of 200 ft. and graduate to more ambitious heights till you are able to confidently handle solo flights. All the while, you will be assisted and guided by instructors.

You could contact your nearest flying club, adventure foundation or NCC centre for more information. Similarly, surf the Internet for details of various international paragliding associations and contests.

— 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. Which pass on the Sikkim-Tibet frontier would be used for trade by India and China?

2. Name the Commission probing the demolition of the disputed structure at Ayodhya.

3. Name the Pakistan’s military commander who signed the surrender document before the Indian Army officials in 1971.

4. What is the name of NASA’s second space probe for planet Mars?

5. Which two languages were recently given the official status in Delhi?

6. Name the deities whose idols are pulled in chariot in the Puri Rath Yatra.

7. Which country is building the world’s highest railway station at a height of 5,068m above sea level?

8. Name the fifth book in the Harry Potter series.

9. Which part of the body is affected by the Alzheimer’s disease?

10. With which sport is the Bordoloi trophy associated?

11. Who is the world WBO and WBA heavyweight champion?

12. Name the Cameroon’s soccer player who collapsed and died in the semi-final of the Confederations Cup against Colombia in Lyon recently.

13. Who recently became the first defending men’s champion at Wimbledon since 1967 to lose in the opening round?

14. Name the tallest player to have ever competed in the Wimbledon.

15. What is the new name of the Australian Cricket Board?


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

Winners of quiz 184: The first prize by draw of lots goes to: Arunesh Garg, 8th A, Jain High School, Nabha, district Patiala. Second: Himanshu Mittal, XI-A, Fertilizer Sen Sec School, Naya Nangal, dist Ropar (Punjab) -140126. Third: Pulkit Sachdeva, X, St Joseph’s High School, Mandi Dabwali, district Sirsa, Haryana, Pin-125104.

Answers to quiz 184: Operation Desert Scorpion, Real Madrid, Mhow, Gregory Peck, Ford Motor Company, Maruti Udyog Limited, Goa, R Ramanathan, China, USA, Vientiane, Gas Authority of India Limited, India, Juan Carlos Ferrero, Justine Henin Hardenne.

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