CAREER GUIDE Friday, August 1, 2003, Chandigarh, India

Set sights on aviation & hospitality
A. S. Prashar
he aviation and hospitality industry the world over is undergoing significant and rapid changes. India is also trying to keep pace with it by launching globalisation programme, which is beginning to create vast growth and career opportunities.

Insurance sector offers ample job opportunities
Manoj Kumar
: After the burst of the dotcom bubble and the slowdown in the IT sector, the insurance sector has emerged as a field offering unlimited job opportunities to the ambitious and hard working youth.

Chinese system of mental calculation for Indian kids
Chennai, July 31
Abacus, the Chinese system of mental calculation said to stimulate and harmonise activity of the brain, is now being introduced in schools in India.





Set sights on aviation & hospitality
A. S. Prashar

The aviation and hospitality industry the world over is undergoing significant and rapid changes. India is also trying to keep pace with it by launching globalisation programme, which is beginning to create vast growth and career opportunities.

The civil aviation activities can be broadly classified into three areas: operational, infrastructural and regulatory-cum-developmental. According to industry sources, the aviation industry in India is poised for growth due to the disinvestment programme taken up by the government. More private sector participation is likely to take place. The sources say major private airlines are likely to gain in terms of market share by increased route-sharing policies/agreements. Traffic is expected to grow till 2010-11 as projected by the Foundation for Aviation and Sustainable Tourism. The Airports Authority of India has extended these projections till 2016-17.

The increase in traffic is likely to open up the service industry in the hospitality and tourism sector. The human resource requirement is bound to shoot up. Those asking to make a career in the service industry related to the aviation sector have tremendous scope for growth. Coming to the hotel and tourism industry, quality budget hotels are expected to be the future of India’s hotel industry. Companies would like to house their middle-level managers in these hotels having reasonably good facilities rather than the expensive five-star hotels. The hotel industry in India has latent potential for growth. There will be a surge in the demand for hospitality services and hence a tremendous scope for new job opportunities and growth.

This is where outfits like the Air Hostess Academy (AHA) come in. Founded in 1997, the AHA is the brain child of a young and enterprising Chandigarh girl, Ms Sapna Gupta. This institute was envisioned to impart training to candidates wanting to groom themselves for a career in the customer service industry. The AHA has nine branches in the New Delhi, Jaipur, Mumbai, Dehra Dun and has recently forayed into Chandigarh. The branch in Chandigarh will soon pass out its first batch of students and has opened a centre for admissions for the new session. All its establishments are ISO 9001:2000 certified. The institute offers two courses of six months and one-year duration. The eligibility for the six-month course is graduation and Class XII for the one-year course. The AHA allows flexible timings for learning. The AHA educates students in hospitality, French, travel and tourism, and personal management. The course contents have been designed keeping in mind the latest standards of the industry. The faculty and trainers comprise eminent professionals from the industry supported by visiting faculty and trainers from leading Airlines, hotels, corporate houses and other organisations.

The courses on offer include a certificate course in aviation- 3 months, a certificate course in aviation and hospitality management – 6 months and a diploma course in aviation and hospitality management - 1 year.

Insurance sector offers ample job opportunities
Manoj Kumar

Chandigarh: After the burst of the dotcom bubble and the slowdown in the IT sector, the insurance sector has emerged as a field offering unlimited job opportunities to the ambitious and hard working youth. From a Rs 60,000 crore premium collection two years ago, it is expected to reach Rs 6.5 lakh crore by 2008. The sector has registered an over 100 per cent growth during the past two years, and is expected to maintain that pace at least for the next five to seven years, says Mr Maninder Sood, Regional Head, HDFC Standard Life Insurance Company Limited.

A product of Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, Mr Sood worked in the marketing division of Usha International for over 12 years. He did his BE from Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, and MBA from the All-India Management Association. At present he is looking after the company operations in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh. He says,‘‘I joined the insurance bandwagon two years ago once I realised the tremendous potential of growth in this sector. I accepted the challenge and are now getting the reward.’’ At present, he is getting a package of over Rs 8 lakh per annum. He spoke to The Tribune about the job prospects in the insurance sector. Excerpts from the interview:

Q: What sort of jobs are available in the insurance sector?

A: The insurance sector offers job opportunities in the technical, sales, marketing and management fields. One can enter as an actuary, underwriter, financial consultant/ insurance agent or as Business Development Manager. Insurance companies are recruiting thousands of agents as the market is growing at an exponential rate. We have already recruited over 2,000 agents in the region.

Q: What qualifications are required to enter at the top level?

A: A person with MSc (Mathematics) or a statistics degree can enter as an actuary after completing a course from the Actuarial Society of India. The course is equivalent to that of Chartered Accountants. These persons are appointed at the headquarters level to assess the risk and to prepare business plans. They are paid the best salary in the industry. Similarly, a person with a pharmaceutical and an accountancy background can enter as an underwriter, who assesses the risk based on the medical reports of the customers.

Q: What are the skills that a person must possess to enter the insurance sector?

A: Apart from technical and communication skills, private insurance companies give a lot of importance to integrity, team-building, management skills, besides experience. Persons who have patience and are ready to stay in the long runs, can earn an amount unthinkable in a majority of fields.

Q: What jobs are available at the entry level in the insurance sector?

A: According to the guidelines of the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority, companies are recruiting insurance agents/financial consultants to sell their products in the market. A person, who has passed Class XII and has an experience of three to four years in sales, besides having good social contacts, can enter as a freelancer. Of course, he will have to qualify the prescribed test and undergo the compulsory training. A person who can sell five policies in a month, not a big target, can earn up to Rs 10,000 per month.

Q: Are there any job opportunities for management graduates. If yes, what packages can they expect at the entry level?

A: Oh yes, an MBA in marketing with three to four years’ experience can enter as a Business Development Manager. He will handle a team of 40 to 50 insurance agents and coordinate between them and the company, besides handling the customer care service. He can expect a salary which is on a par with any other industry, besides attractive incentives after meeting the company targets.

Chinese system of mental calculation for
Indian kids

Chennai, July 31
Abacus, the Chinese system of mental calculation said to stimulate and harmonise activity of the brain, is now being introduced in schools in India.

Smart Brain India, which had entered into an alliance with Smart Brain Thailand, which reinvented and pioneered the Advanced Chinese Mental Arithmetic system in the East and the West, would launch its programme in schools in Tamil Nadu tomorrow and elsewhere in India, Smart Brain India Managing Director S. Anand told reporters today.

The system, introduced on a trial basis in select schools in Tamil Nadu, has produced "excellent and measurable" results in children aged between five and 14, he claimed.

The programme comprised two-hour weekend training in Abacus mental arithmetic using the "visuo-spatial" tool.

"While the left half of the brain deals with logic and the right half incites creative and visuo-spatial pathways, the Indian system of teaching gives importance only to the left half of the brain," Mr Anand pointed out.

"The Abacus system strives to streamline the potential of both left and right halves of the brain," he said.

Children following the technique were seen to "quickly" excel in calculations first and in other subjects later, giving them self-confidence and importance, Mr S. Ashok, a specialist in Neuro Linguistic Programming and one of the Directors of Smart Brain India opined.

The company planned to reach the children across India through the franchisee route, Mr Anand informed. — UNI


Q I have been collecting coins as a hobby since childhood. If I want to become a numismatist, what are the qualifications required?

Surinder Narula

A As an avid coin collector you must know that a numismatist studies old coins, tokens, paper money and other related objects such as seals and medals, etc. Through detailed study of these objects, the numismatist provides vital insights and helps reconstruct the past.

The Institute of Archaeology, Delhi, under the auspices of the Archaeological Survey of India, is one of the few institutions that offers a 2-year Postgraduate Diploma in Archaeology with a specialisation in Numismatics.

You need a Master’s degree in Ancient or Medieval Indian History or MA/MSc with Archaeology or Anthropology (55% agg) to be eligible for this course. Admission is on the basis of a written test and interview.

The institute also offers a specialisation in Epigraphy (deciphering and decoding ancient inscriptions).

Technical courses

Q I am a student of Class XII from Punjab. What are the eligibility criteria for admission to technical courses in the state?

Jaspal Singh Chaddha

A All admissions to technical Bachelor’s degree courses are based on merit in the Common Entrance Test (CET) conducted by Punjab Technical University. Similarly, admission for diploma course is done on the basis of the Joint Entrance Test (JET) conducted by the Punjab State Board of Technical Education.

All students who have passed the qualifying exams — either as regular or private candidates — are eligible for admission. Children and dependants of employees of the Punjab Government and boards, corporations or statutory bodies or companies or cooperative societies set up or owned/controlled by the state government, including those under an Act of the State of Punjab or a Central Act, are eligible to apply for the Punjab quota, even if the employee is posted outside the state. Similar exemption is also available to officers of all-India services belonging to the Punjab cadre.

Punjab domicile students are also considered for admission in the 15 per cent all-India seats, reserved for non-Punjab students.

Punjab State Board of Technical Educn, & Indl Trng, Sector 36-A, Chandigarh

Counselling & admission by Central Admission Committee at Chandigarh for Diploma in Engg at various polytechnics in the state based on Jt Entrance Test.

For further details you could log on to:


Q I am planning to take CAT this year. But I’m very confused about which field to choose between marketing, finance, HR and systems.


A Not to worry: the first year’s MBA curriculum at most B-schools (with a few exceptions like XLRI) is compulsory for all students. It covers the basic functional areas of finance and accounting, marketing, personnel and operations management. You will also learn the basic principles of economics, behavioural sciences, information technology and quantitative methods in the context of management.

At the end of the first year, you will work on a summer assignment (8-10 weeks) in an organisation. In the second year, you will have the opportunity to pursue studies in the areas of special interest to you.


Q I will be completing my BE this year. Could you please tell me what languages/skills I should be focusing on from the employment point of view?

Dharamjeet Singh

A As IT recruitment picks up, software skills are again in demand in the job market. An estimated 75,000 new infotech jobs are likely to be created this year. Companies like Wipro and Infosys plan to hit the campuses this year to recruit a large number of fresh candidates. iFlex Solutions had announced plans to add 600 software professionals in the near future months, while Accenture, Oracle and Dell computers are also talking big numbers.

Interestingly, along with the increase in demand, there has also been a qualitative enhancement in the jobs. So even as the demand for traditional skills such as C++, Unix and DB2 continues to be high, niche areas like business intelligence, chip designing, system application and hi-tech skills like ASIC design, EDA and embedded software are gaining importance. According to a recent survey conducted by Nasscom, ERP skills are the most sought after currently, followed by web technologies like .Net, Java, J2EE, Unix, SQL, C++, Cobol, CICS, DB2, CRM, business intelligence, data warehousing, Linux, EDA, ASIC, VLSI, ASP, graphics, animation, EAI, content management (in descending order). So take your pick.

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. Name the two Indians who have been selected for this year’s Ramon Magsaysay Award.

2. Which Article of the Constitution says that the state should endeavour to secure uniform civil code for its citizens?

3. Name the leader of the opposition in Pakistan parliament.

4. Which countries’ borders meet in the Golden Triangle region — notorious as the world’s biggest centre of heroin and methamphetamines ?

5. Who will replace Bimal Jalan as the new RBI Governor?

6. On the banks of which river is Nasik situated?

7. Who wrote the classic Nirmala?

8. Who is the President of the Philippines?

9. What is the capital of Liberia?

10. Which renowned novelist’s memoir is titled ‘Two Lives’?

11. Where were the World Swimming Championships held recently?

12. What is India’s latest ICC Test ranking?

13. How many nations will participate in the 2004 Athens Olympics?

14. Name the Indian football club that recently created history by winning an international tournament on foreign soil for the first time.

15. Who recently became the most successful captain in the Test cricket history by recording 37th win in his 50th Test as skipper?

Name.......................Class........School address.......................

Winners of quiz 186: The first prize by draw of lots goes to Munish Kumar, roll no 17, GMN High School, Bela Road, Ropar. Second: Himanshu Kakkar, IX-A, Little Flower Convent School, Sector 14, Panchkula.

Third: Abhinav Singla, class VIII, Springdale Public School, Sangrur (Punjab).

Answers to quiz 186: Sania Mirza; Dr Mrinal Thakur; Siamese twins; Bhisham Sahni; Indian Oil Corporation; Hillary Rodham Clinton; India; All India Muslim Personal Law Board; 537km; Harare; Hockey; M. Muralitharan; Roger Federer & Serena Williams; Martina Navratilova; Yelena Isinbayeva.

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