Anchor your way to fame
Sanjay Austa
F going on a stage gives you the heebie-jeebies and saying something in front of an audience can give you a nervous breakdown, this is certainly not a career for you. To be able to combat one’s stage-fright successfully is a prerequisite for an anchor.

IGNOU to offer integrated pest management course
CHANDIGARH: Indira Gandhi National Open University(IGNOU) will offer a specially designed course in integrated pest management as part of its Bachelor degree programme from the academic session beginning July. This course will be
included in the application-oriented courses which are offered to third-year students of the Bachelor degree programme.




Anchor your way to fame
Sanjay Austa

IF going on a stage gives you the heebie-jeebies and saying something in front of an audience can give you a nervous breakdown, this is certainly not a career for you. To be able to combat one’s stage-fright successfully is a prerequisite for an anchor.

However, there are many other qualities, besides being able to hold forth confidently in front of hundreds of people, that an anchor, must have. Since anchoring a live show is essentially a public event, the anchor must be presentable. Yes, it helps if the anchor has a good personality and is good-looking. It is not a coincidence that this is a profession favoured by many upcoming and established models. Most of the live or recorded televised shows have a written script for the anchors. However, an anchor must be able to ad lib at demand. It helps if he or she improvises on the written text as and when required. He or she must be adept in crisis management and have a good presence of mind. Clear voice and accent are other important factors that make a good anchor.

There are no institutes in India that teach one to become an anchor. However, there is more need of anchors now than ever before. Every company wants to introduce or launch its new product with a function. There are many more cultural and social events which want an anchor to conduct them. Even family functions like marriages or birthdays hire anchors so that the function runs smoothly. Television channels are constantly on a look-out for good anchors for their programmes. They may simply require a person with a good personality and a good voice and diction to read out a written script or they may be required to anchor interactive programmes such as a news programme. For the latter, a diploma in journalism and broadcasting would be necessary..

Most anchors, however, learn through the trial and error method — by starting out as anchors of small events and functions and gradually take the responsibility of much bigger functions. Most of them work on a freelance basis and are mostly occupied with anchoring live events.

Manish Paul, a 22-year-old anchor who has done both live and pre-recorded television programmes says that anchors are in demand these days due to the spurt in events and festivals. `` Festivals like Christmas, Divali or New Year celebrations are more elaborate nowadays. There are more corporate events. There are celebrity nights. There are trade fairs. All of them require anchors to run their show’’, he says.

Most organisers prefer women anchors. However, men anchors, who are spontaneous and witty, are in demand too. `` One of the things that a male anchor is expected to do is make the crowd laugh. Therefore, it helps if he is a good joke-teller and can do mimicry etc.’’, he says.

Apart from other qualities like a good voice and confidence, a pleasing personality is another aspect organisers look for in woman anchors. Good looks help. Some events require women anchors to wear mini-skirts, etc. They must be comfortable wearing these clothes.

Anchors are paid according to their work experience and reputation. For a live event, an anchor can take home anything from Rs 500 to Rs 5000.



IGNOU to offer integrated pest management course
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH: Indira Gandhi National Open University(IGNOU) will offer a specially designed course in integrated pest management as part of its Bachelor degree programme from the academic session beginning July. This course will be
included in the application-oriented courses which are offered to third-year students of the Bachelor degree programme. The course will be available at all study centres of IGNOU where the Bachelor degree programme is already running.These centres are at Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Amritsar, Batala, Patiala, Bathinda, Hoshiarpur and Chandigarh.

According to Dr U.C. Pandey, Regional Director of IGNOU for Punjab and Chandigarh, the course on integrated pest management has been developed by the School of Sciences, IGNOU.

The course aims at an overall awareness about various types of pests (agricultural, medical, veterinary and stored grain) and their management methods. The course highlights integration of various pest management tactics in a compatible manner so as to minimise the use of pesticides.

The course has been developed as an eight credit application-oriented course for the Bachelor degree programme of IGNOU. Out the eight credits, six pertain to theory and two to project work, which is a compulsory component of the course. One credit in IGNOU’s system is equivalent to 30 hours of study time. Dr Pandey said the inclusion of this course as an optional course in the Bachelor degree programme had a lot of relevance for a state like Punjab, which was predominantly an agricultural society.



Hockey academies groom budding players

Q My son has been representing his school in hockey and has won several junior team events at the state level. We are very keen to encourage him in pursuing this sport further but do not know where to go. How is the national team selected?

Ajit Kulhar

A The Air-India National Hockey Academy at Delhi’s National Stadium is regarded as one of the finest in Asia.

A batch of 24 boys is selected for the three-year course through open trials in Delhi. With Olympians like M.K. Kaushik, Zafar Iqbal and Harvinder Singh as spotters, the selection is based strictly on merit. Thereafter, the boys are given expert coaching and the necessary technical inputs to make them world class.

While the Sports Authority of India provides free accommodation and training grounds at the National Stadium complex, Air-India takes care of the board, education, kits, travel and medical expenses of the trainees, which is something that cannot be said of most other training schools.

So far, the academy has produced more than 50 players who have represented India both at the junior and senior levels, including India’s participants in the Sydney Olympics.

It has become the prime recruiting ground for all major institution teams like Indian Oil, Air-India or Indian Railways. In fact, the boys are offered good jobs by the organisations before they are midway through the course!

The Punjab and Sind Bank Academy, Jalandhar, grooms players in the 15 to 18 age group. The bank also has a Sub-Junior Hockey Academy for players in the 12 to 15 age group.

The players selected for the academy are given intensive training and all expenses for their board, lodging, training and schooling are met by the bank. Since the PSB is directly affiliated to the Indian Hockey Federation, the teams can participate in national hockey tournaments to gain match experience and hone their skills. The PSB has contributed 25 international players, including Olympians.

Punjab National Bank has also set up a Hockey Academy in Delhi for grooming talented youngsters under the guidance of Ajit Pal Singh, a former captain of the Indian Hockey Team.

Students of classes VIII and IX below 15, who have played at the inter school/ inter zone/district levels, are eligible to participate in the trials. For details, log on to Punjab Sports Department ’ s Speed Fund Academy provides free education, medical, transport, food and sports kit to 55 selected players, including hockey players.

There are various other academies across the country. Check with the Hockey Federation in your city for suggestions.

The School Games Federation of India (SGFI) selects the national team.

Science stream

Q My son has always dreamt of being an engineer. He is above average in studies but because he did not do too well in his pre-boards, his school is denying him admission to the science stream. He is completely devastated because he says he did very well in his board exams, and after having studied in this school right from nursery, he cannot bear the thought of changing school at this critical juncture. Are there any specific guidelines regarding admission of children to the science stream in Class XI?

An anxious parent

A Although a majority of public as well as government schools follow the unwritten practice of refusing admission to students who do not get high marks in the pre-boards, there is no mention to this effect in the education policy. 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. It is unfair to allot streams on the basis of pre-board marks.

Often schools take an undertaking from parents at the time of granting the desired stream that the student will have to relinquish the stream in case his/her performance is not satisfactory in the first terminal. Please insist that the school awaits the board results before taking this drastic step. There is also a recent court directive to this effect.

However, do bear in mind that the science stream (PCB/PCM) is relatively demanding. There is also a jump in the level of difficulty between Class X and the subsequent classes. If the student has been pretty much average academically, she should think twice before opting for it.

Armed forces

Q Is there any opportunity in the defence services for students who have taken Arts in Class XII? Please advise.

Gurmeet Chaddha

A Yes, there are a number of alternatives for Arts students if they wish to join the armed forces.

1) After Class XII you can join at the Cadet Entry level in the Army wing of the National Defence Academy (NDA). Selection is on the basis of a written (NDA) exam, followed by SSB tests and interview, and a medical examination.

For details, log onto the websites of the UPSC or the Indian Army ( or

2) After completing your Bachelor’s degree, you can join at the Graduate Entry level in the Indian Military Academy (IMA), Dehra Dun, and the Officers’ Training Academy (OTA), Chennai, by appearing for the Combined Defence Services Exam.

3)Non-Engineering postgraduates are also eligible for induction into the Army Education Corps (AEC), Military Farms, Army Ordnance Corps (AOC), and in the education branch of the Navy.

4) Opportunities for direct entry for both graduates as well as postgraduates also exist in the ground duty branches and as fighter/air traffic controllers in the Air Force.

5) The Indian Coast Guard recruits students who have completed Class XII (55 per cent) as Naviks (General Duty).

6) Also, if you choose to study professional law (BA LLB) after Class XII, or LLB after graduation in any field, you can apply to the Judge Advocate-General’s Department of the Army in the Short Service Commission.

Similar opportunities for law graduates also exist in the Navy.

7) Working graduates who are medically fit can also sign up as officers in the Territorial Army.

Other than these, there are ample opportunities to contribute your services to the armed forces, by either joining any of the numerous Military schools across the country as a teacher, or by specialising in religion to join the Army as a preacher.


Q Is there any scope for microelectronics in India? Is it taught anywhere in any engineering college?

Aditya Khosla

A For a country of over 1 billion people, we need more than five million PCs every year, whereas we presently import barely a third of this requirement. There is a tremendous opportunity in chip design as technology is increasingly moving towards embedded software (in hardware). India can really tap into this market if we can train sufficient people in this area. This will give us a great opportunity to hop on to the hardware bus, which we missed earlier (in the ‘70s). Presently, we have less than 200 engineers in this field.

Only a handful of engineering colleges in India offer this specialisation at the moment, the main ones being the IIT-Mumbai, the IIT-Madras, the IIT-Kanpur, IIT-Guwahati, the IIT-Kharagpur, BITS, Pilani, and the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. They offer ME/MTech in microelectronics with/without VLSI Design (Very Large Scale Integrated Des).

The IIT — Madras also offers a five-year dual degree (BTech & MTech) in microelectronics and VLSI Design. The IIT-Bombay offers MTech in microelectronics in (with special emphasis on the VLSI technology and design). The course is sponsored by the TCS. The IIT-Delhi offers an interdisciplinary MTech in VLSI Des Tool and Tech.

Do check the respective websites for details.


Q I am a graduate keen on becoming a journalist. Could you please tell me something about the Journalism course offered by the Indian Institute of Mass Communication and also if I can avail of any scholarships.

Harvinder Kaur

A The Indian Institute of Mass Communication, Aruna Asaf Ali Marg, JNU New Campus, New Delhi — 110067 (www.iimc. nic .in) offers a postgraduate diploma in English and Hindi journalism (1-yr).

Although postgraduate degree and media-related work experience are considered desirable qualifications, the basic requirement is a Bachelor’s degree.

Selection is based on a written test. Short-listed candidates are called for an interview in Delhi or Dhenkanal. The final list of candidates is prepared on the basis of marks obtained in the written test and interview in the proportion of 85:15.

Regarding scholarships, 4 Freeships (half) are available for the journalism course on merit-cum-means basis. You must apply for it in the admission form itself.

Also, the Rati Aggarwal Scholarship (Rs 500/- p.m.) is awarded to a meritorious female student of Hindi journalism.

In addition, Shri G.D. Grover Memorial Financial Assistance of Rs 1500/- for buying books is given to a needy student of Hindi journalism.

The IIMC, Post Box No. 21, Dhenkanal — 759001 (Orissa) offers only a PG diploma in English journalism.

Marine engg

Q If I clear the IIT JEE, can I still be eliminated in the physical fitness round for TS Chanakya or MERI? Are the norms for eyesight very stringent?

Ashok Kumar

A To be eligible for admission to the three-year BSc (Nautical Sc) degree at T.S. Chanakya, Navi Mumbai, and the four-year Marine Engineering degree at Marine Engineering & Research Institute (MERI), Kolkata, you must be mentally and physically fit for sea life.

You will be considered for admission only after you clear a separate eye test. Details of medical standards are listed in the information brochure. You can also log on to But specifically, for TS Chanakya you need 6/6 vision in both eyes. Those wearing glasses are not eligible. For MERI, glasses up to plus/ minus 2.5 are allowed.

Defective colour vision is a sure disqualification for both courses (you must be able to ascertain the course and direction of an oncoming vessel by the colour of light it throws).

All said and done, a shippy’s life is not always smooth sailing. Life at sea can be pretty rough and demanding — involving long hauls away from home and family, braving the elements (and seasickness), which in turn require a very high level of physical (and mental) fitness.

Moreover, you must be born on or after October 1, ’80 for the 2004 batch (5 yrs relaxation for SC/ST).

by Pervin Malhotra, Director, CARING

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