Q I wish to admit my son to a military or Sainik School. Can you please explain the admission procedure and the location of these schools.
— A. Khanna
A In India, there are three types of schools that prepare a student for a career in the Army. These are: the Military Schools, Sainik Schools and the Rashtriya Indian Military College (RIMC) at Dehra Dun.
The five Military Schools (Chhail, Ajmer, Bangalore, Belgaum & Dholpur) are run by the Defence Department, while the Sainik Schools are run by the respective state governments.
Admission to both schools is through an open exam after Class V (also after Class X in Sainik Schools). Both schools follow the CBSE syllabus and charge a nominal as in the case of any government school.
Although these schools prepare the boys physically, mentally as well as academically for entry into the National Defence Academy and OTA/IMA/Med/Vet/ Tech branches, students have to take the NDA exam separately to seek an entry into the Indian Army.
In the admission process, preference is given to those candidates whose family members have served in the Army.
Typically, only one candidate from each state is selected.
The prospectus, application form and old question papers can be obtained from the principal of the nearest Sainik School.
The RIMC, which has a relatively higher fee structure, has a more rigorous selection procedure. Only boys who are in or have cleared Class VII between 11½ -13 years are eligible. The prospectus contains question papers (English, Math & GK) of the previous 4 entrance exams (which are held bi-anually). For more info, log on to: www.rimc.org.
A shore choice
Q I am a non-matriculate. Could you please tell me if I can join the Indian Coast Guard?
— Jolly Singh
A The Coast Guard is the youngest branch of the Indian Armed Forces (28 years old).
It guards and protects our long coastline (7,615 km) and 2.2 million sq kms of exclusive economic zone (EEZ) comprising some 1200 islands and 11 major and 164 minor/intermediate ports, not to mention over 500 Indian merchant ships sailing around the world and the Rs 1500 billion worth of offshore installations and oil assets.
Its presence at sea ensures safety to seafarers in our waters. From checking piracy and assisting the Customs authorities in preventing smuggling, poaching, maritime fraud and terrorist activities (i.e. LTTE along the Tamil Nadu coast), collecting scientific data, protecting our marine environment by fighting oil spills, helping fishermen in distress and even rescuing whales, the Coast Guard has its hands full. Some of its responsibilities are shared by the Indian Navy.
The Coast Guard's exemplary role in saving lives and providing relief to tsunami-ravaged people in India, Sri Lanka and Maldives is just a case in point.
As our trade and economic interaction with the world increases, so does the importance of our coastline and maritime assets. Maritime infrastructure is being modernised to gear up for future challenges.
As a non-matriculate male, you can join the Indian Coast Guard as a Navik in the Domestic Branch.
The eligibility is a pass in Class VIII with 55 per cent marks (45 per cent for SC/ST).
If you have passed Class X you can join as a Navik in the General Duty Branch.
The age requirement for both is 17-22 yrs (relaxable by 5 years for SC/ST and 3 years for OBCs). You will also be required to meet certain physical standards. Selection is on the basis of a written test/interview.
To join this paramilitary service, you must be physically fit, mentally tough, intelligent, bold and independent.
If you love the sea and have a spirit of adventure and value a disciplined lifestyle, the Coast Guard is a great place to be in.
For further information, contact:
The Director (Training), Recruitment Cell, Coast Guard HQ, National Stadium Complex, New Delhi 110001. (www.indiancoastguard.org)
The writer is a noted career consultant
Q I am interested in pursuing a career in computers. Can you please tell me what sort of professionals are in demand in this field?
— Aman Preet
A To increase their value, IT professionals need to constantly upgrade their skills and be willing to venture into newer areas. As IT companies look for people who can grow beyond their respective roles, it is imperative for the job seeker to be a good resource manager.
The IT industry grades candidates into various categories:
Typically, the industry looks for people with at least two years of experience if they have postgraduate qualifications. In case of graduates, a minimum of five years' experience is required.
Apart from technical skills, good communication, a strong quality orientation and being a good team player are key prerequisites. The industry looks for people with a logical and analytical mind, with a genuine interest in software.
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— Pervin Malhotra