Q I am a student of Class XII and want to pursue hotel management (HM) after Class XII. Is studying HM abroad a good option? How would you compare HM courses in India and abroad?
— Gurdeep Singh
A After petroleum, the hospitality industry is considered to be the fastest growing sector in the country. Besides generating a large number of job opportunities, it plays a vital role in the growth and development of our economy.
Attempts are being made to enhance the quality of hospitality education by bringing it on par with the international standards.
The present curriculum (despite some recent modifications) needs to match the requirements of the hospitality industry, which has seen drastic changes — both in terms of function and operations management in the last few years. And the influx of leading international brands in the country has made it even more imperative to upgrade and restructure the curriculum and incorporate intensive industrial training.
However, not all courses are bad. There are quite a few decent institutes that will offer a good foundation in the subject. Moreover, they are also much cheaper as compared to their foreign counterparts that cost an arm and a leg. Perhaps you could look at pursuing a specialisation abroad after doing your bachelor’s here.
The advantage of studying in a good school abroad is the exposure it gives you to global practices and the opportunity to work there.
Some enterprising Indian IHMs have tied up with foreign institutes like Oxford Brook or Thames Valley etc. While some of these may be fairly decent (though expensive) many others are merely an attempt to cash in on the foreign tag, so you need to to be careful. To safeguard against the entry of non-accredited foreign institutes that have set up shop in India, the AICTE has now made it mandatory for all foreign universities and institutes to seek approval before setting base her — either on their own or in collaboration with Indian partners.
Growing prospects in veg cultivation
Q My father owns some land on the outskirts of Surendranagar but it is not large enough for traditional cultivation. Would it be profitable to grow vegetables instead?
A Renowned for its delectable apples, Himachal Pradesh is emerging as a natural glasshouse for off-season vegetables. The soil and climate is ideally suited for cultivation of tomato, cauliflower, peas, beans, cabbage, capsicum, radish, turnip and cucumber.
A real delight for vegetarians across the north Indian belt fed on a staple of tinda, tori and lauki throughout the sweltering summer. Starved of choice, they are willing to pay more than double for these vegetables. Off-season vegetables, in fact, contribute more than Rs 400 crore to the state’s GDP.
Awakening to the potential of this veritable green mine, the HP Government plans to bring 50,000 hectares under off-season vegetable cultivation and raise the production to 10 lakh tonnes over the next four years.
The Department of Agriculture has launched 100 projects across the state to enhance the production by providing quality seeds, better irrigation facilities, improving rural infrastructure, and providing inputs for crop protection etc.
Some of the areas, which have emerged as hot-spots for growing off-season vegetables are Theog and Shoghi in Shimla, Rajgarh in Sirmaur, Nagwain in Mandi, Bajoura, Bhunter and Katrain in Kulu, Saproon, Chhail and Kandaghat in Solan etc.
The writer is a noted career consultant
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