Career counselling in schools
80 per cent of our children study in government schools. They need to be improved and monitored, says P. K. Saighal
Educational facilities available to the children studying in government schools continue to be grossly inadequate. This is despite the enhanced allocations on education and the 2 per cent education cess to which all citizens are contributing.


Career counselling in schools

80 per cent of our children study in government schools. They need to be improved and monitored, says P. K. Saighal

Many government schools do not provide an enabling environment
Many government schools do not provide an enabling environment

Educational facilities available to the children studying in government schools continue to be grossly inadequate. This is despite the enhanced allocations on education and the 2 per cent education cess to which all citizens are contributing.

A large number of government schools do not even today have the minimal infrastructure such as sufficient class rooms, adequate teachers, appropriate laboratories, libraries or tables, benches, durries, Wherever, the laboratories or the libraries exist, they are essentially notional with hardly any equipment or books. Laboratories of Physics, Chemistry and Biology are often combined when there is no commonality in these subjects.

Teacher to student ratios continue to be worrisome. A large number of teachers lack competence and commitment. They come and go at will and display poor personal discipline. Many of them are poor specimens and are in no way worthy of being role models for the children. Incidents of rape by teachers are reflective of their character, integrity and insensitivity.

Inadequate civic amenities are another area of concern in most of the government schools. Toilets are insufficient, unhygienic and stinking. Clean drinking water is mostly unavailable. Elementary medical back up does not exist. Sports facilities are virtually non-existent. Consequently, a nation of over a billion people is still to corner appropriate glory, commensurate with its size and potential. Beijing, 2008 will be yet another story of national shame and embarrassment.

Computer education though compulsory, the labs continue to be dingy with very few computers, erratic power supply and ill-trained instructors. Hapless parents cough up a tidy sum of money for computer literacy for their child when a large number of parents cannot afford to pay even the tuition fee. The state is insensitive and just does not care.

Many schools still wear a drab and dilapidated look. They do not provide an enabling environment, conducive for growth and learning that is so essential for a child during the formative years. Despite the UPA Govt’s claims and Dr. Manmohan Singh’s personal desire to do something big for the children of India, the bureaucracy is totally hide-bound.

There is no career-counselling or guidance for children of government schools. This is despite the fact that on paper over a hundred trained counsellors are on pay rolls of Delhi administration alone. Many a principal told me that no counsellor has ever come to their school for the express task of counselling. The children are thus oblivious of the opportunities or the way ahead for attaining solidity and respectability in life.

What should be the citadels of a proud nation are horrific examples of neglect, decadence, decay and lack of societal pride.

It is a matter of grave concern that just a month back two principal newspapers carried stories stating that that our education system was flawed to the extent that 80 per cent of the children were unemployable. The story went on to say that the majority of them were not even trainable. But is the state concerned? Is anybody listening?

Interestingly, a large number of children in these schools are reasonably sharp, capable, hard working and deserve a better treatment. They have abundance of intrinsic commonsense and grit and could out-perform children of best of private and public schools.

Their inherent strengths, notwithstanding, these children are unable to develop their full potential for no fault of theirs. Some of them are academically brilliant and could easily be a force to recon with. There are others who possess amazing prowess in sports, fine arts and cultural activities such as dance, music, sculpture, etc, but are unable to realise their potential owing to the inability of their parents to support the furtherance of these pursuits and societal indifference.

India could soon achieve its rightful place in the world arena in concert with its geographic, demographic and economic clout, provided we can empower our children, particularly the girl child studying in government schools across the length and breadth of our country. Do remember they constitute over 80 per cent of our total assets. Even a 10 per cent enhancement of their productivity would pitchfork India ahead of any other nation.

The government needs to take its responsibilities seriously. The Delhi High Court and Supreme Court should lay down fool-proof guidelines to ensure that politicians and the bureaucrats do not play politics with the future of our children. Stringent checks and monitoring mechanism should be put in place to ensure effective utilisation of allocated funds.

The writer is a former Major-General of The Indian Army. He specialises in career counselling in schools

Campus Notes

Himachal Pradesh University, Shimla
Teachers decry cut in grants

Terming it as an attempt to throttle the development of the university, the Himachal Pradesh University Teacher's Association (HPUTA) has criticised the government for proposing a Rs 7.50 crore slash in grants for the university.

The HPUTA said that the cut in grants would cripple the university finances and it would become difficult even to pay salaries to its employees. "The University Act of 2003 curtailed the autonomy of the university drastically and by signing the MOU it will be reduced to a government department," said Mr C.L. Gupta, chairman of HPUTA.

The HPUTA said that the proposed budgetary cut seems to be a tactic to pressurise the university into signing the MOU, which will harm the interest of the university and lead to unrest. "The cut in grants will lead to a serious financial problem as the wage bill of the university, including pension liabilities, is about Rs 30 crore," Mr Gupta added.

GND University, Amritsar
Declamation contest held

The local Khalsa College for Women lifted the team championship of the Kalpna Chawla Memorial Declamation Contest organised by the NSS unit of Guru Nanak Dev University recently.

Ms Mansi from BBK DAV College for Women, Amritsar, Sukhraj and Jaspreet of GNDU were awarded Individual Best Speakers Awards.

Ms Vibhuraj, SSP Majitha, who was the chief guest, gave away prizes to the winners. Dr M.D. Singh, Dean, Students Welfare, presided over the function. Ms Shelly Sharma, Principal, Madhav Vidya Niketan Public School, Ms Harjeet Kaur, Reader, School of Punjabi Studies, and Ms Manpreet Kaur, lecturer in English at Khalsa College for Women, were the judges.

Dr Jaspal Singh, NSS Programme Officer of Unit-I, gave account of NSS activities of the university.

— Contributed by Pratibha Chauhan and Pawan Kumar



Veterinary Sc

Tamil Nadu Veterinary & Animal Sciences University, Madhavaram Milk Colony, Chennai 600051 (TN) /

Certificate Course on Animal Welfare (6-month, Distance)
(Print mode and on-line web based mode)

Eligibility: Bachelor’s degree. Age: 20 years.

Application Form: Send Rs.50/- by DD from any nationalised bank favouring "Director of Extension Education, TANUVAS, Chennai 600 051" payable at Chennai with a stamped (Rs.10/-) self-addressed envelope (27 cm x 12 cm) to above address.

Details: Employment News (11-17 March 2006) / Website

Application Deadline: 05 May 2006


Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, Chennai-600036 (TN)

MTech in Medical Biotechnology (4-Semester)

Eligibility: BTech / BE in Biotechnology or related fields / MSc in Physics / Chemistry / Life Science or equivalent / MBBS / BPharm / BVSc (60% or 6.5 CGPA). NET qualified (CSIR / UGC) / ICMR / ICAR / valid GATE scores (except MBBS) or 2 year experience.

Selection: Written Test & Interview

Sponsorship: Selected unemployed candidates will receive a stipend of Rs 8000/- p m from the sponsor.

Application Form: Send Rs. 300/- by DD of any Nationalised Bank favouring "The Registrar, IIT, Madras" payable at Chennai, to the Co-ordinator, UOP in Medical Biotechnology, Biotechnology Department (MSB-239), to the above address or download from website.

Application Deadline: 03 April 2006


IIT – Guwahati, Guwahati 781039 (Assam)

In Computer Science & Engg (Without specialization / specialization in IT security), Electronics & Communication (Signal Processing / VLSI), Mechanical (Fluids & Thermal Engg, Machine Design), Civil (Structural Engg, Geotechnical Engg, Water Resources, Utilisation & Environmental Mgmt) and Chemical Engg (Petrol Refinery Engg)

PhD in all departments above including Design, Biotechnology, Chemistry, Physics, Humanities & Social Science, Mathematics and also in the centres for the Environment, Energy & Nanotechnology.

Application Form: Send request for application with a stamped self-addressed envelope (24 cm x 15 cm) to the Assistant Registrar (Academic) at the above address by 05 April 2006 or download from website. Superscribe "Request for PhD / MTech application Form" on envelope.

Application Deadline: 18 April 2006


National Sugar Institute, Kalianpur, Kanpur 208 017 (UP) (M/ o Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, GoI),

PG Diploma Course of Associateship of National Sugar Institute in:
1) Sugar Technology
2) Sugar Engineering (1`BD-year)
3) Industrial Fermentation & Alcohol Technology (1`BD-year)
4) Certificate in Sugar Engineering (2 Off-Season)
5) Certificate in Sugar Boiling
(1 Off-Season)
6) Certificate in Pre-Harvest Cane Maturity Survey (1`BD-month)
7) Fellowship of National Sugar Institute by Research (1-year)

Application: Send Rs. 145/ - by MO payable to "Director, National Sugar Institute, Kanpur" at the above address by 26 April 2006. Write your name and postal address on the MO. Superscribe "Admissions-2006" on the envelope.

Eligibility, Selection & Other Details: Employment News (11-17 March 2006).

Application Deadline: 15 May 2006

IIT - Delhi, Hauz Khas, New Delhi 110 016

Admission to PG/PhD Programmes 2006-2007

Application Form: Send Rs. 300/- by DD favouring "Registrar, IIT, Delhi" payable at SBI, IIT Delhi with stamped (Rs. 15/-) self-addressed envelope (25 cm x 20 cm) to Assistant Registrar (PGS&R), Room No.AD-225, IIT at above address by 10 April 2006 or download from website.

Eligibility & Details: Employment News (11-17 March 2006) & website.

Application Deadline: 12 April 2006


Centre for Development Studies, Ulloor, Thiruvananthapuram 695011 (Ker)

1) MPhil (Applied Economics)
2) PhD (Economics)
(Both affiliated to JNU)

Application Form: Send Rs 100/- by DD favouring "CDS", payable at Trivandrum to the above address or download from website.

Eligibility, Details: Employment News (11-17 March 2006) / website.

Application Deadline: 19 May 2006


Ragiv Gandhi School of Intellectual Property Law, C/o Vinod Gupta School of Management, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur 721302 (WB)

LLB in IPR (3-year)
PG Diploma in Intellectual Property Law

Eligibility: First Class in BE / BTech / MBBS/ MSc / MPharm / MBA with Science and Engg background. Work experience preferred for PG Diploma course

Application Form: Download from website.

Application Deadline: 15 April 2006

Mass Communication

Asian College of Journalism, Kasturi Centre, 124, Wallajah Road, Chennai 600002 (TN)

PG Diploma Programme in Journalism (1-year)

Eligibility: Bachelor’s degree

Application Form: Send Rs. 1000/- by DD drawn on a bank in Chennai favouring "Media Development Foundation", payable at Chennai to the above address.

Application Deadline: 30 April 2006


Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Elamakkara, Kochi 682026 (Ker) (Deemed Univ)


Eligibility: 10+2 (50% in English and 50% in Physics, Chemistry and Biology)
Age Limit: 17 - 25 years (on 31 December 2006).

Test: 20 May 2006

Application: Send Rs 1060/- by DD favouring "Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences" payable at Kochi to the Manager at the above address by 25 April 2006or apply online.

Application Deadline: 29 April 2006

Christian Medical College, Vellore 632002 (TN) or

Summer Admissions 2006
(For admission to Diploma and Degree courses in Medical, Nursing and Allied Health Sciences for 2006 and MSc Para clinical for 2007)

Details: Website

— Pervin Malhotra