EDUCATION TRIBUNE

Advantage prep schools
They help tiny tots learn their lessons without stress
M. P. Singh

ABOUT two centuries back, education was merely informative and static. Rousseau declared that education must conform to child’s nature, which manifests itself in his instinct to play. Fredrick Froebel and Maria Montessori, two European educators who worked on Rousseau’s theory of the children’s play activity as the basis of their education developed well known Kindergarten and Montessori systems of education, respectively.

Introduce semester system with caution
J. P. Garg

THE introduction of the semester system to non-professional courses in schools, colleges and universities is in news these days. The Haryana School Education Board has already introduced it for Classes VIII and X, while the Punjab School Education Board is going to follow suit for Classes IX and XI.

Asia’s school boom cools amid crisis
James Pomfret

Asia’s breakneck growth was a boon for international schools as expatriates moved to the region in droves bringing their school-age children with them. But as the economy cools so too has this lucrative niche industry.

Campus Notes
MD University, Rohtak

Korean scientist visits campus

The need of the hour is to introduce environment-friendly and economical technology, which is energy-efficient as well. Further, we should work towards developing renewable energy sources. Eminent Korean scientist Sung-Kyu-Kang stated this during his one-day visit to the university recently. The principal research scientist of the Korean Institute of Energy Research, Daejon, South Korea, was the special guest of the Department of Chemistry.

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Advantage prep schools
They help tiny tots learn their lessons without stress
M. P. Singh

ABOUT two centuries back, education was merely informative and static. Rousseau declared that education must conform to child’s nature, which manifests itself in his instinct to play. Fredrick Froebel and Maria Montessori, two European educators who worked on Rousseau’s theory of the children’s play activity as the basis of their education developed well known Kindergarten and Montessori systems of education, respectively. Though both these systems worked well for a long duration, preparatory schools are replacing them fast. Throughout India, many high schools are adding prep schools to their existing secondary and senior secondary schools in preference to Kindergarten and Montessori schools.

Lately, a child went to the school between the age of five and six years, but preparatory school has now become the forerunner of formal education, where a child is initiated between the age of three and five years for best results in the long run. Ms S. K Gill, head of the Preparatory Wing of YPS Patiala, says, “A child’s mental development is maximum between three to five years of age and he ought to be caught young for the optimum development of his mental faculties in the right direction. I feel that parents cannot fulfil the needs of children at home. Thus, it is important for a child to move out of his shell (home) to become a well-rounded personality”.

Ms Gayatri Kaushal, principal of Mukat Public School, Rajpura, which has a Preparatory Wing, says, “Small children of the age 3 to 6 years can be regulated to play and then given tasks, involving their mind for a quarter to one hour, so that they do not get distracted easily. Play activity is slowly replaced by educational tasks such as counting, alphabetic learning, poem recitation, etc., and tiny tots learn their lessons without stress. Educational work is punctuated by play in the sandpits, swings, merry-go-round, play stations, rockers, sliders and sea-saws. Children behave like disciplined and responsible individuals in group activity and their pick up is very fast.”

Ms Preeti, a preparatory school teacher and head of the Preparatory Wing at Mukat Public School, feels that the mental development of children between the age of 3 and 6 is the maximum (almost 50 to 60 per cent). This period must be utilised for learning a language, regulating work and preparing the young learners for primary classes. Mr Tiwari, headmaster, GNFCS Vincent Hill, Mussourie, has made some potent observations. He states that children work happily together, moving independently to and fro as in a well-ordered community of adults. He asserts, “Little children between three and five repeat an exercise with an air of concentration and intelligence that we see in well-groomed adults. Children learn to write, read, count and work simple sums before the age of five or six. They study grammar, geometry, arithmetic operations and fractions between the ages of 6 to 10 years with much greater ease than those who join the school at 5 or 6 years of age.”

Educators note that small children of 3 to 6 years show maximum mental development at this age. Children trained to work and acquire education early become disciplined and those trained at the prep school learn maths, languages and other subjects more efficiently and quickly than those who do not go to prep schools. The trend of preparatory schools has made a great ingress into the school education system in India and the advantages gained thereby are expected to prove beneficial in the long run.

The writer is a former Colonel Commandant of Army Educational Core 
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Introduce semester system with caution
J. P. Garg

THE introduction of the semester system to non-professional courses in schools, colleges and universities is in news these days. The Haryana School Education Board has already introduced it for Classes VIII and X, while the Punjab School Education Board is going to follow suit for Classes IX and XI.

Recently, the Education Reforms Committee of the University Grants Commission (UGC) also recommended it for higher education. While Panjab University, Chandigarh, has already decided to implement it in all postgraduate classes from the coming session, other educational bodies are also considering the issue seriously.

However, it will be worthwhile to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of the semester system in the light of the experiences already gained. Harpriya Singh, head of the Department of English, Government College, SAS Nagar, where this system has been running successfully in postgraduate classes for the last four years, has a word of appreciation for it. “As the syllabus is limited in each semester, students make in-depth study of the course content and score better. The study material is specific and time-bound. The students are more focused and classes start seriously from day one,” she avers.

Dr P. S. Gill, fellow, Panjab University, Chandigarh, cites some more merits: “Students will become more regular, disciplined and consistent in studies, which may lead to reduction in lawlessness and strikes on the campus. Moreover, the exams will be held twice a year. Students who are not able to score well in one semester will have the chance to make up in the next semester.”

On the other hand, there are some obvious pitfalls of the system, points out Dr Gill, as has been the experience in some departments of universities, where the system has been in practice for a number of years. Since examinations are held twice a year, the number of preparatory and examination days, and those required for declaration of results, increase proportionally, leading to reduction in the actual number of teaching days, which, even in the existing annual system are de facto much fewer than those stipulated by the UGC. From this point of view, it would be informative to conduct a survey of teaching days in postgraduate subjects where the system is already in operation.

To ensure that the number of teaching days do not decrease further, exams will have to be conducted within a limited period, which may be quite difficult, especially in under graduate classes, where a large number of subject combinations are allowed. Moreover, marking of scripts within a short period may also take a toll on the quality of marking. Also, will the teachers be ready to spend extra time and accept curtailment of vacation to undertake the enhanced workload?

Harpriya Singh, however, is not in favour of running postgraduate classes under the semester system and graduate classes under the annual system in the same college simultaneously because the two systems are not compatible and overlapping occurs between the two creating many problems.

Dr R. C. Goyal, Prinicpal, Government College, Panchkula, where postgraduate and under graduate classes in various subjects are being held simultaneously, offers a model which can take care of most of these shortcomings. He suggests, “The semester system should be introduced at both the postgraduate and under graduate levels and both the streams should have similar system of daily teaching hours. The students who fulfill the condition of required percentage of lecturers should be allowed to appear for the semester exams and classes for the next semester should be started immediately thereafter. When university results are declared, those students who are failed in any subject be allowed to appear in the next semester. The process may continue and the degree should be awarded when the student clears all subjects, allowing him a maximum period of five years for the under graduate course and three years for the postgraduate course.”

To improve the communication skills of the students, Dr Goyal recommends the introduction of project work in every class for which about 20 topics can be assigned in each subject and evaluation done internally. To compensate, the teachers for a reduced vacation, they should be entitled to all types of leaves available to other employees.

Indeed, the semester system seems to be a better option than the annual system, although the outcome in certain cases has not been on expected lines. Therefore, as Dr Gill asserts, a thorough discussion should be held involving all the stakeholders—educational administrators and planners, teachers and non-teaching employees;and a clear-cut decision be taken. The implementation, no doubt, requires firm policy, strict time management, efficiency and whole-hearted support of all concerned.

Kulwant Singh, a retired senior lecturer of GC-11, Chandigarh, sums up the situation thus: “Introduction of the semester system is likely to usher in a better work culture, intensive thorough study of the course content, regularity and discipline among students, better utilisation of resources and a consistent assessment of both students’ and teachers’ works. Regular teaching and regular submission of assignments throughout the year can also reduce the stress and ‘examination blues’ of the students which is often discernible during the annual examination.”
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Asia’s school boom cools amid crisis
James Pomfret

Asia’s breakneck growth was a boon for international schools as expatriates moved to the region in droves bringing their school-age children with them. But as the economy cools so too has this lucrative niche industry.

Turning over hundreds of millions of dollars, in its heyday Asia’s international schools couldn’t keep up with demand for places for the progeny of business people relocated by companies expanding their interests in the region. Fees that ranged from $20,000-$50,000 per child per year meant the private companies that ran these schools were pulling in handsome profits. Some schools in Singapore charged $200,000 just to put names on waiting lists.

Now, as expatriates leave China, Hong Kong, Singapore and other countries across the region due to the financial crisis, waiting lists for international schools are getting shorter or disappearing altogether as enrolments drop. “In comparison with 12 months ago, we’ve seen a big change,” said Lee Quane, the regional Asia director for ECA International, which advises companies globally on international assignments.

Experts say the lull may be just what the industry needs to consolidate and prepare for future growth once Asia is back on its feet, led by the economic powerhouses of China and India and with growth increasingly fuelled not only by expats but by burgeoning middle-class Asians seeking an English education for their children.

“I think you’re going to see an increasing demand for school space,” said Richard Vuylsteke, the head of the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong.

Many top international schools in Hong Kong, such as the German Swiss International School, have had trouble expanding capacity given red-tape and land shortages in the tiny city. Following calls to address “a critical squeeze” on school places by a broad coalition of business chambers, Hong Kong plans to expand its pool of international school places from 35,000 to 40,000 in the next five years.

“In terms of land (allocations), our priority is on international schools in the next five years,” said Raymond Sy, a principal assistant secretary at Hong Kong’s Education Bureau.

“We can’t afford another shortfall of educational places ... which has a deterrent effect on the expatriate community planning to come to Hong Kong for investment or work,” he told Reuters.

There are about 1,200 international schools in the Asia-Pacific compared to 937 in 2007, according to ISC Research, which tracks the international school market. ISC says Asia was the world's fastest expanding region for international schools, with average growth of around 11 percent in recent years, but the rate could ease to 5-7 percent this year. China was one of the fastest markets, leapfrogging from 123 schools in 2006 to 210 this year.

There are no figures for the industry, but conservative calculations suggest it generates revenue worth hundreds of millions of dollars a year across the region, drawing interest from private equity funds.

Prior to the crisis deepening last year, private equity group Barings Asia paid $360 million for Nord Anglia, a British-listed education provider that runs 9 international schools including four in China and one in South Korea. The high price tag partly reflected growth potential in Asia. Cognita, a British education group with funds from Englefield Capital, has been buying up schools overseas including the Australian International School in Singapore in 2007. Brand name schools such as Dulwich College and Harrow School have set up campuses in China.

While activity has slowed amid the downturn, big regional players such as Singapore-listed Raffles Education added capacity in India and Indonesia this year. “This (international education) is very much an area that big business has fixed upon, because returns in the medium term, even for new schools, are extremely high,” said Nicholas Brummitt, the managing director of ISC research. “We know of loads of projects that are going ahead around the world regardless of the recession, they may have a longer time frame now, (and) although they may have been scaled back in the case of Dubai but they’re still going ahead,” he told Reuters.

A recent global survey by the Academy of International Schools Heads (AISH) found that 42 percent of 120 schools expected enrolment in the 2009-2010 school year to remain the same, while only a fifth said enrolments would fall including schools in China, Thailand and Japan.The recession has had little impact on Hong Kong’s top international schools such as HKIS in Hong Kong, which has a long waiting list despite the mid-term departure of 68 children. — Reuters
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Campus Notes
MD University, Rohtak
Korean scientist visits campus

The need of the hour is to introduce environment-friendly and economical technology, which is energy-efficient as well. Further, we should work towards developing renewable energy sources. Eminent Korean scientist Sung-Kyu-Kang stated this during his one-day visit to the university recently. The principal research scientist of the Korean Institute of Energy Research, Daejon, South Korea, was the special guest of the Department of Chemistry.

Sung-Kyu-Kang, who is credited with developing electricity from sludge and has 80 patents to his credit, discussed the important issue of technology transfer with the faculty of the department. He called for greater governmental support for R & D (Research & Development). Sung-Kyu-Kang also strongly advocated closer academics-industry interface. Senior faculty member Prof Ishwar Singh and head, Department of Chemistry, Prof K. C. Singh, also spoke on the occasion and discussed issues of mutual interests and cooperation.

Notably, MDU had signed an MoU with the Korea Institute of Energy Research in 2003 for joint scientific research. Many faculty members of the Department of Chemistry have visited Korea for the purpose and the Korean scientist visited the university under the exchange programme.

Shakespeare club formed

To deliberate upon the contribution of the renowned litterateur Shakespeare and promote studies on him, a Shakespeare association has been established on the university campus. The decision to form the association was taken in a meeting held recently.

The head of the Department of English, Prof S.P.S. Dahiya, said the eminent scholar and former Vice-Chancellor of Kurukshetra University, Prof. B.S. Dahiya, would be the president of the association; Dr R.W. Desai, senior vice-president; Dr Anand Prakash, vice President; Dr S.P.S. Dahiya, general secretary; Dr Gulab Singh, joint secretary; Dr Brajesh Shahwney, treasurer; and Pankaj Sharma, co-treasurer. He said the association would organise an international conference on Shakespeare likely in October, 2009.

Dean appointed

The Vice-Chancellor has appointed, Dr B.K. Behera as dean, Faculty of Life Sciences, under the provisions of Statute-19 of the MDU Act.

Dr Behera, Professor, Advanced Centre for Biotechnology, will act as dean, Faculty of Life Sciences, till April 30, 2009. Thereafter, Dr S.N. Mishra, professor in the Department of Biosciences, will be the dean from May 1, 2009 to April 30, 2012.

GND University, Amritsar
Seminar on mystical experience

The Department of Guru Nanak Studies organised a two-day national seminar on "Mystical Experience and the World Religions". The seminar was organised under the Special Assistance Programme of the University Grants Commission on the university campus recently.

Eminent scholar and psychiatrist Dr J.S. Neki while inaugurating the seminar said mystical experience neither could be put into any language nor fully reported, as it could not be communicated. Moreover, the depth and reality both existed in mystical experience in all the religions.

Expressing his views while presenting his presidential remarks, Dr Neki elaborated the theoretical structure and nature of mysticism and co-related it with Guru Nanak's thought. He said mystical experience was indescribable and non-communicative truth due to its subtle and emotional nature and it broke the physical and institution boundaries of religion in its totality. The mysticism was a complete picture of close reality, he added.

Dr Darshan Singh, Professor of religious studies at Punjabi University, Patiala, delivered the keynote address while Dr Raghbir Singh, dean, Academic Affairs, welcomed the delegates.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Darshan Singh explained the historical development of mystical doctrine and its theological analysis. He built his thesis on the basis of authoritative writers and books. He also explained the nature and the kinds of mysticism according to the Indian and Western philosophy.

Earlier, Dr Raghbir Singh said mystical experience established an intimate, personal and conscious relationship with the Divine in such a way that it unfolded the path for the union of human soul with the Absolute at the meta-physical level.

Co-ordinator of the seminar, Dr Balwant Singh Dhillon, said mystical experience was most intense and personal in nature, and could not be transmitted. He said feelings were the best way to realise this phenomenon. Dr Shashi Bala, dean, Faculty of Humanities and Religious Studies, presented a vote of thanks.

Contributed by Bijendra Ahlawat and P. K. Jaiswar 
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ADMISSION DEADLINE
Agriculture

Central Insitute of Fisheries Nautical & Engineering Training, Fine Arts Avenue, Kochi 682016 (Ker) (GoI) (Affl. to CUSAT, Kochi & approved by DGCA) 
www.cifnet.gov.in

Bachelors of Fisheries Science (Nautical Sc), 4 years

Eligibility: Class 10 + 2 (with 50% in Maths & Science) 
Age Limit: 17 - 20 years (on 01 October ’09)

Selection: Entrance Test: 07 June 2009; Interview: 20 July 2009

Application Form & Details: Employment News (28 March - 03 April 2009) / Website

Application Deadline: 22 May 2009

Armed Forces

The Indian Navy, PO Bag No 04, Nirman Bhawan, Post Office, New Delhi 110066 
www.nausena-bharti.nic.in

SSC Officers in Aviation Cadre (Observer) of Executive Branch Course – January 2010

Eligibility: Unmarried Indian men & women graduates (55%, with Maths & Physics in Class 12)
DoB: 02 January '87 - 01 January '91.

Selection: SSB Interview; Medical Exam.

Application Form: Send by ordinary post in the prescribed format to the above address. Superscribe "Application for SSC Aviation Cadre (Observer) – Jan 10 Course. Educational Qualification ………….. Percentage ……………%" on the envelope / Download from website.

Details: Employment News (28 March - 03 April 2009) / Website.

Application Deadline: 21 April 2009

Art & Design

Indian Institute of Crafts & Design, J 8, Jhalana Institutional Area, Jaipur 302004 (Raj) 
www.iicd.ac.in

1)    UG Diploma : Soft / Hard Materials Applications (4 years)

2)    PG Diploma: Furniture Design & Interior Products / Home Textiles (Floor Covering & Furnishing) (2½ years)

Eligibility: For 1: Class 12 Pass (by 30 June ’09)

For 2: Bachelors degree in Arts / Science / Commerce, or Degree / Diploma in Fine Arts / Design / Architecture / Clothing & Textiles, or Artisans’ child with 5 years craft experience

Selection: For 1: Aptitude Test: 30 April & 01 May ‘09, Interview: 1 & 2 May ‘09

For 2: Aptitude Test: 18 & 19 June ‘09, Interview: 19 & 20 June ‘09

Application Form: Send Rs 750/- by DD favouring "Indian Institute of Crafts & Design" payable at Jaipur at the above address / Download from website.

Application Deadline: For 1: 25 April 2009
For 2: 15 May 2009

Engineering

Indo-Danish Tool Room, MSME Tool Room, M 4 (Part), Phase VI, Tata Kandra Road, PO Gamharia, Jamshedpur 832108 (Jhar) (M/o MSME, GoI) 
www.idtrjamshedpur.com

Diploma in Tool and Die Making (4 years)

EligibilityMatriculation (50% with Maths, Science, i.e., Physics and Chemistry or both) 
Age Limit: 15–19 years (on 01 September ‘09). Girls can also apply.

Selection: Preliminary Tests 14 June 2009; Final Test: 28 June 2009

Application Form: Send Rs 750/- by DD favouring "Indo Danish Tool Room", payable at Jamshedpur with 2 self-addressed slips to the General Manager at the above address. Superscribe "Application for Diploma in Tool & Die Making" on the envelope / Download from website.

Details: Employment News (28 March – 03 April 2009 / Website

Application Deadline: 12 May 2009

IIT-Roorkee, Roorkee 247667 (Utt)
www.iitr.ernet.in

Admission to PG & PhD Programmes 2009-10

1) MTech in Departments of Engg (Chemical / Civil / Earthquake / Electrical / Electronics & Computer Sc / Hydrology / Mech & industrial / Metallurgical & Materials ), Alternate Hydro Chemistry, Energy, Nanotechnology, Paper Technology, Water Resources Dev & Mgt /
2) M Arch / MURP
3) PhD

Selection: GATE scores and Interview. For sponsored candidates: Written Test; Interview; work experience.

Application Form: Download from website

Eligibility & Details: Employment News (28 March – 03 April 2009) / Website

Application Deadline: 23 April 2009

Malaviya National Institute of Technology, Jawahar Lal Nehru Marg, Jaipur 302017 (Raj)
www.mnit.ac.in

Admission to PG / PhD Programmes 2009-2010

1) PhD (Civil / Chemical / Computer / IT / Electrical / Electronics & Communication / Mechanical / Metallurgical & Materials / Structural / Management / Physics / Chemistry / Maths / Humanities & Social Sciences)
2) MTech in (Environment Engg / Water Resource Engg / Transportation Engg / Power Systems / Electronics & Communication / VLSI Design / Manufacturing System Engg / Energy Engg / Metallurgical & Materials Engg / Chemical Engg / Computer Engg / Structural Engg)
3) MPlan in Urban Planning
4) MSc in Physics / Chemistry / Maths
5) MBA

Details: Website

Application Deadline: 30 April 2009

IIT - Madras, Chennai 600036 (TN)
www.iitm.ac.in /

Short Term Post Doctoral Fellowship for Women (2- 6 months)
In Departments of: Aerospace Engg / Applied Mechanics / Biotechnology / Chemical Engg / Civil Engg/ Computer Science & Engg / Electrical / Engg Design / Mechanical / Metallurgical & Materials Engg / Ocean / Chemistry / Humanities & Social Sc / Mgmt Studies / Maths / Physics

Eligibility: PhD in appropriate discipline.

Fellowship: Rs. 25,000/- pm, return II AC train fare to Madras, accommodation

Application Form & Details: Website.

Management

National Institute of Health & Family Welfare (NIHFW), Baba Gangnath Marg, Munirka, New Delhi 110067
www.nihfw.org

PG Certificate (1 year, distance)
1) Health & Family Welfare Mgmt
2)
Hospital Mgmt

Eligibility: For 1 & 2: (MBBS / BDS / BSc Nursing / Bachelor of AYUSH / M Pharma) with 2 years work experience / B Pharma with 3 years work-ex / (D Pharma / General Nursing & Midwifery / Bachelor in Physiotherapy / Occupational Therapy) with 5 years work-ex

Additional For 2:
Candidates must be registered in respective State or National Council; PG (Science / Behavioral Sc / Mgmt / Commerce / Accounts) with 2 years work experience

Application Form: Send Rs. 200/- by crossed IPO / DD favouring "Director, NIHFW" payable at New Delhi to the Director, Distance Learning Cell (DLC), Room Number 417, Academic Block at the above address by 05 June ’09 / Download from website. Mention course name

Details: Website

Application Deadline: 15 June 2009

Mass Comm

Symbiosis International University, Symbiosis Institute of Media & Communication (SIMC), Viman Nagar, Pune 411014 (Mah)
www.simc.edu / www.set-test.org

Bachelor of Mass Media (Journalism, Advertising, PR & Events, AV Production) (3 years, FT)

Eligibility: 10+2 (50%)

Selection: Test: 02 May ‘09 (Register online by 13 April 2009)

Application Form: Apply online and send with Rs 1000/- by DD favouring "Symbiosis Institute of Media & Communication," payable at Pune to the above address / Download from website.

Application Deadline: 09 May 2009

Scholarships

 National Institute for the Visually Handicapped, 116, Rajpur Road, Dehradun 248001 (Utt)

Louis Braille Memorial Fellowship (2 years)

Eligibility: Indian, Masters degree (Special Education), 55% / Masters in related fields / PhD in (Education / Training / Rehabilitation of persons with visual impairment) / 5 years research experience.
Fellowship: Rs. 25,000/- pm for 2 years, extendable by 1 year.

Application Form: Send application on plain paper at the above address.

Details: Employment News (28 March – 03 April 2009)

Application Deadline: 11 April 2009

The Oxford & Cambridge Society of India, B 28, Pushpanjali Farms, Bijwasan, New Delhi 110061
www.oxbridgeindia.com/scholarship.php

1) OCSI Scholarships 2009
(For admission to the universities of Oxford / Cambridge & Emmanuel College, Cambridge and other colleges in UK)
2)
Sir Jagdish Chandra Bose Scholarship

Eligibility: Bachelors degree, Indian resident; schooling in India preferred; secured admission to the University of Oxford / Cambridge
For 2: Masters degree in relevant discipline
Application also invited from students of Physics, Computer Sc, Maths who are interested in Biology
Age Limit: 26 years (01 May ‘09).

Scholarship: Two OCSI scholarships worth Rs 100,000/- each, tenable at the universities of Oxford/Cambridge

One scholarship worth £ 1,000, tenable at Emmanuel College, Cambridge & St. Hilda’s College, Oxford
One scholarship worth Rs. 2,00,000, tenable at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge
One scholarship (Jack Gibson Scholarship) worth Rs. 1,00,000, tenable at Sidney Sussex, Cambridge
For 2: Two scholarships worth Rs 2,00,000, tenable at Christ’s College, Cambridge for Doctoral studies, one for Physics and one for Biology

Application Form: Download from website.

Details: Website

Application Deadline: 15 April 2009

University

DY Patil University, 869, E, Kasaba Bavada, Kolhapur (Mah) (Deemed University)
www.dypatilunikop.org

All India Common Entrance Test - 2009
For Admission to MBBS / BDS / BTech / BPTh / BSc

Test: 21 May 2009

Application Form & Details: Website

Application Deadline: 30 April 2009

Pervin Malhotra,

Director, Career Guidance India (CARING)

(www.careerguidanceindia.com)


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