Tryst with art
Career as an art curator is ideal for those with an artistic bent of mind, writes Usha Albuquerque
Interest in art is growing among Indians and more and more people are visiting exhibitions, art shows and are buying artworks nowToday there is a buzz around art, artists or an art show. The launch of a new art gallery, or an art exhibition is a Page 3 event. And whether you know your Razas from your Souzas, or pencil sketches from oil pastels doesn't really matter, what does is that any art today is an investment opportunity.

Interest in art is growing among Indians and more and more people are visiting exhibitions, art shows and are buying artworks now

Armed forces’ Education Branch
Shifting to another university
Job-oriented courses
Energy field
Road to IPS
M Phil in International relations
Eligibility for Engineering Services exam
Scope in trichology

Be harbingers of social change
Social and Development Sector
The social development sector in India today is not only creating opportunities to do some philanthropic work but is also allowing the aspirants to explore various career options which this sector has to offer. India is having about 3.3 million NGOs of which around 40,000 have foreign lineage.

News Board
FICCI’s initiative
FICCI has initiated the setting up of National Knowledge Functional Hubs (NKFH) focusing on specific verticals in industry that are facing severe human resource and skill shortage.

Trend Watch
Temporary twist
Temporary staffing is an emerging trend in HR, writes Deepak Kaistha
Recession has been the germinating ground for many different trends in almost every orb of business, including recruitment and staffing. Durung the difficult days of economic slowdown companies had started hiring temporary staff in order to avoid risk and maintain sustainability of projects.

Looks do matter
A new study has revealed that employers give more importance to ‘lookness’ than qualifications and job experience while hiring a candidate for a job. Though recruitment based on appearance is nothing new but the practice is becoming more explicit.

Happiness @ work


Tryst with art
Career as an art curator is ideal for those with an artistic bent of mind, writes Usha Albuquerque

The Indian art scenario is bustling with new ideas, talents and artists. A number of new art galleries have opened up
The Indian art scenario is bustling with new ideas, talents and artists. A number of new art galleries have opened up

Today there is a buzz around art, artists or an art show. The launch of a new art gallery, or an art exhibition is a Page 3 event. And whether you know your Razas from your Souzas, or pencil sketches from oil pastels doesn't really matter, what does is that any art today is an investment opportunity.

Over the past five years Indian art has been appreciating at a staggering 10 per cent faster annually than the stock market. In fact, an art investment made a year ago would have doubled its value in two-thirds the time taken by equity shares. The Indian art market's growing strength both in India and abroad has been attributed to the general increase in affluence among Indians and NRIs over the past few years. More and more Indians are attending art shows and exhibitions, learning about art and buying art. Art galleries, art exhibitions, shows, articles in newspapers, critiques and so on indicate the growing interest in art both in terms of appreciation, as well as investment and value. The recent Indian Art Summit drew huge crowds. New buyers and collectors who attended the summit put India on the global art scene. No wonder that corporates and financial institutions are also getting into the fray, and those with some enterprise and an eye for the creative are cashing in on the new investment as well as career opportunities in this field.

What are the opportunities in art? Do you need to be an artist to get into this field? Broadly the art industry covers art curators, art gallery owners, art restorers, valuers and marketing professionals working in this field, other than painters and sculptors. And while it can be an advantage to be an artist, even those who are not, are getting into art curating and art management, which is now rapidly developing into a full-fledged profession, with a huge potential for growth.

Know the pulse of art

To be in today's art market requires one to be knowledgeable about art and works of art and understand its aesthetic and financial value. The job of an art curator is highly creative and stimulating. An art curator evaluates, selects, develops, displays and interprets a collection of artefacts or works of art in order to inform, educate and entertain the public.

An art curator needs to know all about the artist's work and style, but also have an eye for what is good and worth selling. Curators plan the artists for the shows, the catalogues, which include the images of the work to be shown and a carefully developed argument to support such an exhibition. They may need to visit artists' studios to learn about their work and to select pieces for exhibitions. Decisions about the number of works in a show, where the show is to be installed, which galleries are to be used, the appropriateness of images, and many other procedural issues are also the responsibilities of the curator.

Writing skills

As curators have an extensive knowledge on art and allied topics, they can write about art for catalogues, brochures, magazines or books, deliver public talks, publish articles or present papers at specialist art conferences, or seminars. Those working as freelance art curators need to come up with new ideas for exhibitions, find artists for participating in them, choose an exhibition title, prepare an exhibition proposal for the gallery and negotiate contracts. They must also be knowledgeable about laws and practices regarding art so as to deal with any controversies that may crop up regarding ownership, forgeries, intellectual property and other legal matters coming up from time to time.

Expanding horizons

From the time when curating was purely an academic research position, the role of an art curator has further expanded to include other activities, such as public relations, marketing, fund-raising and education programmes. Curators are also expected to prepare budgets and build relationships with both internal and external partners and stakeholders and may also be called upon to help corporate houses, institutions, hotels and other such organisations develop their art collections.

Art gallery owners and managers also work in this field and acquire and maintain the art offered for sale. They are responsible for the success of a gallery by overseeing the type of art sold, marketing and promoting exhibits, working with individual artists whose art is on display, developing client lists, and handling other business-related duties such as hiring and paying employees and overseeing gallery finances. As gallery owners are responsible for the effective and profitable running of an art or design gallery and responsible for the reputation it gains, some of their responsibilities may overlap with those of the art curator. They are also often involved in cataloguing acquisitions and keeping records, handling enquiries from clients and stakeholders, liaisoning with corporate groups, the community and industry as well as grant agencies to secure sponsorship for events, publications and development projects and networking with other museum and art gallery professionals and outside agencies.

The gallery owner or managers are also responsible for the artworks entrusted to their care and displayed by the gallery. Some large galleries have a team of assistants and others who may be involved in maintaining the exhibits and arranging for their safe storage and transportation. Some tasks, such as framing and restoration, may be conducted by outside firms, and the gallery owner/director must secure cost-effective contracts. The gallery owner/director will also have to deal with buyers, public visitors and, often, members of the press. A gallery owner may also be involved in conducting public education courses in art appreciation.

Being a relatively new field in India often gallery owners double up as curators and put together shows. While this often fulfils more commercial rather than artistic needs, it has resulted in a mushrooming of art events and exhibitions which in turn promot artists and their work.

Getting In

This field is open to anyone who loves art. While a background in fine arts or a degree in the history of art is useful, it is not necessary for those who wish to become an art curator, dealer or valuer of art works. At the bachelor's level, you can go in for a degree in Fine arts or an art history course. History and cultural studies offer other routes to enter the profession. At the Master's level, you can go in for various advanced arts courses or go in for specialised curating courses, which unfortunately are not available in India. However, more than academic qualifications, what is more important is to have a passion for art and to keep educating yourself. If you are basically creative you will be able to create a niche for yourself through exciting and creative ideas for exhibitions, shows and auctions.


Curators are hired by museums, art venues, galleries, directors of a gallery and arts committees. As a relatively new field, the arena of opportunities is vast. The Indian art scenario is bustling with new ideas, talents and artists. Art galleries are opening up fast and furiously, there are regular art auctions and exhibitions and artists are regularly feted as the new celebrities. Companies and organisations promoting art are coming into this field and setting up an infrastructure for the growth of art, both nationally and internationally. And opportunities are being created for those with a penchant to curate exhibitions. Moreover, with new media coming in there is a shift in the use of installation and multimedia, for display of artworks, leading to a new set of requirements for those looking to make a career in this field. And as the increasing interest in art grows, the acute shortage of trained manpower is also being increasingly felt.

The writer is a career expert

Where to study

Some colleges and universities offer courses in the history of art. The National Museum Institute of Art, Conservation and Museology at the National Museum in New Delhi offers short-term certificate courses in Indian Art and Culture, and Art Appreciation, as also full-time courses in art restoration and conservation.

India Foundation for the Arts (IFA) has initiated a four-year Curatorship Programme funded by the Jamsetji Tata Trust. IFA's Curatorship Programme has been designed in collaboration with institutions across the country, which will operate as nodal centers towards building capacity in the area of arts curatorship. The nodal centres include Jamia Milia Islamia, New Delhi, Association of Academics, Artists, Citizens for University Autonomy(ACUA) — a travelling workshop series for Curatorial studies, Katha Centre for Film Studies (KCFS), Mumbai for film curation, KHOJ International Artists' Association, an autonomous artist-led initiative which hosts a national network curators-in-residence programme for young aspiring curators.

However, while training and aesthetic abilities count for a lot in this field, knowledge, reputation, a finely tuned visual sensibility, a quick observant eye, empathy with and respect for both art and the artist are equally important. So too is experience — extensive work experience in a museum or gallery understanding the details of putting on an art show can go a long way.



Armed forces’ Education Branch

Q. Am I eligible for the Indian Defence Services Education Branch with MSc. Biotechnology degree. I have got admission in MSc Biotech in JNU (2010). I want to know if I will be eligible for applying to the Education Branch when I finish my MSc. course in 2012 when my age will be 24. — Jasmine Sabharwal

A. I think you will be somewhat overage by then. However, do confirm the details about eligibility and age relaxation etc on the respective armed forces websites:;; and

You can also call the Recruiting Directorate on the following nos: 011-26173215 (26175473 for women)

Selection for admission to the Education Branch is done through a SSB Interview; Medical Exam.





Shifting to another university

Q. I did my BSc (first year) from Punjabi University with a first division. My family has now moved to Delhi. But I am finding it difficult to migrate to DU in the same course as they won't issue an eligibility certificate until all the documents are "duly" verified. I am very worried that I will miss out on one precious year. — Khushbu Bedi

A. Although it's easier said than done, migration from one university to another is possible - provided all the necessary papers are in order.

I fully agree with you. There is no reason why students should have to run from pillar to post to obtain eligibility and migration certificates when they already have the marks-sheet from a regular university to prove their bonafide? The list of fake universities is known to everyone, so where is the question of students seeking fraudulent entry?

Enrolling instead for an open university like IGNOU or YCMOU may also be a good option to save you and others like you from missing out on a crucial year. Students of other universities have the provision to continue their regular studies through an equivalent course offered by IGNOU through the distance learning mode.

Let me quote the relevant portion from their prospectus:

Credit Transfer: "Credit transfer" means allowing a student of another university to get admitted to IGNOU for completing any equivalent degree/diploma programme on the basis of credits obtained by him in that university. A student thus admitted need not take the IGNOU exams for such courses which are found equivalent to and for which appropriate credits would be deemed to have been acquired for and purposes of fulfilling the IGNOU requirements for award of a degree/diploma.

Eligibility: The credit transfer scheme is applicable to those candidates who have not completed their degree from any other recognised university and are willing to complete it through IGNOU as per rules provided".

To get a degree/diploma from IGNOU, a student must earn at least 50 per cent credits from IGNOU. The degree certificate/mark list given would specifically indicate credits earned from IGNOU and from other institution.

Applications for credit transfer must be addressed to the Deputy Registrar, SR & E Block-3, IGNOU, Maidan Garhi, New Delhi 110068, enclosing a DD (please check their website for details). You must also enclose attested copies of your marks-sheet as well as an attested copy of the syllabus covered by the university.

It may take three months from the date of receipt of such requests for establishing equivalence of courses (i.e. subjects).

Refer to the IGNOU prospectus or their website for the complete courses list.

I've also heard about a similar provision in correspondence courses offered by DU, the details of which can be acquired from the School of Open Learning (

Credits are transferred on the basis of individual subjects, and not on the basis of year-to-year subjects as in conventional institutions.




Job-oriented courses

Q. I have done class 12 (commerce with maths). Can you please suggest some job-oriented course related to commerce which I can pursue along with B.Com which I want to do through correspondence? I need to supplement my family’s income at the earliest. — Tushar Chugh

A. Besides CA or CS, there’s one other option you can look at. The Institute of Cost & Works Accountants of India (ICWAI) conducts the Accounting Technician Course to fill the need for quality middle and junior level accounting staff to work at various levels in an organisation.

And the eligibility is a pass in Class XII.

You need to clear six papers and complete a module on computer training.

To ensure that students have adequate practical exposure, they will be required to undergo practical training of six months, before the Accounting Technician certificate is awarded.

Students of ICWAI can get a B.Com degree from IGNOU by clearing four exams.

Similarly, to get an M.Com degree, an ICWAI student must clear four exams. 




Energy field

Q. I am doing first year B.Tech petroleum engineering (I wanted to do ECE). I have no idea about the scope of this field. Should I continue with it? — Animesh Gaur

A. Why not! And there are plenty of reasons. In 50 years, global energy consumption will go up by 50 per cent. Until we find cheap, sustainable fuel, one of the major challenges of the oil industry is to find new oil.

To find the oil, we need to have machines like super computers and hi-tech imaging systems, not to mention, competent people.

There is a paucity of talent both at the upstream (oil and gas exploration) and downstream (refining) levels.

According to a recent PricewaterhouseCoopers study, the energy industry will need 6,180 trained geoscientists for exploration operations alone by 2013. The shortfall will be about 2,844 geoscientists. Add to this, the overall gap between availability and requirement of 36,000 trained manpower by 2019. There is an acute shortage of professionals like geo-science experts, drillers and project managers.

The opening up of the Indian petroleum sector to private players, dismantling of price controls and the spiralling fuel costs combined with increasing consumption of petroleum products have brought this industry into the forefront.

As a Petroleum Engineer you will use the latest analytical techniques to understand oil well and reservoir behaviour on rock parameters, geology and fluid properties, and apply the findings to make reservoir and production forecasts.

In addition, your reservoir simulation models will incorporate quality control and fundamental RE data for history matching and production forecasting. You will also make hydrocarbon development proposals for new wells and facilities.

Global fuel refining capacity is struggling to keep pace with the rise in demand for ever-cleaner fuels worldwide. India could well emerge as one of the world's leading refiners.




Road to IPS

Q. I have given my second year BA exams. I want to become SSP Rank police officer. What is the process for it? — Ramesh Chugh

A. To become an IPS officer, you need to take the competitive Civil Services Examination conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).

This Civil Services exam, commonly referred to as the IAS exam, which is held at various test centres across the country comprises three stages: Preliminary and Main exams and the Interview. You have to clear all the three stages and secure a good rank at the same time to make it to this service.

For the IPS you will also have to clear an additional physical test. UPSC has announced a change in the pattern of the Civil Services Prelims exam. Make sure you familiarise yourself with the new pattern and syllabus.

Eligibility: Bachelor's degree.

Age: 21-30 years as on August 01, of the year in which you take the exam.

For complete details, log on to

When you join the IPS, upon the completion of your training, you will be appointed as an Assistant Commissioner of Police or Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) in a sub division comprising of three or four police stations. Incidentally, each state and union territory has its own separate police force.

After that, based on your experience and track record, you will rise to the rank of Superintendent of Police (SP), Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG), Inspector General of Police (IGP), Additional Director General of Police (Addl. DGP), and finally, the Director General of Police (DGP) who is the head of the police force in each state. The DGP represents the highest rung in the police hierarchy.




M Phil in International relations

Q. Please guide me for pursuing M.Phil in international relations. What are the eligibility conditions? I have completed my PG in political science with specialisation in International Relations from IGNOU. — Rakhi Vats

A. Following are some of the universities that specifically offer MPhil in International Relations (one-year), although IR would be offered as part of M Phil in political science at a large number of universities.

n Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

n University of Madras, Chennai (TN)

n Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam (Ker)

The typical eligibility is a Master's degree in political science (55 per cent).




Eligibility for Engineering Services exam

Q. I am aware that chemical engineers can sit for the Engineering Services Exam. But I have no idea about the syllabus for this exam. Where can I get the model question papers for this subject? — Durgesh Lahiri

A. Yes, engineers from any field including chemical can take the Engineering Services Exam.

While the General Ability test is compulsory, UPSC only conducts exams in four optional papers: Electronics & Telecommunication Engineering; Electrical Engineering; Civil Engineering; Mechanical Engineering.

As there is no specific paper in chemical engineering, you can choose from any one of these four papers.




Scope in trichology

Q. Can you please tell me something about trichology? Can it be pursued by people with no medical degree? — Yash Pal Handa

A. Trichology is a branch of medicine that deals with the scientific study of hair and scalp health. They examine the scalp to identify the problem which could range from acute dandruff to premature balding, graying and thinning. Once the cause is identified, the trichologist decides on a suitable line of treatment. The work is quite different from that of a hairstylist or beautician.

While members of the medical profession can undertake courses and/or careers within trichology, there are a few short-term courses ranging from 3-6 weeks in trichology for non-medical professionals like you, which you may find relevant.

Although as a career trichology is in its infancy in India, it has the potential of being a rewarding one in the future. Presently there are only a handful of trichologists presently, but they will be required in thousands in the years to come.

Trichology can also be used in forensic studies of hair to find suspects. Forensic trichology can determine the approximate age, body mass, race, and other important traits of the person.

The International Association of Trichologists (IAT) offers a course developed at the University of Southern California, and trains students from several countries. IAT has students from all over the world, including India. The IAT course is also offered in India at the Mumbai Educational Trust (MET).

Both the IAT and MET offer special condensed courses for medical doctors. Clinical training is also offered in India. Details:

Also check out The Institute of Trichologists (, the foremost professional association of trichologists and one of the largest providers of trichology training internationally. Over 100 years old, it is the longest established body of its kind anywhere in the world.

There are a few short-term courses ranging from 3-6 weeks in the subject for non-medical professionals.

The writer is a noted career expert and director, Career Guidance India (CARING). Please send in your queries with your full name, complete address and academic qualifications to: The Editor, Jobs and Careers, The Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh-160030, or at careers 



Be harbingers of social change
Social and Development Sector
Charandeep Singh

The social development sector in India today is not only creating opportunities to do some philanthropic work but is also allowing the aspirants to explore various career options which this sector has to offer. India is having about 3.3 million NGOs of which around 40,000 have foreign lineage. "With the increasing awareness about human development issues concerning India, coupled with the increasing 'professionalisation' of this sector, we have seen an exalted interest from professionals from corporate India to come in, join and contribute", observes Parmod Juneja of Utkarsh Foundation for Education. There is a great satisfaction in doing something for others which cannot be equalled by any high-paying job. Even those working in full-time jobs want to do some social work in their spare time. The social sector, indeed, offers fulfillment of higher level needs. "Currently the Indian developmental sector is in a booming phase, and Year on Year 45 per cent growth is amazing, so it makes perfect sense for people to view the developmental sector from a career point of view as a stable and long-term option" says Arshinder Kaur of Earth Allianz. There are numerous job options which are of interest to the young professionals in the development sector. Let's examine a few options that are up for grabs:

Programme Manager

The programme manager is the most important person in the execution of a project in a particular area. The most important qualification which one must possess in order to become a programme manager is the requisite educational qualification. For example if he is doing a project on climate change then he must be have a masters in geography or for that matter any other masters degree in environment or forestry management would be of help. Similarly, if one is doing a project on soil conservation, the resource person must have required qualification of a soil nutritionist. "Programme manager is one person who is in-charge of reporting, liaisoning and proposal formulation. Knowledge of the domain area is highly desirable", says K Srikanth of Green Peace.

Fund Raiser

Fund raising jobs are the fulcrum of the entire activity of the social development sector. "One can't survive without funds. Government aid you get is there but to a limited extent. Personal equity is also invested up to a limit. But you need donors, and with small donors you also grow the number of people who support your cause and thus the ensuing popularity of your flagship programme", says Chandrashekhar Swamy, general manager (HR) of Child Help and You (CHY). For a fund raiser normally MBAs are preferred, since one has to liaison at times with the Corporates as well as with other big donors. A candidate having good networking skills is an asset, since coordination is one of his important job functions. Even the growth potential is immense as one can grow from a local programme to an international organisation and even to the UN. All the major agencies require fund managers.

Facilitator (Head of operations)

The resource person is the vertical head of any particular programme. For example if an organisation is involved in the programme of uplift of rural women in Punjab and Orissa, then one Facilitator would be heading the operations in Punjab and the second one in Orissa. "Usually organisations that have programmes that are centric to the entire country would have these facilitators", observes the HR Head of NASSCOM Foundation. Mostly persons with Masters in Social Work (MSW) or (pass-outs from IRMA or any other institute of rural management) are taken up for this programme and a resource with five to seven years of work experience gets a salary of Rs 6 to 8 lakh per year.

Orientation Officer

Usually the 'Orientation Officers' are appointed in international programmes and a key fixture of this profile is having in-depth knowledge about the programmes and policies since at times one needs to conduct workshops and sessions. 'Orientation Officers' are generally appointed by the nodal agencies of various governments that want to attract skilled immigrants to their countries or want some kind of institutional funding. The job requires extensive travel within the country as well to the neighbouring countries. A post-graduate degree with strong communication skills and an extremely pleasant personality are the key requirements. Usually lawyers are preferred over other candidates in this kind of a role. The Canadian Immigration Integration Programme (CIIP) appoints Orientation Officers in India.

Educators and Trainers

They are the ones who basically train the resources of the organisation as well as the intended local population. Usually resources from the local area having sound knowledge of the subject are preferred since they are able to connect with the local population. "Our observation has seen that people who want to pursue their passion as profession are most successful. Since South Punjab is inflicted with cancer because of infected water, we have seen that students from this area who have studied science and are keen to get rid of this menace in their area are the ones who come in more handy", says Dr. Chander Prakash who is a zoologist and is working on climate change and wildlife conservation. The willingness to travel in rural countryside and thorough knowledge of the programme to be imparted are other essential qualifications for this post.

Research Associate

Research Associate is one fellow who would help to identify research opportunities and develop research ideas, concepts, proposals, tools and budgets, as needed. Coordination and supervision of data collection is his primary job responsibility. They are also responsible for the design and implementation of client development and management strategies with regional and state research partners. At times research associates also review and provide inputs on draft papers produced from research and on internal concept notes. Post Graduation in anthropology and cultures with a flair for computers are the pre requisite to become a research fellow. Even those who have done masters in Statistics can also apply. Starting salary is around Rs 1.5-2 lakh.

Auditors and Surveyors

Usually auditors and the surveyors are empanelled to look into the works already done by a foundation. Auditors usually conduct questionnaires with the beneficiaries of the schemes and in addition to inspecting the facilities. "Usually audits are a very effective method of implementing checks and balances on the quality of work done and are also helpful in the pursuit of NGO getting international certifications", adds Parmod Juneja. Carrying out audits in the development sector is a good beginning in the caeer and usually the starting salary is around Rs 10,000 per month with some part of it being performance linked as well.

Documentation Specialist

He is a person who presents the hardwork of the organisation to the outside world. Every organisation holds symposiums, seminars as well as brain storming sessions. So the job of the documentation specialist is to assimilate all data, analyse it critically, put forth the relevant findings and present it in a report format. The job is highly paying, with the experienced ones charging something close to Rs 8,000 per report and up to Rs 5,000 per day. One can be both part time as well as full time into report writing.

Project Trainees and Assistants

Since most of the Non Profit Organisations operate through the length and breadth of the country all kinds of office assistants are also required. Manager Accounts to maintain a record of the expenditure and how the resources are getting disbursed; Project Trainees to do initial training and later on don the leadership role since they are trained through the system and executive assistant to support the senior staff. 



News Board
FICCI’s initiative

FICCI has initiated the setting up of National Knowledge Functional Hubs (NKFH) focusing on specific verticals in industry that are facing severe human resource and skill shortage. NKFHs will be designed to facilitate the creation of a mechanism to enable higher educational institutions and universities to engage with industry effectively and efficiently so that the quality of new engineering graduates in the country improves dramatically.

The aim of NKFH is to facilitate industry-academia connect in tier II and tier III institutions which are the source of bulk engineering graduates for the capital goods industry. Some of the suggestions of the Core Group are:

To bridge the skill gaps and shortage of skilled personnel, there is an urgent need for the companies to mentor engineering institutions. Each capital goods company can adopt two to three institutions in its vicinity for sustained interaction and collaboration.

Higher education in India is being pressed for greater accountability and improved attention to quality as it is the responsibility of each institution to define and describe its own goals, place them in the context of peer group comparisons and demonstrate to the public the position it holds in higher education. In order to help the companies identify and select quality engineering institutions, interested institutions should upload performance indicator on its website or send it to companies with a request for collaboration.

Companies would be willing to interact with quality institutions in their vicinity. To reach out to institutions in remote and far flung locations, technology such as webcasting should be leveraged to create a network of institutions for disseminating lectures by leading professionals and academics at leading engineering institutions and corporations.

PSU banks on hiring spree

Faced with human resource crunch public sector banks are planning to hire about 45,000 personnel during 2011-12 to meet workforce requirement.

“Approximately 45,000 officers and staff would be recruited by (nationalised) banks this year,” Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS) director, M Balachandran told PTI.

The institute, promoted by PSU banks and the Reserve Bank of India, has been providing assistance to these organisations in selection, promotion and placement of employees since 1984. A large number of employment opportunities have emerged in the banking sector owing to branch expansion by various lenders, business growth and aggressive marketing, he said.

Balachandran, former Chairman and Managing Director of the Bank of India, said recruitment would also fill the gap created due to large scale superannuation in many banks. At the same time, in a bid to increase fee-based income, banks have started activities like distribution of insurance policies, mutual fund schemes and other financial products. This has necessitated recruitment of some specialised manpower in those segments, he added.

In a bid to standardising recruitment process and fill up vacancies faster, IBPS will conduct common entrance tests for officers and employees from July.

Those appearing in the exams will be judged on the basis of a scorecard and banks in need of people can call the successful ones for interview on that basis, he said.

Currently there are 26 public sector banks including six associate banks of State Bank of India (SBI) but IBPS exam would be for the 19 nationalised banks only.

SBI and its associates conduct their own exam and have different service conditions and benefits from nationalised banks. — PTI



Trend Watch
Temporary twist
Temporary staffing is an emerging trend in HR, writes Deepak Kaistha

Recession has been the germinating ground for many different trends in almost every orb of business, including recruitment and staffing. Durung the difficult days of economic slowdown companies had started hiring temporary staff in order to avoid risk and maintain sustainability of projects.

As the Human Resource industry has been going through a sea change with e-sourcing, recruitments or outsourcing, the emerging trend is “Temporary staffing or the so-called Gen-X Human Resource Management”. The trend is now slowly taking root in the corporate world.

This trend has been registering an escalating annual growth on yoy basis and is catching the attention of more and more industries. Temporary staffing is slowly maturing with more sectors and even job seekers opening up to the idea.

According to a survey conducted by a recruitment agency, there has not only been an increase in the revenue of the recruiting agencies but the packages of the contractual staff have also gone up. As per the survey Bangalore clinched the top position as the salaries in the temporary hiring sector witnessed an enviable growth of about 8.3 per cent, which was followed by Mumbai (7.8 per cent) and Delhi (7.3 per cent) in 2010.

This hike in the salary is primarily seen as the requirement of skilled and talented employees by the organisations. Fierce rivalry prevailing among the competitors within the industry has also played a pivotal role in encouraging temporary staffing solutions.

According to some American studies, organisations opting for temporary staffing have higher margins, profit and better market worth.

But, the increase in hiring within the sectors and opening up of different sectors to temporary hiring has its downside too. Newer avenues for employees are increasing and as a result the longevity of a temporary employee in various industries has gone down. This also indicates that temporary staffing is in effect the springboard to enter the permanent orbit.

However, the trend of temporary staffing is here to stay and it would grow exponentially with times. The trend fits in best as the inquisitive and restless youth who crave for learning and growing fast formulates the largest consumers of this service. It is also seen as a vision to harness the best human resource available to meet the rising global demands.

The writer is Director, Planman Consulting



Looks do matter

A new study has revealed that employers give more importance to ‘lookness’ than qualifications and job experience while hiring a candidate for a job. Though recruitment based on appearance is nothing new but the practice is becoming more explicit.

How a candidate looks, dresses and speaks, are all part of the “lookness” that employers are using to determine who gets the job. Unfortunately, there is not much that candidates can do if they feel discriminated.

Professor Chris Warhurst, an expert in employment studies from the University of Sydney said that people “perceived to be better looking” were up to five times more likely to be hired over others.

They had better careers and could earn up to 16 pc more than others doing the same job. He further added that physical appearance also influenced perceptions of job competence and performance, among men and women.

With 30 pc of the Australian workforce considered over-qualified, employers are looking at “soft skills” such as appearance to help decide who gets the job, Warhurst said. “The degree might get you to the interview but having good soft skills will get you the job,” The Courier Mail quoted him as saying. — ANI



Happiness @ work
Gems of ancient wisdom
Don’t hang by a single thread

When the only thing permanent in life is change, it is unwise to depend too heavily on one person or thing.

Even after he had done a deal with Sugriva, the Vaanara King, Rama kept looking for aid from other quarters. He first befriended Vibheeshana, the brother of Ravana. Then, Vishnu’s eagle mount Garuda came to neutralise the serpent darts that Indrajit had fired on Rama and Lakshman. In the final duel with Ravana, Rama rode on the chariot sent by Indra.

The daaru (the neem log with Vishnu’s conch, disc, mace and lotus) was so hard that it could not be sculpted into the idols of Jagannath Puri by any man. So came the divine architect Vishwakarma. But he imposed a condition — no one should open the doors of my room for 15 days. Gundicha, Queen of Utkal, got so impatient that she, without thinking of an alternative, barged in on the 10th day. As a result, Vishwakarma disappeared leaving the idols incomplete.

Whenever Mirza Ghalib found that his competition was catching up with him, he would switch to poetry in Persian, a language in which not many Indian poets could keep up with him.

On the 17th day of the Mahabharata war, Karna knew he was staring at death in the face. He had been stripped of his divine armour; Parashurama had cursed him that he would forget the code for the Brahmastra when he would need it the most; and he had used up Indra’s Shakti three days ago.

Dara Shikoh, the eldest and scholarly son of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, hoped to ascend the throne on the basis of his father’s liking for him. Little did he realise that brother Aurangzeb would imprison or kill his brothers and their father.

In her fight with demon Shumbha and his huge army, Goddess Ambika first brought forth Kali and then summoned Brahmani from the being of Brahma, Vaishnavi from Vishnu and Maheshwari from Shiva, and finally Chandika. This array of Shaktis killed Dhumralochana, Chanda and Munda, Raktabeeja, Nishumba and Shumba. Remember, how much strong they be, all cords break one day.

— Sai R. Vaidyanathan The writer can be contacted at