Jobs  & Careers




indian railways
If you are looking for an exciting, stable and secure career then check out the options offered by the Indian Railways
Having earned the sobriquet of the ‘lifeline’ of our country, the Indian Railways has crossed the labyrinths of time and space since 1853 to emerge not only as a major mode of transportation but also as an exciting career option.
Getting in
One can enter the Indian Railways at different touch points with qualifications ranging from Class X to B.E in varied operations. There is a bi-pronged gateway to the Indian Railway Service.


CareerCature
SANDEEP JOSHI

Why do you need a break, we are ready to pay for the treatment of your hypertension
Why do you need a break, we are ready to pay for the treatment of your hypertension

Career Hotline 
Counselling — a wise choice

Q. I want to be a family or marriage counsellor. Can you tell me something about this field? Does one need to pursue a specific course? — Avinash Kaur
A. A growing number of mental health professionals work in marriage and family counselling. Psychologists with a masters or higher degree in psychology /counselling evaluate and treat mental and emotional disorders, health and behavioural problems, and relationship issues-all within the context of the family.

Master the art of doing things well
@Each employee has an inner urge to do things well, but very few are ready to make an extra effort to achieve this goal. While being an absolute perfectionist always can be self-defeating challenge, the aim should be to put in your maximum and do the assigned tasks to the best of one's ability. Surprisingly, this is not an enormously difficult task. Here are some tips that can help in this endeavour:

Scholarship roundup
IIMSc offer
The National Board for Higher Mathematics (NBHM) is offering scholarships for pursuing PhD in mathematics at Institute of Mathematical Sciences (IMSc), Chennai, Harish-Chandra Research Institute (HRI), Allahabad and IISER, Pune.

testing times: board vs entrance exams
Balancing the scores
Preparing for the boards and the entrance exams simultaneously definitely needs a lot of planning and focus
The question about how to handle the exam conflict is the most important for all Plus II students as they are in a dilemma whether to focus on boards or on entrance exams. This confusion not only leads to stress and lopsided preparation but in many cases also affects the final results. Now with a substantial weightage being given to the board exams, the earlier practice of concentrating solely on competitive exams is not going to be relevant any more.

trends: executive education in india 
Teaching management to managers
Executive management education is becoming increasingly popular in India. Most prominent types of programmes are the one-year full-time residential, three-year part-time and virtual interactive learning based (popularly called the ‘satellite’) programmes. Executive doctoral programmes in management are also in vogue.

Tips to excel 
Difference in pattern
Preparing for entrance exams needs a lot of dedication and planning. Here are some tips that can help students prepare methodically:
Difference in pattern
Even though the syllabus for entrance exams like IIT-JEE and AIEEE etc and all boards is the same, the difference is in the pattern in which questions are framed. While the questions in board exams are based more on theory and less on concept, those in entrance exams are meant to test more of the understanding of concepts. So if students work hard on their basics and conceptual approach then they will be able to solve the problems easily and also it will take less time to cover all the theoretical and derivation part. 

Hall of fame
IIT, Ropar students win Infosys challenge IIT Ropar has bagged the top spot at the first edition of Infosys Hashers challenge, a unique programming contest to foster innovation and create a platform for collaboration with the future talent pool of the industry.

Course cruising
Fashion Marketing course UK based University of Southampton's Winchester School of Art (WSA) is inviting applications for its new undergraduate course BA (Hons) in Fashion Marketing. The Winchester School of Art was founded more than 140 years ago and today is a major international centre of excellence in art and design offering a unique range of disciplines across Art, Design, Media and Fashion. 

effective on boarding programmes
Smooth taxiing for great takeoff

Success in on-boarding programmes comes when each individual feels a connect with the organisation. Remember the feeling when you joined a firm and your first day or week? Did the experience leave a lasting impression? These first experiences pay off in referrals, retention, improved performance and above all in producing passionate employees who create value for customers and for the organisation. 

Strategies that make good on boarding and integration 
1Do not underestimate the importance: There is a direct correlation between a new employee who feels valued, welcomed and engaged and the length of his/her stay with the company. On the other hand, employees who believe they have been “abandoned” after being hired will have negative emotions about the company right from the beginning.

Happiness @ work
Gems of ancient wisdom

Silence isn’t a sign of weakness

Bosses and colleagues often take willing workers for granted. Good workers’ silence and efficiency are excuses for piling work on them. The mighty King Vishwamitra of Chedi, who had 100 brave sons and a huge, well-equipped army, wanted the Kamadhenu, the wish-fulfilling cow that sage Vashisht had, for himself. When the sage refused, Vishwamitra sent his sons and army to round up the cow — only to lose them all.

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indian railways
Move on to Superfast track
If you are looking for an exciting, stable and secure career then check out the options offered by the Indian Railways
Gauri Chhabra

Having earned the sobriquet of the ‘lifeline’ of our country, the Indian Railways has crossed the labyrinths of time and space since 1853 to emerge not only as a major mode of transportation but also as an exciting career option.

Getting in

One can enter the Indian Railways at different touch points with qualifications ranging from Class X to B.E in varied operations. There is a bi-pronged gateway to the Indian Railway Service.

Approximately, 50 per cent of the candidates are recruited through the Combined Engineering Services Examination. The remaining 50 per cent are recruited as the Special Class Railway Apprentices for which the UPSC conducts a separate competitive examination every year, or an allied examination by the Railways Recruitment Board (RRBs).

Recruitment to the Indian Railway Traffic Service (IRTS) and the Indian Railway Accounts Service (IRAS) is made through performance in the Civil Services Examination, and that of the Indian Railway Services of Engineers (IRSE), Indian Railway Service of Electrical Engineers (IRSEE), Indian Railway Service of Signal Engineers (IRSSE) and Indian Railway Service Stores (IRSS) is made on the basis of the Combined Engineering Services Examination.

These examinations are held from time to time to select a wide variety of personnel. The main zones of the Indian Railways and its divisions have technical and non-technical service departments, categorised under A, B, C and D groups.

Group A and Group B posts are gazetted officer cadre posts. Selection to the posts in the Group A services is made through Civil Services Examinations conducted by the UPSC, New Delhi. The minimum eligibility required for the Group A services is graduation in any discipline or an equivalent qualification; Degree in engineering or MSc or its equivalent for engineering service; Degree in medicine — MBBS from any recognised university.

Besides the Engineering Service Examination, a Special Class Railway Apprenticeship Examination (SCRA) is also held for the selection of mechanical engineers.

No special examinations are held for Group B officers. They are directly promoted from Group C staff. The Railway Recruitment Boards (RRBs) make appointments to Group B services posts.

Group C and Group D are non-gazetted subordinate posts. Group C comprises the clerical staff, supervisors and skilled labour while unskilled and semi-skilled labour falls under Group D class. Group C and D employees are recruited through the Railway Recruitment Boards, located in different parts of the country. These are controlled by the Railway Recruitment Control Board, RRCB.

Selected technical apprentices are sent to the Indian Railways Institute of Mechanical Engineering where they undergo a four-year technical course. On completion of the training they are directly recruited as officers under the cadre of Indian Railways Service of Mechanical Engineers, IRSME. Those coming via the SCRA route have a distinct advantage over others and climb the rungs of the railway ladder rather quickly, compared to their counterparts who join after clearing IES.

For technical level posts and lower level posts, the regional Railway Recruitment Boards conduct regular examinations for the posts of Drivers, Assistant Drivers, Stations Masters, Section Engineers etc.

Meritorious sportspersons are also encouraged to join the Indian Railways under the sports quota.

As railways has full-fledged hospitals at the divisional level and at zonal headquarters, doctors and surgeons come under the Indian Railways Medical Service (IRMS).

Organisational structure

The Indian Railways is divided into 17 zones headed by a General Manager (GM) who reports directly to the Railway Board. Each of these zones are further sub-divided into certain number of divisions - under the control of the Divisional Railway Managers (DRM), each having divisional headquarters.

Every division has certain number of technical and non-technical departments that form the base structure on which it functions.

Technical departments comprise civil, technical and mechanical engineering, signaling and telecom, and several others dealing with similar discipline.

The non-technical departments include general services such as accounts, personnel management, Railway Protection Force (RPF) or security and traffic services.

Further down are the Station Masters who control individual stations and the train movement through the track territory under their stations administration.

Pay packages

It is one of the very few sectors that offers a lateral entry in many positions and is recession proof. Being under the direct control of the central government, the salary and perks are at par with those offered to government employees. Safety and security of job make it one of the superlative job options in India.

In addition to the basic salary and perks, railway employees are also entitled to a lot of benefits like free railway passes to travel all over the country, housing facilities, health-care facilities for the whole family, educational facilities for their children, provision for staying in the railway guest houses and many more.


Training ground

Some of the training institutes including the six centralised training institutes (CTIs) are: 
Indian Railway Institute of Transportation Management (IRITM), Lucknow 
Indian Railway Institute of Civil Engineering (IRICEN), Pune for civil engineers.
Indian Railway Institute of Signal and Telecommunications Engineering, Hyderabad
Indian Railway Institute of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering (IRIMEE), Jamalpur (Bihar)
Indian Railway Institute of Electrical Engineering (IRIEEN), Nasik for Electrical Engineers 
RPF Academy, Lucknow for officers of the Railway Protection Force 
Railway Staff College, Vadodara 

— The writer is a Ludhiana-based career consultant

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Career Hotline 
Pervin Malhotra email your queries to [email protected] ...
Counselling — a wise choice

Q. I want to be a family or marriage counsellor. Can you tell me something about this field? Does one need to pursue a specific course? — Avinash Kaur

A. A growing number of mental health professionals work in marriage and family counselling. Psychologists with a masters or higher degree in psychology /counselling evaluate and treat mental and emotional disorders, health and behavioural problems, and relationship issues-all within the context of the family.

Often, a patient seeing a psychologist individually, is referred to a marriage and family therapist when it's determined that family dynamics and family life cycle issues such as the birth of a child, or the death or terminal illness of a family member or parent-child issues are contributing to a problem.

Marriage counsellors essentially help couples struggling to make their relationships work, enrich their married life and prevent bitter separations and divorces. Similarly, pre-marital counselling is also becoming the need of the hour. The therapist mostly sees couples and the whole family together, but may occasionally see individual family members as well. The idea is to help them find better ways to communicate and meet each others’ needs.

These counsellors often come from the ranks of psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, nurses, paramedics and teachers. Recognizing how vital the family experience is to overall health and well being, they seek additional training to specialize in this important field.

A Diploma, Degree or Certificate course in counselling would be a good starting point. The course will teach you the skills of the counsellor’s art: How to resolve the problems that people face; How to set up your own counselling practice; How to win clients; How to handle the client’s problems, how to maintain documentation etc.

However, before you decide on a career in this field, do make sure you possess all the attributes required of a good counsellor: Infinite capacity to give each client a patient hearing. Empathy and ability to strike a rapport with your clients. A caring attitude that gives the client sufficient confidence to confide in you.

The strength to view the problem objectively without being judgmental or getting personally overwrought or emotionally involved.

Ability to communicate with people from all strata of society. You probably have some of the skills already. Now you can use those skills, overlaying them with professional counselling skills, to become a counsellor in your own right. All the best!

 

 

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How can I apply for jobs in PSUs?

Q. Could you please tell me how to apply for jobs in PSUs after completing BTech? — Yash Bedi

A. The GATE qualification is now the minimum requirement to apply for various jobs and fellowships awarded by most government organisations.

For instance, the following organisations are recruiting engineering graduates through GATE 2013 supplemented by GD and interview in some cases. I have mentioned the eligibility in brief but please see the respective websites for details.

GAIL (India) Ltd, New Delhi (GoI Undertaking)

Recruiting Executive Trainees (Graduate Engineers: Mech / Elect/ Instru / Chem)

Application Deadline: January 15, 2013
Details: www.gailonline.com
@Hindustan Petroleum Corporn Ltd (HPCL), (A GoI Enterprise)

Recruiting Graduate Engineers

Eligibility: BE / BTech (Mech / Civil / Elect / Elect & Electron / Electronics / ECE / Electronics & Telecom / Instru / Instru & Control / Productn) (min 60%)

Application Deadline: February 14, 2013
tails: http://jobs.hpcl.co.in
@Indian Oil Corpn Ltd., Mumbai

Recruiting Graduate Engineers & PGs (with Indl Exp)

Eligibility: BE / BTech / AMIE / AMIETE (Mechanical / Electrical / Elect & Electron / ECE / Comp Sc /& IT) (minimum 60%)

Application Deadline: January 19, 2013
Details: www.iocl.com
@Bharat Electronics Ltd, Bangalore

(GoI Enterprise under M/o Defence)

Recruiting Probationary Engineers

Eligibility: BE / BTech / AMIE / AMIETE (Mech / Elect / Elect & Electron / ECE / Comp Sc /& IT) (min 60%)

Application Deadline: February 14, 2013
Details: www.bel-india.com
@Indian Oil Corpn Ltd, Mumbai

Recruiting Graduate Engineers

Eligibility: BE / BTech / AMIE / AMIETE (Civil / Chem / Computer Sc & IT / Electrical / Instru / Mech / Metallurgical) (min 65%)

Application Deadline: January 19, 2013
Details: www.iocl.com
@Indian Oil Corporation Ltd, Mumbai

Recruiting Post Graduates (with Indl Exp) as Asst Officers

Eligibility: MSc (Phys / Chem / Maths) (FT, regular only, min 60%) with min 3 yrs indl work-exp after MSc (teaching & research exp not counted).

Application Deadline: January 19, 2013
Details: www.iocl.com
@Hindustan Petroleum Corporn Ltd, Mumbai

Recruiting Graduate Engineers

Eligibility: BE / BTech / AMIE / AMIETE (Civil / Elect / Electron & Telecom / Instru / Mech) (min 60%)

Application Deadline: February 14, 2013
Details: www.hpcl.co.in
@Delhi Development Authority (DDA), New Delhi
(Autonomous body under M/o of Urban Dev, GoI)

Recruiting Asst Executive Engineers

Eligibility: BE / BTech / AMIE (Civil / Elect / Mech)
Application Deadline: February 14, 2013
Details: www.dda.org.in/jobs/jobs.htm

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Am I eligible for the forest service?

Q. I am a student of chemical engineering, but am interested in environment-related subjects and careers. Can you please tell me if I’m eligible for the Indian Forest Service? 
—Tiganshu Datta

A. Yes you certainly are! If you love the outdoors and are interested in protecting our country's environment and wildlife, the Indian Forest Service offers a challenging and adventurous career. Work in the Indian Forest Service is a combination of desk work and extensive field monitoring. It is mainly concerned with the management, maintenance and protection of forest flora and fauna, reforestation, wildlife, revenue collection, etc.

To qualify for this service, you have to take the Indian Forest Service Exam, which is conducted annually by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).

To be eligibile you should have a Bachelor's degree with at least one of the subjects i.e. animal husbandry and veterinary science, botany, chemistry, geology, maths, physics, statistics and zoology or a bachelor’s degree in agriculture, forestry or in engineering or equivalent.

Note: In exceptional cases, the UPSC may treat a candidate who doesn’t possess any of the above-mentioned qualifications provided that s/he has passed examination conducted by the other institutions, the standard of which in the opinion of the Commission justifies his/her admission to the exam.

Incidentally, since the environment is what interests you, do also look at some of the good MTech course in Environmental Engineering.

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 Master the art of doing things well
D. C. Sharma

@Each employee has an inner urge to do things well, but very few are ready to make an extra effort to achieve this goal. While being an absolute perfectionist always can be self-defeating challenge, the aim should be to put in your maximum and do the assigned tasks to the best of one's ability. Surprisingly, this is not an enormously difficult task. Here are some tips that can help in this endeavour:

Prioritise
Learn to prioritise the tasks that you have at hand. This is the most important formula which one must never ignore. It takes just a day or two before it becomes a habit. The formula for prioritising is simple: take the easiest job first. Once that is done, it would encourage and inspire you to shift focus on the more difficult ones.

Learn to do it now
This is the most useful mantra to do things well. What distinguishes achievers from the common lot is that they have mastered the art of doing things there and then. They are not procrastinators and don't waste time in idle gossip and politics. Time is the real wealth with achievers.

Get into the flow
The flow state happens when you are fully absorbed in doing whatever job you have in hand. In such a state you are not at all aware of the passage of time, nor are you aware of the place where you are sitting, standing or walking. The process of work progresses automatically and you are not sidetracked by any diversion or interruption. You work in a calm and composed manner.

De-clutter your mind
Learn to clear your mind of irrelevant programming. Irrelevant ideas and plans in your mind are more than interruptions that hinder your pace of progress and achievement. That is simply an out of place clutter hindering your thinking process which ought to be creative, productive and constructive. You will yourself see that it is always in your own interest if you learn to de-clutter your mind of all irrelevant thoughts. As a heap of clutter suffocates the living space, mental clutter also doesn't allow you to do things well.

Keep expectations low
Don't expect more than you deserve. In case you are bent upon perfection, you will be disappointed. No employee or officer is perfect each one has a flaw of one kind or the other. Once you learn to accept yourself as you are, you will learn to do things better. But at the same time never expect that you are inferior to anyone else. It simply means that whatever your qualities, they are simply unique. Others may be better in other fields, but you are better in your own way. This realisation will help in doing things well.

Respect all types of work
Learn to do the odds things, too, with love and interest. At first you may like to avoid these. But that is escapism. Don't be an escapist. Be the one who knows how to face the odds, too. And once you learn to do this again and again, you will find that no work is odd or insignificant. Once you learn to perform even the odds tasks with ease, you will easily learn to do all things well, and even with a rare distinction.

— The writer is a psychologist and a career expert

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Scholarship roundup

IIMSc offer
The National Board for Higher Mathematics (NBHM) is offering scholarships for pursuing PhD in mathematics at Institute of Mathematical Sciences (IMSc), Chennai, Harish-Chandra Research Institute (HRI), Allahabad and IISER, Pune.

Eligibility: Applicants must be motivated BA/BSc./BTech. /BE/MA/MSc. degree holders or final year students of these courses. They must have a good academic record (1st Class or equivalent grade in all years from Plus II onwards. B.Sc (Honors) students with second class may also apply.

Duration: The scholarships are normally for a total period of four years, sanctioned for one year at a time and renewable at the end of the year, subject to satisfactory progress.

Details: Successful candidates will be eligible to receive a scholarship amount of Rs 16,000 per month for the first and second year and Rs 18,000 per month for subsequent years, a contingency grant of Rs 20,000 per year and house rent allowance as per central government norms wherever applicable.

Selection procedure: Written test to be held on January 19, 2013.

How to apply: Email or by Post.
Deadline: November 30, 2012
Email: [email protected]
Check out: www.nbhm.dae.gov.in

UGC grant
Eligible candidates can apply for UGC postgraduate scholarships for SC/ST students of engineering and technology, management and pharmacy courses.

Eligibility:

* The candidate must have obtained graduate degree in the relevant subject and obtained admission at postgraduate level for regular full-time course in any of the professional course in a recognised university/institution/college.

* The upper age limit for male applicants is 45 years as on July 1, of the year of application, and 50 years in the case of female candidates. In exceptional cases, the age may be relaxed.

Number: 1,000

Duration: The tenure of award is for two/three years depending upon tenure of the postgraduate course.

Details: Candidates selected for the award of PG scholarships shall be provided Scholarship @Rs 5000 per month (M.Tech.) with the contingency of Rs 15000 per annum and for other courses @ Rs 3000 per month and contingency grant of Rs 10,000 per annum for the duration of the scholarship for other courses.

How to apply: Online
Deadline: December 6, 2012
Opportunity for SAARC students

Check out the Ariyaratnam bursary at King's College London in UK, 2012-13 for students of SAARC countries pursuing undergraduate degree level at the institution. The award is aimed at relieving hardship to give students the opportunity to pursue a rounded educational experience, both within and beyond their studies.

Eligibility: Nationals of a SAARC country.
Duration: Three years.
Details: £3,000
Deadline: November 30, 2012.
Email: [email protected]

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testing times: board vs entrance exams
Balancing the scores
Preparing for the boards and the entrance exams simultaneously definitely needs a lot of planning and focus
Aakash Chaudhary

The question about how to handle the exam conflict is the most important for all Plus II students as they are in a dilemma whether to focus on boards or on entrance exams. This confusion not only leads to stress and lopsided preparation but in many cases also affects the final results. Now with a substantial weightage being given to the board exams, the earlier practice of concentrating solely on competitive exams is not going to be relevant any more.

To score more in board exams, subject knowledge as well as writing skill (presentation) is very important. In mathematics at the time of solving questions students must write which concept or formula has been utilised. Whatever step you are taking must be clear to the examiner.

Writing should be neat and clean. If we observe the question pattern of Board exam three types of question are asked

* Very short type
* Short type
* Long type question.

To solve very short-type questions students must be aware of all formulas and concept of each topic. Students can solve these questions only when they have very clear and sound knowledge of each topic. Short and long-type questions are asked from NCERT exercise worksheets. So students must solve NCERT question thoroughly.

Also to solve long-type questions students must have very good practice so that they are able to solve these within the given time. Detailed study of each topic and practice makes students comfortable in solving miscellaneous questions.

Counter physics phobia

A large number of students generally have a phobia for Physics. Though it seems intimidating, physics is a very fundamental subject and if you are good enough in this subject then definitely it will give you an edge over the others. Concentrate on the following points to overcome phobia about this subject:

* In medical entrance examinations most of the questions are found to be direct formula based, so revise all the important expressions regularly by making a list and solve maximum number of questions based on them. The same is required for JEE main as well. You can solve last 10 years' papers within the proper time limit in the same manner as you will be doing in the entrance examination. It will increase your speed.

* Mechanics and Electrodynamics are the backbone of physics in any of the entrance examination. So give maximum time to these two units.

* Optics, Modern Physics, Heat and thermodynamics are relatively easier topics and questions asked from these topics are more formula or direct theory based with a little bit of concept understanding, so moderate efforts in these topics will give you a better output.

* While attempting the paper, a medical aspirant should attempt physics in the end after chemistry and biology whereas an engineering aspirant should attempt physics after chemistry but before mathematics as maths paper is supposed to be the toughest among the three in JEE.

* During revision mental peace is also equally important so don't panic, if you are not good enough in a particular topic and that topic is also not having a good weightage in the entrance examination then only you can ignore that topic and concentrate on others. Do yoga and workout regularly in the morning as it will increase your efficiency. Avoid junk food and have a proper sleep of 6-7 hours a day.

Diagrams hold the key to bio

When it comes to biology, students must go through the NCERT books thoroughly again and again giving special emphasis to the diagrams in it as many times the question comes related to the diagram. For competition, students must be aware about the weightage given to each portion of the syllabus and should revise accordingly, especially the Class XI portion need to be taken care well.

Chemistry needs repeated revisions

Chemistry is said to be most scoring subject as a good percentage is devoted to Organic and Inorganic portions where no calculations are required and paper can be covered fast providing sufficient time to physical portion. However, expertise on these portions is attained only by solving a large number of standard problems and marking of those, where, difficulties are encountered. These must be done after a week again to see if difficulties are still encountered. Repeat the exercise every week till you know the answer as soon as you see the question.

— The writer is Director, Aakash Educational Services Limited

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trends: executive education in india 
Teaching management to managers
Indrajit Mukherjee

Executive management education is becoming increasingly popular in India. Most prominent types of programmes are the one-year full-time residential, three-year part-time and virtual interactive learning based (popularly called the ‘satellite’) programmes. Executive doctoral programmes in management are also in vogue.

Executive management programmes have been in existence since 1970s, but earlier these used to be long-term certificate programmes. However, the demand for both traditional two-year MBA as well as part-time management programmes for working executives, soared after economic liberalisation in 1999. However, the legitimacy and value of these programmes was limited in the perception of the recruiter as well as the candidates in 1990s and early 2000s. The change in the recruiters’ mindset happened in the mid-2000s. This change was possibly triggered by the large scale launch of one-year full-time executive programmes by most of the top end management schools in India and the efforts made by these schools to place their students.

Full-time programmes
An important trend in recent times in the executive education is segmentation of market. The one-year full time programs broadly cater to two segments. One aims at developing candidates for the middle to top management.

Institutes catering to this segment tend to select candidates with a little longer work experience and have curriculum which is more focussed towards strategic roles. The other type of programmes aim at developing high functional expertise. They are open to taking students with relatively lower experience.

Part-time options
The part-time executive education programme also range from rigorous three-year programme with contents equivalent to two-year full-time programmes; to more domain specific focussed programmes. Students while continuing with their job can learn at a slower pace even as they relate their learning with their daily work. These courses are location specific.

Week-end programmes
Some management schools have part-time program classes only on the weekends. This allows students from nearby cities to travel to the focal city on weekends, but the flip side is scheduling too many classes in a short period of time is not conducive to learning.

Many management schools are offering full-time or part-time programmes on entrepreneurship and family business. The virtual interactive learning (popularly ‘satellite’) programmes offer a huge variety. The technology allows and its cost necessitates education to large virtual classes of geographically dispersed students. However, it is frequently argued that these programmes lack the rigour which is possible in real classrooms.

Selection procedure
The selection for these programmes involves aptitude tests followed by interviews. The programmes selecting more experienced candidates tend to pay less weightage to the aptitude tests and more to the academic background, job experience and soft skills. The programmes which are relatively more domain focused also rely less on general aptitude test and evolve their specific selection criteria.

How relevant?
One of the concerns is the quality and therefore value of these programmes.

In developed economies, doctoral programmes are designed to develop researchers and teachers. However, in the Indian management schools very different dynamics are being seen. Most of the candidates who complete a PhD programme join industry, a minority take to teaching and a handful follow a career entailing high quality research. This implies that the market for doctoral programmes is also heterogeneous with one end overlapping with the market of post graduate programmes. Business schools must wake up to this reality. The executive fellowship (doctoral) programmes, recently being offered by a few schools, cater largely to those wanting to develop their industry career with a doctoral degree.

— The writer is a faculty in strategic management area in XLRI, Jamshedpur

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Tips to excel 
Preparing for entrance exams needs a lot of dedication and planning. Here are some tips that can help students prepare methodically:

Difference in pattern
Even though the syllabus for entrance exams like IIT-JEE and AIEEE etc and all boards is the same, the difference is in the pattern in which questions are framed. While the questions in board exams are based more on theory and less on concept, those in entrance exams are meant to test more of the understanding of concepts. So if students work hard on their basics and conceptual approach then they will be able to solve the problems easily and also it will take less time to cover all the theoretical and derivation part. Thus, the basic mantra of preparation is to go through each topic thoroughly and according to the syllabus and have a workable time-management plan.

Have short-term goals
Preparing for the entrance exams and the Boards is a long term goal. The easiest way is to focus more on the short term goals. The syllabus is vast so take baby steps. Plan for a day or a week! Set realistic targets for a week and check your progress at the end of the week.

Be book wise
Do not pile up your desk with all the books in town. Go through the NCERT books thoroughly, and refer to one or two books for each subject for the numerical aspect and to know a little more about a particular topic.

Clear fundamentals
Focus more on clearing your fundamentals. Clear your concepts, only then move to the depths of a particular topic. In case you feel that you don't understand a certain concept, do not hesitate to ask your friends or mentors.

Effective timelines
Make a time table and adhere to it. Keep a check on your progress by taking sectional tests. Sectional tests help you fine tune your groundwork, help you manage time better and, also, bring your weak spot into the limelight.

Revise, revise
Make sure that you overcome your weaknesses, before moving ahead. Keep revising whatever you do. Remember, it is a marathon, and not a 100-meter dash.

Read more
Read blogs/articles/papers/ books by famous doctors. If nothing else, it will tell you a little about what these people have done, what drives them and why they like what they do.

Relax
Do not put yourself under immense pressure. Take time out for yourself. Do something you love, develop a hobby and have fun while preparing. If done with proper strategy and planning, you will definitely come out with flying colours in both board and entrance exams.

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Hall of fame

IIT, Ropar students win Infosys challenge
IIT Ropar has bagged the top spot at the first edition of Infosys Hashers challenge, a unique programming contest to foster innovation and create a platform for collaboration with the future talent pool of the industry.

As many as 540 students from the IITs, IIITs and BITS Pilani took part in the challenge at the Infosys campus in Bangalore. Teams were put through two rigorous rounds to judge their programming skills and were judged on various parameters including accuracy, performance and flexibility of the solution. Abhishek Kumar Arora and Abhisaar Sharma, from the Indian Institute of Technology – Ropar, were declared the winners with a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh.

INSPIRE fellowship for GADVASU scholars
Two Ph.D. scholars Dr. Aman Dev Moudgil (Department of Veterinary Parasitology) and Dr. Amandeep Singh (Department of Veterinary Anatomy) of College of Veterinary Science, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Ludhiana have been selected for the INSPIRE (Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research) fellowship. This fellowship is a venture of the Department of Science and Technology.

The scholarship has been provided to the scholars for accomplishment of their research targets in their respective fields for Ph.D. programmes.

Best Chemistry Teachers Awards
Four outstanding chemistry teachers were given the Best Chemistry Teachers Awards (BCTA) by Union minister of state for higher education Shashi Tharoor recently. The contest was organised by Tata Chemicals Limited in association with the Association of Chemistry Teachers (ACT) and Confederation of Indian Industries (CII). The winners were selected by a jury comprising renowned Indian scientists, professionals, technologists, and academia from across the country. The winners in the four distinct award categories were:

* Best Chemistry Teacher (Class XI/XII and equivalent) — Dr. Umesh Chandra Jain, Simpkins School (Affiliated to CBSE, New Delhi)

* Best Chemistry Teacher (Bachelor’s Degree and equivalent) — Prof. Anshu Dandia, University of Rajasthan, Jaipur Chemistry Department

* Best Chemistry Teacher (For Master’s Degree and above) — Prof. Chitta Ranjan Sinha, Jadavpur University

* Best Chemistry Teacher for promotion of Chemistry as a subject — Dr. Keshav Annappa Bulbule, KLE Society’s S. Nijalingappa College, Rajajinagar, Bangalore

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Course cruising

Fashion Marketing course
UK based University of Southampton's Winchester School of Art (WSA) is inviting applications for its new undergraduate course BA (Hons) in Fashion Marketing. The Winchester School of Art was founded more than 140 years ago and today is a major international centre of excellence in art and design offering a unique range of disciplines across Art, Design, Media and Fashion. The Fashion Marketing programme at WSA is distinctively positioned to provide a detailed and critically informed understanding of the inter-relationships that exist between design, communication, promotion, retail and commerce.

The course: This three year, full-time programme of study will provide students with a comprehensive understanding and critical appreciation of fashion marketing with an additional knowledge of promotion and communication strategies.

The programme provides professional preparation for students wishing to pursue a wide range of employment opportunities in fashion marketing, from small, growing fashion enterprises to complex, international fashion brands. It balances theoretical knowledge with practical skills, while offering a thorough understanding of fashion marketing theory and a critical appreciation of visual communications. The programme commences in September 2013

Eligibility: Applicants who are applying to this course must comply with Winchester School of Art's English language entry requirements of an IELTS overall score of 6.0 (with a minimum score of 5.5 in each component) or equivalent.

Fee: £12,420.
How to apply: Candidates who wish to enroll for the course can apply through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).
Deadline: January 15, 2013.
Check out: www.ucas.com and http://www.southampton.ac.uk/wsa.

Clinical Genetics

Applications are invited by Manipal University for Fellowship in Clinical Genetics at Kasturba Medical College, Manipal.

Eligibility: Pass in Post Graduate Degree (MD /MS/ DNB) in Paediatrics/Medicine/Obstetrics & Gynaecology.

Admission will be based on the marks obtained in the qualifying examination, candidates will be shortlisted to attend written test/ personal interview

How to apply: Interested candidates may send their applications along with detailed curriculum vitae to: The Dean, Kasturba Medical College Manipal, Udupi, Karnataka - 576 104.

Deadline: November 30, 2012
Email: [email protected]

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Smooth taxiing for great takeoff
Naveen Narayanan

Success in on-boarding programmes comes when each individual feels a connect with the organisation. Remember the feeling when you joined a firm and your first day or week? Did the experience leave a lasting impression? These first experiences pay off in referrals, retention, improved performance and above all in producing passionate employees who create value for customers and for the organisation. It’s surprising that while everyone agrees that the on boarding process is critical for all organisations, it is generally forgetton that it is equally critical, or more so, for a new hire. A new joinee in her first few weeks goes through several emotions and anxious moments. The experience touches not just the employee but his entire family. Sometimes it involves relocation, a need to establish credibility, pressure of performance, apprehension around acceptance by peers, adapting to the new corporate culture and much more.

All this combined can create a truly overwhelming situation for a new joinee. Therefore HR professionals need to put an extra effort and thought in creating empathetic and impactful Induction Programmes.

Over the past few years the on boarding process has transformed into a more “strategic” business function. According to Aberdeen Group “the relationship between the new employee and the manager is the determining factor in whether the new employee will stay on with an organisation”. Strategic on boarding serves as a bridge between the staffing process and enabling a new employee to become fully productive. This programme helps individuals to create relationships and networks that will ultimately enable the new employee to be productive and manoeuvre through an organisation.

Does better employee on boarding enhance employee retention and engagement?

On boarding goes beyond the basics of a two-day session briefing about company history and policies and includes integrating information, relationship building and training that lasts for the duration of an employee’s first full business cycle.

An employee onboarding programme that supports the employee through this critical phase can cement a new hire’s sense of belonging and commitment to the job, team and company. According to a study, companies that invested maximum time and resources in onboarding enjoyed the highest levels of employee engagement.

A good onboarding programme makes the employee familiar with the job faster and more importantly help identify the resources/job aids they can use to be more efficient at their jobs.

Enabling employees to build social relationships at work helps as we all know that a good friend at work tends to make one stay much longer, learn the culture and rituals and get feedback to improve on all of these.

An organisation need not do big things to make a difference; sometimes small ideas can make an equally big difference. Small yet thoughtful practices like ensuring that the existing employees welcome the new hires just by saying a “hi” and extend a helping hand by using different colour of I-card lanyards for them, and assigning a “buddy” to each new hire to guide them through the first month at the new office, can go a long way in cementing the bond of a new employee with his organisation.

— The writer is Global Head, Talent Acquisition, HCL Technologies

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Strategies that make good on boarding and integration 

1Do not underestimate the importance: There is a direct correlation between a new employee who feels valued, welcomed and engaged and the length of his/her stay with the company. On the other hand, employees who believe they have been “abandoned” after being hired will have negative emotions about the company right from the beginning.

2Extend the onboarding process: Providing support to new hires is important to ensure that they transition into their new roles well, and feel valued and productive.

3Promote organisational values: Help new employees understand what it means to be a part of the organisation. Alignment of personal and business values can influence the decision of a new employee to stay with an organisation. Also, an employee will be more effective in his/her role and more easily accepted by others if he/she understands and demonstrates the company’s values.

4Assist employees to build internal networks: New employees will have a difficult time building relationships without the company’s assistance. Plus, they may not know intuitively with whom they should be building relationships with. In the absence of help from the organisation, employees can be influenced wrongly – thus finding themselves making mistakes that can hurt their performance, as well as acceptance by their peers.

5Address global aspects of on boarding: Most mid to large-sized companies today have a percentage of employees who are located outside India. A global on boarding programme must address the unique cultural differences among regions. Technology is a great way to mitigate some of the challenges that come with assimilating employees who are far away from the corporate headquarters.

6Link it to learning: Help employees find the resources they will need to be effective in their new roles. Often, this can include access to a new employee portal. Also, mentoring will help integrate learning into the onboarding process. Mentors are commonly assigned to new employees to help them become acclimated into the culture and show them “how things get done.”

7Make orientation interactive and engaging: In creating an inspiring experience for new hires, this can reassure employees that they made the right decision in joining the company. Blending different learning mechanisms together is one way that has proven effective. “One-size-fits-all” approach doesn’t work.

8Have realistic expectations: Unfortunately, many organisations assume that a robust and long recruiting process eliminates the need for onboarding. They expect the new person to hit the ground running on his/ her first day. 

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Happiness @ work
Gems of ancient wisdom

Silence isn’t a sign of weakness

Bosses and colleagues often take willing workers for granted. Good workers’ silence and efficiency are excuses for piling work on them. The mighty King Vishwamitra of Chedi, who had 100 brave sons and a huge, well-equipped army, wanted the Kamadhenu, the wish-fulfilling cow that sage Vashisht had, for himself. When the sage refused, Vishwamitra sent his sons and army to round up the cow — only to lose them all.

So Vishwamitra got the entire armoury in the universe from Lord Shiva and attacked the self-minding Vashisht, but to no avail. It took Vishwamitra years of penance to become Vashisht’s equal.

When Sardar Vikram Singh came to meet Swami Dayananda in Jalandhar, he desired to see a superhuman feat of physical strength by the reformer. As Dayananda kept quiet, Vikram decided to leave on his chariot. Suddenly, Dayananda gripped the wheel with one hand and didn’t allow the vehicle to move forward — countering the power of the two horses — and won the applause of everyone present there.

When patriot Rash Behari Bose was rejected by the British army twice because they wanted to spread the notion that Bengalis couldn’t fight, he kept quiet. Later, he formed the 40,000-strong Indian National Army that entered Kohima in Indian territory on March 18, 1944. When the oil merchants in Shirdi refused to donate oil for Shirdi Sai Baba’s lamps, he didn’t argue and simply returned to his abode — a mosque renowned as Dwarkamai — poured water in the lamps and lit those. Seeing that, the merchants fell at his feet.

On seeing Albert staring into emptiness while other children of his age were laughing, playing and teasing one another, the family friends took the boy to be mentally retarded. In 1922, Albert Einstein won the Nobel Prize in physics. On finding a 16-year-old boy meditating in the underground cellar of the Arunachala Shiva temple in Tiruvannamalai, the priests began asking him questions. As the boy kept quiet, they took him to be illiterate. The boy grew up into Ramana Maharshi. People still flock to his abode in Tiruvannamalai — Sri Ramanashramam.

When Dronacharya went to ask his schoolmate King Drupad of Panchal for help, he was humiliated. Speechless, he strode out of the palace and headed for Hastinapur. There, he trained the Pandava and Kaurava princes in warfare so that they could defeat Drupad.

Lord Rama and his army were at the shore and the sea lay between them and Lanka. As long as Rama respectfully worshipped the sea-god, nothing happened. But when Rama picked up his bow and threatened to dry up the ocean, the sea-god agreed to cooperate in building a bridge to Ravana’s kingdom.

Don’t forget that a lull precedes every storm.

— Sai R. Vaidyanathan

The writer can be contacted at [email protected]

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Fortnightly quiz 426

Biodiversity hot spot
Biodiversity hot spot

1. Who has been crowned the new head of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) for the next 10 years, ending the reign of President Hu Jintao?

2. Name Myanmar’s iconic crusader for democracy who visited India recently.

3. Who recently became the first US President to visit Myanmar?

4. Which day has been named as ‘Malala Day’ by the United Nations in honour of Pakistani teenage rights activist Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in the head by the Taliban?

5. Which supercomputer was recently named as the world’s fastest in a latest ranking?

6. In which four Indian states are the Western Ghats, one of the hotspots of biodiversity in the world and having the Unesco heritage status, located?

7. Which word has been chosen as the word of the year by the Oxford English Dictionary?

8. Which country tops the global infant pneumonia mortality rate?

9. In which state is the annual Lavi Fair held?

10. What is Cheteshwar Pujara’s highest Test score in an innings?

— Tarun Sharma

Winners of quiz 425: The first prize by draw of lots goes to Rahul Soni, Class VII – B, Army Public School, Beas, Dhilwan, district Kapurthala, Punjab, Pin Code -144804

Second: Sargun Kohli, Class - 5 C, MGN Public School, Urban Estate Phase-II, Jalandhar City, Pin code -144022

Third: Pranav Sharma, Class 8th B, DAV Public School, New Shimla, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, Pin Code - 171009

Answers to quiz 425: Sandy; Jawaharlal Nehru; Hardeep Singh Puri; Barack Obama; Kangra; Hikkim village; Mukesh Ambani; Jiwanjot Singh; Himachal Pradesh; Sebastian Vettel

Cash awards of Rs 400, 300 and 200 are given to the first, second and third prize winners, respectively. These are sent at the school address.

Note: Kindly mention the pincode of your place on the letter/postcard to facilitate the delivery of the prize money.

Answers can also be sent at [email protected]

Name……………….…………..........................................................

Class ....………….......….…….......................

School address.........................................................................................

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