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Posted at: Jan 3, 2018, 12:01 AM; last updated: Jan 3, 2018, 12:01 AM (IST)CAREER HOTLINE

Ads for a relevant cause

Ads for a relevant cause

Pervin Malhotra
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Q.What is social advertising? Does it require any special skills? I’m doing BA Sociology currently. — Hansa Rai

A.As compared to regular commercial advertising which is aimed at promoting a product or service, social advertising essentially portrays issues of social relevance. It seeks to acquaint or educate people on an issue. Advertising agencies have rediscovered their passion for social advertising, which also provides them a platform to showcase their creativity. Many of the leading agencies have a special social advertising wing.

The best of advertising talent take up the challenge to make films on social messages, for example, creating awareness about AIDS, family planning, child abuse, drug abuse, adult literacy, environmental conservation, etc. without compromising on the aesthetic aspects. Some of these ads are so ingenious and creative that they corner a fair share of awards on the global stage.

The quantum of such ads, films and videos has also increased as corporates increasingly support causes or initiatives to enhance their people-friendly image and corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives.

Social advertising allows you a relatively freer hand as the work is largely pro bono; while effective messages can swiftly go viral on social media (WhatsAap, YouTube, Facebook and Instagram), TV and radio channels also run these public service ads free, although newspapers carry them at a discounted price. Needless to say, to create effective social advertising (or any other advertising for that matter) calls for excellent communication skills. But over and above that, what is required is the ability to conceptualise a theme and present it in a simple yet powerful way. It should also appeal and resonate with the target audience. The deceptively simple message may involve a great deal of research and testing.

Hard work? Most certainly it requires. But knowing that you’ve made a difference, howsoever small, can be immensely satisfying!

So if you’re creative, have a way with words and have your heart in the right place, you’ll find working in this space very satisfying.

Know the basics of research to pursue it

Q.Can you help me choose between engineering research and scientific research, as I am eligible to pursue a PhD in both fields? — Tarun Mahajan

A.While a scientist asks "why" and proceeds to research the answers, an engineer explores “how” to solve a problem and implement that solution. In other words, scientists investigate phenomena, while engineers find solutions or improve upon existing solutions. 

However, there’s often an overlap between science and engineering. Often scientists don an engineer’s cap to work on the practical application of their discoveries;

Conversely, while developing technology, engineers may find themselves exploring new phenomena, thus assuming the mantle of a scientist. For example: using numerical approximations to the Navier-Stokes equations to solve aerodynamic flow over an aircraft, or applying Miner's Rule to calculate the fatigue damage to an engineering structure.

While engineering research might overlap with science, it’s always pursued with one or more applications in mind. The Joint Entrance Screening Test (JEST) is conducted for admission to Ph. D. programmes in Physics, Theoretical Computer Science and Neuroscience at 30 leading Research Institutes in India


Eligibility:Integrated PhD: B.Sc. in physics/maths;Regular PhD: M.Sc. in physics/applied-physics; B.Tech./B.E./M.E./M.Tech./ four year B.S./M.C.A. can  also opt for integrated and regular Ph.D programmes in some institutes.

You’ve not mentioned what exactly you’re doing presently but nonetheless, students in the final year of these courses are also eligible to appear for JEST which is usually held in February.

Many job avenues for vets

Q.I am a Class XII student (PCB). If I take up BVSc, what will be my job prospects in this field? — Chander Nigam

A.Every good veterinarian is an animal lover. That goes without saying. After all, your patients are going to be furry, feathery, scaly, and everything in between. They’ll come in all shapes and sizes, but that’s as far as their differences go. They can’t tell you where it hurts or what they’re feeling, but the eventual relief will rest in your hands.

As a veterinarian, your work will involve handling, examining and treating all species of animals, but primarily pets and farm livestock. Incidentally, India has the largest cattle population (with some 20 recognised breeds) in the world!

As a qualified vet, you can choose either of two options: setting up a private practice or seeking employment in any of the central or state government animal husbandry departments or commercial organisations. Depending on your qualification, you could be working in a veterinary hospital, dairy and poultry farm, piggery, camel/stud farm, sheep and goat farm, abattoir, zoo, research unit, Army Remount Veterinary Corps, bank, insurance, pharmaceutical industry and NGOs. You can also give the Civil Services Exam a shot.

It helps to go in for a specialisation at the postgraduate level because in the coming years, there will be a little scope for general practitioners. Most vets specialise in public health and research in animal diseases. Besides zoos, national parks and wildlife sanctuaries, commercial dairies also have openings in R&D for developing new and improved products.

Some NGOs operating in the field of animal protection like the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) have positions for vets in their projects and field work.

Besides teaching and research, you may even consider setting up a commercial shelter for animals.

There is a growing demand for veterinarians in general practice. In bigger towns and cities, vets usually set up private practice mainly dealing with household pets.

In the development and extension domain, vets also educate and encourage livestock farmers to improve the quality of their animal stock and advice them on animal farm management and animal health problems.


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