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Homoeopathy

Q. I am doing my Plus One in science subjects, including maths. I would like to know about the colleges in South India offering homoeopathy courses. — Padma Vijay, Thiruvalla

A. The Central Council of Homoeopathy (CCH) regulates homoeopathy colleges in India. This statutory apex body prescribes course curriculum, evolves standards of education and maintains central registers of homoeopathy physicians. Bachelor of Homoeopathic Medicine and Surgery (BHMS) is a recognised qualification to become a homoeo doctor. Homoeopathy education is offered at the degree and postgraduate degree levels. The diploma level course (DHMS) has been discontinued since 1998.

There are several opportunities to pursue the professional degree course in homeopathy (BHMS). The duration of this course is four-and-a-half years with 12 months' compulsory

rotating internship. Those who have passed higher secondary examination/Plus Two or equivalent with 50 per cent marks in biology separately, and 50 per cent marks in physics, chemistry and biology put together are eligible for admission. Selection is based on medical entrance examination. Final year Plus Two students can also appear for the entrance examination.

In Kerala, 250 seats are available for BHMS degree course. The following five homoeo medical colleges conduct the course. Each college has 50 seats.

Government Homoeopathic Medical College Iranimuttam, Thiruvananthapuram.

Government Homoeopathic Medical College, Karaparamba, Kozhikode.

ANSS Homoeopathic Medical College, Sachivothamapuram P.O, Kottayam.

Dr. Padiyar Memorial Homoeopathic Medical College, Chottanikkara P.O, Ernakulam.

Sree Vidhyadhiraja Homoeopathic Medical College, Nemom, Thiruvananthapuram.

At present, Government Homeopathic Medical College charge a tuition fees Rs. 2,087 per year for the BHMS course. Selection is based on a medical entrance examination conducted by the State Government.

Admission to BHMS courses is usually through the State-level common medical entrance examinations. Students from outside States can seek admission to the management quota.

Fr. Muller's Homoeopathic Medical College, Mangalore; H.K.E Societies Homoeopathic Medical College & Hospital, Gulbarga; Vinayaka Mission's Homoeopathic Medical College, Salem, are some of the private homoeopathic medical colleges in South India that provide admission for those outside the State in management quota seats for BHMS course.

Sri Sai Ram Medical College at West Tambaram, Chennai (www.saimedical.com) conducts BHMS course. This college is approved by CCH, New Delhi and Government of Tamil Nadu. It is affiliated to the Tamil Nadu Dr. M.G.R Medical University; fifty per cent seats are allotted by the Government of Tamil Nadu and the remaining is the management quota. For management quota seats also, the students should appear for the Common Entrance Test conducted by the Anna University or other specified tests.

National Institute of Homoeopathy at Salt Lake, Kolkata, offers a BHMS course affiliated to Calcutta University. Fifty seats available. Admission is based on an all-India entrance test. Duration of the course is five-and-a-half years. Those who have passed Plus Two examination with physics, chemistry, biology, and English with minimum 50 per cent marks (45 per cent for Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe) or appearing for higher secondary examination are eligible to take this entrance test.

Kolkata and Delhi will be the test centres. Entrance notification can be expected in July every year. Website is www.nih.nic.in

Postgraduate (MD) course of three years' duration is available for those who have BHMS degree. For postgraduate course in homoeopathy, the areas of specialisation include Materia Medica, Organon of Medicine, Repertory and Homoeopathy Philosophy.

National Institute of Homoeopathy, Kolkata also conducts a postgraduate course in homoeopathy (MD-Hom). The institute is affiliated to the West Bengal University of Health Sciences.

Central Council of Homoeopathy (CCH) has permitted the conduct of this course. Selection is on merit basis on the basis of an all-India competitive test. BHMS degree-holders can take the test. MD (Hom) has three specialisations — Medica, Organon of Medicine, Repertory. There are six seats in each specialized subject. This is a full-time residential and stipendiary course of three years duration.

Homoeopathy has emerged as an alternative system of medicine today. There are job opportunities for qualified homoeopathic doctors in Government homoeopathic dispensaries and hospitals. Those who obtain higher qualification can enter teaching and research fields. Private practice is also possible.

Genetics

Q. I am a Plus Two Science student. I would like to opt for higher studies in genetics. Could you provide me with information on the courses available for genetics and the career prospects? — Liza Kurian Modayil, Kottayam;

I am studying in the ninth standard. I would like to become a genetic engineer. I would like to know about the courses available. — Kurian, Kottayam

A. Those who wish to pursue higher studies in genetics should have an aptitude for scientific research, a probing mind, dedication, and team spirit.

Aspirants for careers in genetics or genetic engineering should have studied physics, chemistry, mathematics, and biology at the Plus Two level.

Genetics deals with the study of genes and heredity. Genetics comes under biological sciences and it is related to biotechnology and microbiology.

Genetic engineering is the scientific process by which the genetic make-up of an organism is manipulated by introducing or eliminating specific genes. In agriculture, genetics provides the know-how for developing new kinds of crops and livestock.

The biotechnology industry depends on genetics to produce pharmaceutical products such as insulin and other medicines. In the medical field, genetics focuses on genetic diseases. It strives to understand the molecular basis of diseases and cure. Genetic tests help in identifying culprits in criminal case.

Biotechnology has a major role in industrial production, especially in bio chemical engineering. It involves the integration of many branches of biology such as microbiology, biochemistry, genetics and molecular biology with chemical and systems engineering. This field is a high growth area that has thrown up several job opportunities.

There are two options for higher studies in genetics and related subjects. After Plus Two, you can go for B.Tech. in biotechnology or biotechnology and biochemical engineering through an entrance test.

Another option is to undergo a three-year B.Sc. degree course in biological science/life science/biotechnology subjects, and then go for postgraduation in genetics.

Some of the B.Tech.-level courses in genetics/biotechnology/biotechnology and biochemical engineering are the following:

Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur (www.iitkgp.ernet.in/jee) : Four-year B.Tech. and five-year M.Tech. courses in biotechnology and bio- chemical engineering.

IIT - Madras Chennai (http://fee.iitm.ac.in): B.Tech. biotechnology; M.Tech. - five years' dual degree in biotechnology.

IIT - Guwahati ( http://iitg.ernet.in/jee ) B.Tech. biotechnology.

IIT Delhi (www.iitd.ernet.in/jee ) M.Tech.- five year's dual degree in bio chemical engineering and biotechnology.

Admission to all the above courses is through a national level IIT - Joint Entrance Examination. Eligibility is Plus Two pass with physics, chemistry, mathematics, or relevant subjects prescribed by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE).

In Kerala, few private engineering colleges offer B.Tech biotechnology. Admission to the merit seats is based on ranks obtained in the engineering/entrance test conducted by the State Government. Details can be obtained from the website www.cee-kerala.org

Few universities offer two-year postgraduate courses in genetics. Graduates in biological sciences/life sciences / biotechnology and related courses could take up the postgraduates programme in genetics. Some of the universities conducting M.Sc. genetics are the following:

University of Delhi, South Campus, New Delhi - 21

Osmania University, Hyderabad - 500 007

Barkathulla Vishwa Vidyalaya, Bhopal - 462 026

Punjab Agriculture University, Ludhiana - 141 004

Chowdhary Charan Singh Haryana Agriculture University, Hissar - 125 004

Rajandra Agriculture University, Samastipur - 848 125

Some of the universities that offer related courses are given below:

University of Kerala (Department of Botany), university campus, Kariavattom, Thiruvananthapuram - 695 581 — M.Sc. genetics and plant breeding.

School of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Madras, Chennai - 600 005 — M.Sc. biomedical genetics.

Vellore Institute of Technology (Deemed University) Vellore - 632 014 — M.Sc. biomedical genetics

Andhra University, Visakhapatanam - 530 003 — M.Sc. human genetics.

Gurunanak Dev University, Amrithsar - 143 005 — M.Sc. human genetics.

Sri Ramachandra Medical College and Research Institute (deemed university) Porur, Chennai - 600 116 — M.Sc. human genetics.

Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi - 221 005 — M.Sc. Molecular and Human Genetics

Madurai Kamraj University, Palkalai Nagar, Madurai - 625 021 — M.Sc. plant genetic engineering, M.Sc. microbial gene technology.

To become a scientist or a genetic engineer, one should obtain a doctoral degree in the relevant field. Job opportunities exist in research and development organisations, pharmaceutical companies, biotech industries, academic institutions, colleges, and so on.

National Institute of Immunology, New Delhi; Centre for DNA Finger Print and Diagnostics, Hyderabad; Biochemical Engineering Research and Process Development Centre, Chandigarh; and Institute of Genomic and Integrative Biology, Delhi are some of the institutions that appoint genetic engineers and biotech scientists.

GOPAKUMAR KARAKONAM

Author and career consultant based in Thiruvananthapuram.

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