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Monday, Jan 16, 2006

Education Plus Visakhapatnam
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Fine prospects await artists

I am a Plus Two (arts) student and would like to pursue a career in fine arts. Please advise.

To apply for the five-year integrated bachelor of fine arts (BFA) programme, you have to clear the Intermediate Grade Drawing Exam. This course offers excellent employment prospects.

With media spending increasing by the day of late, ad agencies are always on the lookout for creative people. Some of the reputed schools offering BFA are J.J School of Arts, Mumbai; Faculty of Fine Arts, M.S. University, Baroda; College of Art, New Delhi; J.J. Institute of Applied Arts, Mumbai; Government College of Arts and Crafts, Chennai; College of Art, Chandigarh; College of Art, Lucknow; and Faculty of Fine Arts, Benaras Hindu University, Varanasi.

After acquiring a BFA degree, you could pursue advanced diploma programmes in visual communications or textile design at the National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad.

Marine engineering

After my Plus Two (science) I would like to study marine engineering. Please give me the list of colleges that offer the course along with details about the eligibility criteria?

The following colleges/institutes offer degree programmes in marine engineering: Marine Engineering and Research Institute, Kolkata ( ; Tolani Maritime Institute (TMI), Pune ( ; R.L. Institute of Nautical Sciences, Madurai (www.; PVPP College of Engineering, Mumbai (www.netcamp; M.H. Saboo Siddik Polytechnic, Mumbai; and the Maharashtra Academy of Naval Education and Training, Pune ( .

Successful completion of class XII with physics, chemistry and maths is the minimum eligibility requirement. Colour blindness is not acceptable but vision correction up to plus/minus 2.5 is considered. However, physical fitness is given utmost importance.

Wildlife courses

I am a journalist interested in doing a course either in environment or wildlife studies. However, I do not have any degree in science. Are there any institutes that offer these courses for non-science graduates?

Although it helps to have a master's in environmental science and related areas for better job opportunities, a number of short and long-term courses are available for those like you who have a genuine interest in protecting and conserving the environment.

IGNOU offers a certificate course in environmental studies, which you may find interesting. Admission is open round the year and covers topics such as human environment, ecology environment and tourism and a project in environmental studies.

The Indian Institute of Ecology and Environment, A-15, Paryavaran Complex, Saket, Maidan Garhi Marg, New Delhi- 110030, offers PG diploma and a master's degree in environment and ecology through correspondence. Graduates from any discipline are eligible. The degree is awarded by Sikkim- Manipal University.

In the non-formal sector, you could look at the following:

Centre for Environmental Education, Nehru Foundation for Development, Ahmedabad, (E-mail: An autonomous NGO, CEE offers a variety of courses and modules on environmental education i.e., Training Programme in Environment Education (TEE), Teach and Learn Environmental Modules (TALEEM), etc.

In Chennai, the CRP Centre for Environment Education offers similar modules.

The World Wildlife Fund (India) is also involved in several non-formal projects i.e. Education Outreach Programme and the India-Canada Environment Facility Scheme, currently implemented in seven Indian states. It offers a Diploma in Environmental Law at WWF Centre for Environmental Law. It is a five-month part-time course (3.30-5.30 pm).

The Salim Ali School of Ecology and Environment, Pondicherry University, Pondicherry-605014, offers MS as well as PhD in Ecology for which the only criterion is a genuine interest in ecology. Yet another institution of repute is the Wildlife Institute, P.O. Box 18, Chandrabani, Dehradun -248001 E-mail:

TERI School of Advanced Studies, Darbari Seth Block, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi -11003 ( , a deemed university, plans to offer PG-level courses in Natural Resource Management and related areas.

Placement has its place

I would like to ask and answer a simple question: What is the role of the placement office of a college? What is the difference between a good and a poor placement office?

Premier business schools in the country including IIMs and private institutions like Symbiosis (Pune) have learnt the secret. That placement is very important and the students (the first year students) are best suited to be placement coordinators. These students are supervised by a `responsive' placement professor and staff. They do this task diligently despite the fact that every corporate wants to visit them and their brand is very strong.

Now lets talk about the second and third rung institutes. Many are not brands. Yet, most of the placement professors believe that their job is to teach the students to the best of their abilities and leave the rest to the vagaries of the employment market.

For example, every professor knows that soft skills are as important as subjects like Java programming or marketing. But when it comes to a conflict in scheduling classes -- between soft skills and Java programming -- the soft skills always lose out.

This is what I mean by proper emphasis on placement activities. A good placement team understands the following:

a.Jobs are the end result of higher education especially professional education.

b.Good jobs are scarce. Campuses must chase good jobs and it cannot be the other way around.

c. Students pass out every year. The college continues forever. Hence if you insult one employer in a particular year. You are insulting the future batches.

d.Lots of homework, infrastructure and commitment is required to run the placement office. For example, placement office must have cell nos./tel nos. of every schedule, so that students can be scheduled for interviews at very short notice.

e. Students need to be `talked to' before the placement season. Students and the placement office need to agree to a code of conduct and etiquette. Students walk in to find interviews for marketing jobs in casual dress - despite being advised against it.

f. Students must not copy or cheat. It cuts a very poor picture of the college.

We will continue this dialogue on placement office effectiveness in future issues.

T. Muralidharan

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