With more than 900 participants, the 10 edition of The Hindu EducationPlus Career Counselling 2013 got off to a stupendous start here on Sunday. Such was the enthusiasm for this annual career fair that students and their parents started arriving at the Chowdiah Memorial Hall as early as 8 a.m. for an event that was scheduled to start at 9.30 a.m.

Chief Guest and Managing Director of Microsoft Research India P. Anandan was swamped with questions on topics ranging from his pet subject computer science to aerospace engineering. The audience seemed hugely disappointed that he had to leave early leaving many of their queries unanswered. When they were told that they could direct questions at the scientist through epkarnataka@gmail.com, the e-mail address of The Hindu EducationPlus, the crowd seemed barely consoled.

A measure of the students’ enthusiasm could be had from the fact that each had a notepad and was furiously jotting down the words of wisdom that the experts shared with them.

Even as the organisers struggled to stick to the schedule, the audience refused to let go of speakers such as Ameen-e-Mudassar, Director of CIGMA-Bangalore.

Mr. Mudassar, whose talk went beyond the world of technical education and medicine, had the audience listening with rapt attention. His talk was well embellished with little anecdotes and jokes that at one point had the audience clapping furiously and guffawing.

But the laughs were cast aside as R.P. Agarwal, DGM of SBI, stood up to speak on education loans. If the other sessions had students glued to their seats, this session had parents listening intently.

Despite the lengthy presentation by Administrative Officer of the Karnataka Examinations Authority S.P. Kulkarni, one couldn’t get him off stage without the crowd protesting loudly. “One last question…please, one more,” members of the audience shouted.

Reshma Lobo, Chairperson, Board of Studies, Allied Health Sciences, RGUHS, appeared to have a profound impact on the students as well as their parents and forced them to look beyond MBBS courses when she spoke about the opportunities in the allied medical services sector.

H. Shivanna, Dean of Agriculture at the University of Agricultural Sciences, made the audience sit up and take notice of a sector which is only set to grow in the coming days.

The programme that was scheduled to conclude at 12.30 p.m. wound up at close to 2 p.m. And when it was time to say goodbye the participants were in no mood to leave. They mobbed the speakers after the function for more and more answers.

Govind Reddy, parent of an engineering aspirant: The seminar was extensive, helpful and informative. It clarified a lot of doubts students and parents had regarding the field and also the procedures required for the CET exam. Mr. Kulkarni’s address provided information about seat allotment, ranks and the newly introduced computerised system. All of my child’s doubts have been cleared and a considerable amount of stress that I am undergoing with respect to her admission process has been reduced.

Shankar B., parent: The panel discussion was explanatory and approached all the concerns voiced by parents and students in a detailed manner. The financial aspect was covered by R.K. Agarwal from the SBI.

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