Staff Reporter

PUDUKOTTAI: An ‘educational career guidance,’ programme organised by the Village Resource Centre of the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation at Annavasal near here recently, evoked an overwhelming response from rural students.

A little over 175 students who passed or appeared for the public examinations and were yet to make up their mind for a course, got their doubts clarified. They raised a volley of questions before the resource-persons ranging from the prospects of the Information Technology industry in the wake of the current economic slowdown; the relevance of a few undergraduate courses such as B.Com for their future prospects and so on. Most students expressed their desire to appear for the Union Public Service Commission’s competitive tests.

The Head of Department of Bio-technology of the Periyar Maniammai Engineering College, Vallam, one of the resource-persons, advised students aspiring for the UPSC examination to develop the habit of reading newspapers and update their knowledge on current affairs. They should exercise a bit of caution in selecting the optional subject.

The Head of Department of Botany, Government Arts College for Women, N. Komlavalli, another resource-person, spoke on the wide range of courses being offered by various higher educational institutions. She explained the advantage of the ‘single-window concept’ being adopted by these institutions, whereby every student, using a single application, could apply for a number of courses.

The Project Co-ordinator of the Village Resource Centre, R. Rajkumar, said there was a growing awareness among rural students about career progression.

The M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation had established Village Knowledge Centres (VKC) in select villages in the district. An interlinked telecommunication facility between Annaval and four villages Merpanaikaadu, Pullanviduthi, Parambur and Malaikudipatti benefited students of distant villages.

Two more resource-persons P. Senthilkumar and Paul Pazhani, spoke.