EDUCATION PLUS

Driving away the fear

J.S. Bablu G. Krishnakumar T. Nandakumar

GOOD TURNOUT: The Hindu-Educationplus pre-counselling guidance programme for professional courses evoked a good response in Kozhikode. - Photo: S. Ramesh Kurup

GOOD TURNOUT: The Hindu-Educationplus pre-counselling guidance programme for professional courses evoked a good response in Kozhikode. - Photo: S. Ramesh Kurup  

FOR THE second year in succession, The Hindu-Educationplus conducted pre-counselling guidance programmes in three cities in the State - Kozhikode, Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram on June 2, 4 and 5 respectively.

The programmes were meant to benefit those who were all set to take part in the Centralised Allotment Process (CAP) by which seats are officially apportioned to them in various professional colleges in the State. Hundreds of students turned up at the three centres, some from the neighbouring districts, to attend the sessions at the three centres.

The turnout this year far exceeded that of the previous year. Top officials from the Commissionerate of Entrance Examinations, specialists and teachers in fields such as engineering, medicine and agriculture participated in the programmes in the three cities and spoke at length about the different subjects, various aspects of study and the job prospects associated with these.

They also responded to an array of questions posed by the students. Here are some of the points that were made at the three centres in the course of the programmes:

THE CAP

CAP dates (as per the original schedule - could be subject to changes): Medical - July 1; Engineering - July 11; Architecture - July 27 and Pharmacy - July 28.

There will be notification of CAP in all dailies. No separate intimation will be provided to the candidates about the CAP schedule.

The CAP for architecture is being scheduled for the first time from this year onwards. Separate rank list for architecture will be ready by June 20.

Report 30 minutes before the allotment process.

Ensure that you have the admit card, data sheet, SSLC\equivalent certificate to prove date of birth, Plus Two mark sheet and its photocopy and pass certificate (if issued).

Annexure XXI with a photocopy is required if you are being represented by a proxy. In which case, you will be given seven days to present the original certificates.

If you have lost your admit card, you can get a duplicate at the CAP centre by paying Rs.100.

If an allotment is taken, fee has to be remitted immediately at the allotment venue itself. Fees will be accepted only in the form of a bank draft or in cash. Fee will be retained and adjustments or refunds if any, will be given only after the CAP is over.

A personalised preference form will be distributed to the candidates. Each student can indicate up to 20 preferences in the bar-coded form. The Commissionerate had decided to do away with equivalency certificates for board examinations in India.

Display boards showing seat allotment will be installed inside and outside the counselling centre.

Deemed universities do not come under the purview of the Commissioner of Entrance Examinations. Such institutions have their own admission process.

ENGINEERING

Accreditation of a college may not be important. Accreditation is usually given for courses.

Companies look out for the students' capacity to adapt themselves to situations and their communication skills while recruiting from campuses. For IT companies, the branch of a student is immaterial.

Do not choose courses that have fancy names. Always look closely at the institution. Its true assets are the quality of its students, faculty and infrastructure, not its buildings.

Opportunities for branches like mechanical engineering will never decrease.

Contrary to popular notion, civil engineering graduates too have good job prospects, especially in the Government sector.

Those opting for architecture should make sure that the course is a recognised one. Self-employment is an option for architecture graduates. If one is good at drawing, he/she can take it.

New generation courses such as biotechnology and biomedical engineering have opened up exciting prospects for research-oriented students.

Engineering students have prospects of long-term career advancement in the R&D sector and the pharmaceutical industry.

Generalised courses such as mechanical and civil engineering offer more flexibility in the choice of careers than specialised and new generation courses such as automobile or biomedical engineering.

College of Engineering, Thiruvananthapuram, M.E.S. College of Engineering and LBS College of Engineering, Kasaragod are link institutes of Technical Education Quality Improvement Programme (TEQIP), which has National Institute of Technology, Calicut (NIT-C) as the lead institute. Please bear this in mind while you select the college. There should not be any hesitation for girls to take up mechanical or production engineering.

All engineering courses demand a certain level of drawing skill. But some courses like architecture require a great deal more of such skill compared to other branches.

A lot of investment is coming into the IT sector. The number of opportunities is also growing.

Having a good academic track record is very important for improving your career and campus selection prospects. It is not just enough to merely join an engineering course. You have to do well in your studies and work hard all along.

MEDICINE

Medicine is the best option for the service-minded. An aspiring medical student should understand that he is opting for a course, which involves a lot of hard work, perseverance, commitment and a genuine interest for the profession. While it is possible to earn a respectable salary with just an MBBS, emerging specialities offer immense scope for postgraduate studies.

Set a target for yourself. Do five hours of intensive study every day. No shortcut, no capsule for success. Try to pass out with good marks. No point in just passing out. Never opt out of the course even if you face hurdles. Consult your parents, well-wishers or seniors who are considerate to you when you face any hurdles.

The new syllabus is a student-friendly one.

The race to keep abreast of the developments in the medical field is one of the major challenges confronting a practising doctor.

The development of new drugs and treatment regimes for lifestyle-induced diseases and the emergence of specialities such as geriatrics make it imperative to update one's knowledge on a regular basis. Maintaining a good doctor-patient relationship is another challenge.

Medical students planning to go abroad should plan ahead.

In the United States, there is a shortage of seven lakh nurses. There is good scope for students opting for the B.Sc. Nursing course. Male nurses are also in much demand.

Ayurveda could be particularly promising if one is interested in taking up research.

AGRICULTURE

It is better to study agricultural courses in colleges in South India. For details of agriculture courses, a search on the Internet will help.

In agriculture, one cannot stop at graduate level, but should do PG level courses. Plenty of opportunities exist in Kerala for agriculture.

The booming global market for plant-based drugs and nutraceuticals and the emerging technologies in crop production offered immense career prospects for students opting for agriculture as a career.

The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) sanctions Rs.400 crores every year for agricultural research.

Convergence of subjects and areas of study is being witnessed in agriculture. For instance, a range of career opportunities may open up for those who study agriculture and later take up IT specialisation.

Forestry has scope. Forest officers are in demand especially at a time when the Government has initiated projects for the protection of biodiversity in the country.

Students successfully completing the dairy development course can get jobs as dairy officers, extension officers, plant managers, rural development officers, lecturers in vocational higher secondary schools, and research associates in dairy plants.

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