What does a Civil Servant do?

The Civil Servant works both at the central and the state levels- there are national level services and state level civil services, both doing essentially the same jobs, but each with a wider or a narrower perspective as the case may be.

People who work in the civil services are known as bureaucrats. They help to govern the country, but they are not elected representatives of the people. Instead, they have been employed by the nation because of their talents and their management ability.

The way it works is this. Every ministry of the government is headed by an elected Member of Parliament who has been made a Minister by the Prime Minister of the country. The Minister makes policy decisions, which are planned together with senior civil servants, and then are implemented by civil servants at various levels.

Let’s look at the Ministry of Finance, for example. The Finance minister, who is an elected Member of Parliament, works with senior bureaucrats in the Finance ministry to come up with an annual budget for the country. The bureaucrats provide the Finance Minster with information on the money situation in the country and based on that information, the Finance Minister makes the budget.

The budget includes plans for how much money is to be spent on what sector. So much money will be given to the armed forces, for example so that it can upgrade its defense systems. So much money will be given to the education ministry, so it can hire more teachers and build more schools. But where is all the money going to come from in the first place? Income Tax is one way to raise money for the Nation. The other department from where revenue is raised for the country can be the Customs department etc. So the budget includes ways to increase the income tax collection in the country.

After the budget has been passed or approved by the Parliament, everything mentioned in the budget has to be implemented, including the Income Tax provisions. Who does this? The bureaucrat at all the levels of govt. The Income Tax provisions are passed on from the Ministry of Finance, where the budget was made, to the Indian Revenue Service, which takes care of all taxes and revenues, including sales tax, entertainment tax and so on, to the Income Tax Department. There, the provisions are handed down to the various commissioners in charge of separate functions, and commissioners pass them on to the clerks who will use the provisions to see if your parents have paid the correct amount of Income Tax or not.

Think about it- the budget was made in the Parliament in Delhi but the income tax provisions it set out have been followed by every single person in the country who has enough of an income to pay tax. That’s quite an operation and all of it is carried out by bureaucrats at various levels of seniority.


January 31, 2009 at 6:59 am Leave a comment

What are the different management divisions?

Marketing Management
There are too many products in the market. For example, in the toothpaste market, there is Colgate, Pepsodent, Anchor white and many more. But why does someone buy only Colgate and not Pepsodent. What is the guiding factor for a buyer. Why does he trust one toothpaste more than the other. Who finds out his needs and perceives the product so that the buyer likes the product. Why is the wrapper of Cadburys chocolate purple and golden, why is it not red in colour. Who is responsible for the great advertisements that make the product more attractive, likeable and sellable.
This is where the role of a marketer is. Marketers find the need of the product and if there is no need then they create the need for that product by showing its usefulness of the product.

Production Management
So, you have thought about the product. You have perceived it in your mind. But how will you make it? What is the best way of manufacturing the product? What are the different ingredients required to make the product? How do you ensure the best quality of the product! It is one thing to perceive in the mind and it is a very different task to give physical shape to it. To give this physical shape is the task of a Production Manager.

Materials Management
Your product is ready from the factory. But where and how will you store it before it reaches the shop! How do you make sure that it remains in great shape and does not get spoilt. How do you make sure that it takes minimum time and minimum cost for the entire process. Well! This is the job of a Materials Manager.

Human Resources Management
Who thinks of the product, designs it, makes it, stores it, sells it, manages the money that comes from its sale. It is the PEOPLE of the organisation that do all of this.
The important question is that who takes care of these people. Who takes care of their problems? If these people are not happy with their wok, they will not perform well and the company will suffer.
It is the job of the Human Resource Manager to take care of the people in the organization.

Financial Management
Everybody who works for the company gets a salary for the services that he/she renders to the company. Just as people need money to sustain their lives, likewise the company not only needs the money but also has to manage the money so that it can go beyond and become bigger.
The people who manage the money, invest it the right way so that the company can make the best use of its funds, are the Finance Managers.

January 30, 2009 at 7:56 am Leave a comment

Higher education from diffrent stream

The following query was received from a student:
I am a student of class XII Science, but I think I might like to switch to Economics or Political Science for my higher education.
Can you please tell me about some good career options that one can look at after doing graduation in Political Science or Eco? I am looking at careers, which will encourage me to make good use of what I learn in anyone of these fields.
Jaspreet (Chandigarh)

Reply by our FutureMap counsellor:
Dear Jaspreet,
For a satisfying and fulfilling career, it is important that you develop goals and plans based on your interests, values, education, skills, personality type, and lifestyle preferences.

Once you have a plan, you can manage your career to take advantage of changes in the job market, rather than become a victim of change. A good plan will allow you to fine tune and make adjustments in your career as needed. Think through why you are switching science.

However to study economics in college the first step is to get good percentage at you +2 level so that you are in the good college, remember peer group and environment do matter to certain extent.
A programme in Economics opens career options in government agencies, business firms, non-profit organizations, and academic institutions. Some of the graduates even enter the accountancy profession and some find employment as managers and administrators in areas such as market research, advertising, sales and personnel.
There are opportunities for advanced professional degree holders in management, finance, law and public affairs. Newspapers provide economics graduates with opportunities to write reports on economic and business events. The demand for economics teachers in educational institutions is growing in India and foreign universities. The Institute of Applied Manpower Research, New Delhi; Institute of Economic Growth, New Delhi, National Council of Applied Economic Research, New Delhi and Indian Council of Social Science Research offer ample job opportunities to economists.
Financial institutions like the Reserve Bank of India, private and foreign banks and insurance companies offer good openings to postgraduate degree holders in economics.
The UPSC conducts Indian Economic Service Examination every year. It is open to graduates in Economics in the age group of 21 years to 30 years. Various international organisations like the World Bank and the International Labour Organisation offer ample job opportunities to well-known economists.
Political science program do lead openings with government and private concern including NGO’s. You can also go for higher studies like international politics, MBA, public administration etc. UPSE and other state level examination would also lead you good career opportunities.

January 27, 2009 at 5:53 am Leave a comment

Aeronautical Engineering

The following query was received from a student:

Which are the best colleges in India for Aeronautical Engineering?
Adnan (Mumbai)
Reply by our FutureMap counsellor:

Aeronautical Engineering is offered by the Indian Institute of Technology in Chennai, Mumbai, Kanpur and Kharagpur and also by the Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh
The Madras Institute of Technology offers a three year Graduate Programme in Aeronautical Engineering for B Sc students, subject to their having passed Maths and Physics at the graduation stage. The Indian Institute of Science (IIS), Bangalore has M Tech and Ph D programmes in Aeronautics.
You can also apply for National Institute of Aeronautical Engineering, 1/2, Canal Road, Ballupur, Dehradun 248001,
Some polytechnics also offer diploma courses.

January 27, 2009 at 5:38 am Leave a comment

Teaching: Introducion

What is best about teaching?
A career in teaching is hugely rewarding for all the usual reasons, and for a whole lot of unusual ones too. The usual reasons? One, the respect earned from the students, if you are a teacher who knows their subject to perfection. Two, the admiration of your students, if you not only know your subject thoroughly, but can also help them learn it well. Three, the love of your students, if you can go beyond your defined role of the teacher and can inspire and guide them on more important things in life – courage, integrity, self-confidence, self-esteem, tolerance. Four, the opportunity to work with other highly educated people in an intellectually stimulating environment.
The unusual reasons? One, you are in great company – several Indian heroes from Dronacharya and Chanakya to Dr S. Radhakrishnan were teachers. Secondly, several Nobel Prize winners are teachers! Like all research scientists, they too have teaching as a major part of their responsibilities. Third, a good teacher is always in demand, wherever she moves to. Fourth, a teacher doesn’t need any infrastructure to begin functioning; all she needs is a student. The fifth is that teaching usually has such good working hours that teachers have ample time to pursue their other interests as well, whether it is reading or carpentry or research or an MBA by correspondence. And they can be home along with their kids!

How to become a Teacher?
If you think about it logically, it is simply a matter of having been a student of the same subject yourself. For example, if you have a postgraduate degree in engineering, you are qualified to teach engineering students. If you have been through a particular course in a computer training institute, you are qualified to teach that course. (Of course, this rule doesn’t always apply – just because you have gone through kindergarten, you can’t begin teaching toddlers!)
But in reality, things are not that simple. While the basic requirement is that you have been a student of the subject yourself, there are also exams you have to take and courses you have to do – a course in Montessori education or an ECCE (Early Child Care and Education) to teach pre-school students, a DEd (Diploma in Education) or a BEd (Bachelor in Education) to teach in primary and secondary schools, an MSc or more to teach the higher classes, and a whole set of different degrees if you want to be in special education – before you are considered ‘teacher material’, at least as far as mainstream education is concerned.

Are you teacher material?
To be a good teacher, you should be:
#Eager to learn – Teachers have huge opportunities for learning – from their students, from their peers, and from all the resources (libraries, courses, exchange programmes) that they have access to. It is up to you to grab the opportunities with both the hands and use them to further yourself.
#Open-minded – There is always another way, perhaps even a better way, to do things that you already do, but you will discover it only by being open-minded, and by keeping communication channels with your students wide open. Being obstinate that only your way is the best way will only stunt your personal growth.
#More of a guide and less of a teacher – There are three ways to teach – you tell your student what to do (good), you show your student how something is done (better), you suggest something and let your student discover things for himself or herself (the best way).
#In love with teaching – Are you the person your friends come to when they need a difficult concept explained? Do you enjoy explaining it to them? Do they understand? Then you probably will make a great teacher.

You should not:
#Look at teaching as a job – If you do, you will only be concerned with things like completing the syllabus, never mind if your students haven’t understood even 50% of what you have been teaching.
#Be indifferent about the subject you are teaching – The best teachers are those who themselves are passionate about what they are teaching. That passion will ensure that you try out all kinds of different methods of teaching, anything to make sure your students get passionate about the subject as well.

January 24, 2009 at 4:41 am Leave a comment

Hotel Management

The following query was received from a student:

Which are the good Hotel Management institutes in India and what is the admission procedure? I like cooking and can cook well. What are the career prospects as a Chef?

Rupesh (Mumbai)

Reply by our FutureMap counsellor:

Dear Rupesh,
Wish to be a chef, quite challenging and interesting career. The National Council for Hotel Management and Catering Technology (NCHMCT) centrally regulates academics for Hospitality Management through structured courses of studies that are imparted at the Government-sponsored 24 Institutes of Hotel Management and 8 Food Craft Institutes located in different parts of the country. The eligibility to enter the course in hotel management is Class 12. You need to write an entrance test consisting of English, Reasoning, General Science and General Knowledge. The test is of 2-hour duration and is held around April every year. The test is followed by a group discussion and interview, in which a person’s personality and confidence is seen. You can also join certificate or diploma course after X and also after graduation.
Apart from this you can also try The Taj Group’s Institute of Hotel Management at Aurangabad, Oberoi School of Hotel Management in New Delhi, Welcomgroup Graduate School of Hotel Administration in Manipal
One can find job in hotels / restaurants, air catering, railway catering, army catering, food processing companies, confectioneries, theme restaurants, malls, base kitchens, private hospitals like Apollo or Max, cruise liners, corporate catering, etc, One can also become food write or join teaching. And, of course, one can become an entrepreneur by setting up one’s own business. With Indian food becoming a craze over seas, the demand for Indian chefs is fast on the rise.

January 23, 2009 at 5:14 am Leave a comment

Software Programming and Hardware Engineering

All about Software Programming
Ever thought of all the images that you paint in the paint software? How do the words get automatically underlined if typed incorrectly in MS Word? Who developed the softwares for you? A team of software engineers, of course.

Here are various jobs you could do as a software programmer, but it would depend first on the kind of industry you are working for.
If you work in the IT industry as a software programmer, there are basically two kinds of firms you may be working for. One kind of IT company is a Software Product Company, like Microsoft, Adobe or Computer Associates. These companies write and create the ‘software products’ that people like us use systems-software products like Windows and UNIX and application software products like Office, Photoshop, Corel Draw, and so on. They run several tests on the software product until they are sure it is free of errors, and then sell it in the open marketplace, just like any other consumer product.
So, what are the job opportunities here?
If you work in a software product company, you would either be doing programming, i.e. writing the code for different software products or overseeing the work of several groups of programmers who are writing different parts of the overall software product. You may be involved in fitting the different parts of the code together, or in testing each software product thoroughly to remove all the glitches before it goes into the market.

What is the other kind of Software Company?
Not all software products, like Microsoft Word, are meant for everyone. Some are highly specialized and are meant for specific users like banks, hospitals, telecom companies, doctors, filmmakers, graphic artists, and so on.
Another kind of IT company is a Software Services Company (or a software consultant), like Infosys, Wipro or Tata Consultancy Services (TCS). These companies do not create general software products but work with individual customers/clients to develop customized software products that would help solve the client’s specific problem. The clients could be car manufacturers, hospitals, shoe companies, banks, etc. and they may need a ‘software solution’ to problems ranging from their manufacturing process to sales and payments to employees. A software solution could help speed up each of these processes, thus saving the client time or money, or both, or simply make these processes more efficient, organized, transparent, easier to use, and so on. If the client sees sense in the solution delivered by the consultant and the fees that is charged for it, the ‘project’ is awarded to the consultant. The software services company will then put a team of IT professionals on this project to develop a suitable software.

So what are the job opportunities?
If you work in a software services company, you could either be a Programmer or a Project Leader who supervises the entire project. You could also be a Systems Analyst who is a head. You could be involved in documentation (writing down what each section of code does so that any new person on the job can understand what is happening), in testing or debugger (running the program again and again with different inputs to make sure that it doesn’t break down or give the wrong results under any situation).
Hardware Engineering
If you are not afraid of opening your computer, trying to figure out where the wire goes, of studying your computer circuits, of changing the RAM of your computer, then this is the profession for you.

All about Hardware Engineering
Ever thought who makes your P4 range of computer or what is the difference between P3 and P4 versions? What is a Pentium Processor and what is a Macintosh Computer? There is only one profession behind all this — hardware engineering.

So, what does a computer hardware engineer do? Computer hardware engineers design, develop, test and assist in the manufacture of computer components, products and systems, such as chips or device controllers.
They plan the systems concept and the hardware needs for a particular computer product by analyzing the market requirement and prepare a forecast which defines specification, the technology to be used and the method by which the product could be made economical and market-friendly. They fabricate and test theoretical models of computer products and build working prototypes of the computer equipment.

Job as a Hardware Engineer

Look at the number of options that you can choose as a career in Computer Hardware Engineering.

Design engineers
They research, develop and design electrical components, computerized equipment and systems for commercial, industrial and domestic purposes.

Systems engineers
They analyze information to determine, recommend and plan layout for types of computers and peripheral equipment or modifications to existing equipment and system.

Diagnostics engineers
They plan, develop and conduct tests on electronic components, products and systems. May develop or use computer software and hardware to conduct tests on electronic products and systems.

Test engineers
They conduct tests on electrical equipment and systems.

Hardware integration engineers
They design layouts for integrated circuits according to engineering specifications using Computer Assisted Design (CAD) equipment and software. May review and analyze engineering design schematics and supporting documents.

Product development engineers
They design and develop electronic components, equipment, systems and products, applying knowledge and principles of electronic theory, design and engineering.

Manufacturing systems engineers
They plan, direct and coordinate manufacturing processes in industrial plants. May develop, evaluate and improve manufacturing methods. They analyze and plan workforce utilization, space requirements and work flow and design layout of equipment and workspace for maximum efficiency.

January 22, 2009 at 9:17 am Leave a comment

Event Management

The following query was received from a student:

I am in class XII commerce stream and want to know about event management. Is there a specialised course for this that one can do after class XII? Which are the best companies for this field in India?

Bharat (Faridabad)

Reply from FutureMap career councilor-

Hi Bharat,

Thanks for writing in. Event management is very closely related to advertising and marketing. Events can be thought of as another means of advertising and brand building. Event management, as an activity constitutes of visualization, creativity, meticulous planning and venue management.
In India, depending on the type of organization, opportunities exist at all levels for event managers and organizers, sales people, marketers, producers, designers and administrators. A person who enters into this field has to first join as a trainee, then becomes the promotion co-coordinator. Event management companies nowadays hire lots of young people for this post. A very basic job in promoting the event is given to them. One could do this on a freelance basis also. The next job in this field is event co-ordination. The main job of an event co-coordinator is to supervise the various stages of planning in event management.
Although company prefers experience in managing event you can do specialized course offered by a few institutes. After doing course in advertising, communication, journalism and public relation you have a bright chance to get in this career.
One can work as an event manager in companies like Wizcraft, television channels like Zee TV, coordinate fashion shows for companies like Lakme and organize award ceremonies for magazines like Filmfare. One can also work as a public relation executive in various media and advertisement houses and tourism sector. You can also avail the scope abroad by working as an event manger and coordinator in companies like Oglivy and Mather, Percept’ D mark, CNBC TV, DNA Network and Encompass abroad.

January 20, 2009 at 6:31 am 2 comments

Becoming a Doctor

How does one become a doctor?

The first step to becoming a doctor is to get admission into a good MBBS course, after class XII, where you should have taken science stream with Physics, Chemistry and Biology. The MBBS course is tough to qualify for and requires four and a half years of rigorous study followed by a year of rotating internship, wherein you shall work for short spells in different departments of a hospital- surgery, gynecology, medicines, paediatrics and so on; so that you get a working knowledge of what these fields are all about.

Since there are only about 20,000 seats available in medical colleges in India every year, of these only about a thousand are in the country’s ‘top rated’ colleges, medical entrance exams are very competitive. The entrance exams to post graduate medical courses, the ones that doctors take when they finish their MBBS and want to specialize, are even more competitive as there are even fewer seats available

Another way to get into these courses is to pay for a seat, this involves fairly large amounts of money and even when you are in it is required of you to pass all your exams in order to earn your degree.

Different entrance exams:
# The All-India Pre-Medical Test (PMT) conducted by CBSE is a route to admission in about 90 Medical colleges in Indian run by the Union governemtn, state governments and municipal authorities (except for a few like AIIMS and AFMC, which have their own entrance exams). In these colleges , 15% of the seats are reserved for applicants who have been successful in this exam (they also have to be from outside the state in which a particular college is located in order to gain admission there). Approximately 2000 ranks are awarded and the allocation of colleges is based on a students rank. The exam tests students in Physics, Chemistry and Biology and is annually held in April to end of early May.
# The state level entrance test for admission to both government and private medical colleges in he state where you live. Most states have their own entrance tests, and you are usually eligible to take the test only if you are domicile in that state. State level medical entrance exams are usually held in March to April.
# Entrance exams are also conducted by top tanking medical colleges such as the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi, the Armed Forces Medical college (AFMC), Pune, JIPMER, Pondicherry, PGI, Chandigarh and CMC, Vellore. All these exmas are normally held in the months of May and June, and require a 50% aggregate in Biology, Physics and Chemistry in XII as eligibility. While these exams are largely based on what you study in XII, there is no telling what can be asked (as some do not have a fixed syllabus). As a result many students take supplementary coaching.

There is no ‘best’ way to prepare for these entrance exams. But we urge you to start planning for them when you are in XI or XII standard, by consulting with your teachers, seniors or any other experts/counselors in this field.

January 19, 2009 at 5:46 am 1 comment

Improving Concentration for studies

The following query was received from a student:

I have my board exams in March 2009 and I seem to have trouble concentrating. Could you please give me some tips to improve my concentration?

Vineet (NOIDA)

Reply from Futuremap counsellor:

Dear Vineet,

Thanks for sharing your concern with us. No matter if studying biology or playing chess, is to focus on the task at hand and eliminate distraction is the key rule for concentration. First of all arrange your study place. Get a dedicated space, chair, table, lighting and environment, avoid phones if possible. Stick to your study schedule and find out your prime time. Prime time means the best time (day/night) for you to study at a stretch. Before you begin studying, take a few minutes to summarize a few objectives-what exactly is the task you wish to finish, gather what you will need, and think of a general strategy of accomplishment. Create an incentive if necessary for successfully completing a task, such as calling a friend, a food treat, a walk, etc. Change the subjects you are studying every one to two hours for variety. Alternate reading with more active learning exercises. Do something different from what you’ve been doing (e.g., walk around if you’ve been sitting), and in a different area. When you notice your thoughts wandering astray, say to yourself, “Be here now” and gently bring your attention back.

January 17, 2009 at 6:12 am Leave a comment

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