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Designing that dream car

Q: I am in Class XII (science) and I dream of a career in automobile design. Will a bachelors degree in automobile engineering help' Please tell me the names of other courses and universities in this field. Please give me the contact address of the famous car designer, Dilip Chhabria'

Rudraneel B

A: While there are no separate degrees or diploma courses for automobile design, the masters of design course taught at IIT Mumbai's Powai's Industrial Design Centre (IDC) and the National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad, incorporate modules on automobile design.

Yes, a degree in automobile engineering would certainly help. So would one in mechanical engineering. In India, there are more than 30 engineering colleges that offer courses in this field. Many of the traditional areas of engineering provide related course offerings. Colleges/universities that offer these courses usually have active student chapters of the Society of Automotive Engineers.

The website of the US-based SAE (www.sae.org), including its Indian chapter in Chennai, will be useful for you. Contact Dr T.R. Jagadeesan, SAE INDIA, executive director, Room No.1, Ground Floor, ISTE Professional Centre, Anna University Staff Quarters Campus, Gandhi Mandapam Road, Chennai 600 025. Phone: (044) 2441 1904, e-mail: saeindia@vsnl.com, jagadevi@md2. vsnl. net.in.

You could also contact faculty advisors of the various Indian collegiate chapters (at DCE, IIT-D, NSIT, MIT, Jamia Millia); Chandigarh (PEC) and Andhra Pradesh (Sri Venkateswara College of Engineering, Sriperumbudur).

To contact Dilip Chhabria, visit website: www.dc-designs. com/www.india car.com. The address is Dilip Chhabria Designs, Ketuo Industrial Estate, Kondivita Vill Rd, MIDC, Andheri (E), Mumbai 400059. E-mail: dcd.dilipcd @axcess.net.in

Software skills are in demand

Q: I will be completing my BE soon. Please tell me what languages and skills I should be focusing on from the employment point of view.

Avinash Verma

A: As IT recruitment picks up, software skills are again in demand in the job market. Do note that while the demand for traditional skills such as C++, Unix and DB2 continues to be high, niche areas like business intelligence, chip designing, system application and hi-tech skills like ASIC design, EDA and embedded software are gaining importance.

According to a survey conducted by Nasscom, ERP skills (SAP, BAAN etc.) are the most sought after currently, followed by web technologies like Net, Java, IBM Websphere, J2EE, Unix, SQL, C++, Cobol, CICS, DB2, CRM, business intelligence, data warehousing, Linux, EDA, ASIC, VLSI, ASP, Oracle DB, graphics, animation, EAI, content management (in descending order). So take your pick.

Perils of studying medicine in China

Q: I could not clear the Central Pre-Medical Test screening this year. Is it a good idea to study medicine in China instead'

Milon Mukherjee

A: You need to exercise utmost caution and vigilance while selecting a medical school abroad. Many unscrupulous agents are simply hard-selling Chinese universities to impressionable students from poor countries with grandiose promises such as subsidised fees and accommodation.

A great deal of misinformation is being floated via the Internet. It's not true that students from the US and other Western countries are flocking to China to study medicine. The only courses that are popularly sought after are acupuncture and language courses like Mandarin and Cantonese.

Chinese education in many fields still continues to lag behind in meeting world standards. Many doctors trained in low-rung Chinese universities end up as lab technicians in the US! Whereas, medical graduates from recognised Indian universities have better prospects.

The track record of some of the Chinese universities is dubious. There are horror stories of agents convincing illiterate parents from Kerala to enrol their children in Chinese colleges, which have the lowest medical comprehensive ranking.

Some colleges are little short of hovels and operate from small rooms. Worse still, the faculty comprises MBBS doctors! Besides, some female students say they don't feel too safe. There are reports of harassment 'physical and mental.

However, like here or anywhere in the world, education in China tends to range from good and so-so to downright awful. To be fair, there are some excellent and highly reputed medical schools in China, but you never see their names in the ads issued by agents here.

Moreover, the Medical Council of India does not recognise any medical course offered by foreign universities as a matter of policy. Medical Council of India (MCI) just issues the eligibility certificate to aspirants proceeding for medical studies abroad.

Make sure you check the credibility of these courses. Hence, the onus of finding out if the course and institute you have picked is recognised by WHO, UNESCO, etc. and the regulatory body of the given country is entirely yours. On returning to India, you will be required to take a screening test conducted by the MCI.


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