Call of the uniform
Q. I am a 22-year-old BSc graduate. I got married recently. Is it possible for a married man like me to join the defence forces as an officer'
A: Yes, there is. You can take the Combined Defence Services (CDS) examination held by the Union Public Service Commission every February and September at 40 centres countrywide. The exam includes a written test, which comprises three papers of two hours each: English, general knowledge and elementary mathematics.
If you clear the written exam, you will be called for a Service Selection Board (SSB) interview, which is followed by a medical exam if you pass the interview. For complete information, visit the UPSC website: www.upsc.gov.in.
After clearing the final test, you can sign up for courses at the Indian Military Academy (IMA) in Dehra Dun, the Naval Academy in Goa, the Air Force Academy in Hyderabad and the Officers Training Academy (OTA) in Chennai. Only OTA accepts married students. So if you clear the CDS, that is the place you will join. Accordingly, you can join the army but not the air and naval forces.
But those seeking admission to OTA are exempted from the elementary maths paper of the written test. Count that as your consolation prize.
You can visit http://indianarmy.nic.in /arotahome.htm for more information on OTA. Alumni of the academy have won one Param Vir Chakra, four Ashok Chakras, nine Maha Vir Chakras, six Kirti Chakras, 51 Vir Chakras, 31 Shaurya Chakras and 241 Sena medals.
Short service commission (men and women, both technical and non-technical) in the army is granted to OTA students for 10 years, extendable by 4 years. Such officers can be promoted to Lt Col after 13 years of service in the army.
More power to the girl child
Q: Are there any scholarships for girl children who are the only daughters of their parents' How does one apply for such scholarships'
A: Among others, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has a merit scholarship scheme for the single girl child in schools. Girls who have received 60 per cent marks in Class X from a CBSE-affiliated school will receive Rs 500 per month to do Plus Two if the tuition fee does not exceed Rs 1,000 per month. CBSE also awards a merit scholarship of Rs 1,000 per month for four-year medical and engineering courses to those who are enrolled in an institution controlled or aided by the Union government.
Applicants from Calcutta should write to the Central Board of Secondary Education, 35B, Civil Station, M.G. Marg, Civil Lines, Allahabad-211015.
For teachers who want to hit the books again
Q: I’m a teacher. I’d like to do an MEd course by correspondence. Could you let me know of universities that offer such courses'
A: Working teachers who have completed their bachelors of education (BEd) degree can opt for a distance learning masters of education (MEd) programme from January 2008 offered by various institutions and universities approved by the Distance Education Council (DEC).
The DEC and National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) have recently joined hands to develop a national-level curriculum for MEd programmes.
Universities willing to offer an MEd programme through distance learning can make use of this study material.
This will not only help the universities save on investment in developing study material, but will also decrease the time spent on developing self-study material that is of good quality. You can also get the relevant information on www.ncte-in.org or on the DEC website, www. dec.ac.in.
Some universities that offer MEd courses under distance education programmes are listed below.
Himachal Pradesh University, Shimla, offers a two-year MEd course by correspondence. Write to the director, International Centre for Distance Education and Open Learning, Himachal Pradesh University, Shimla-171005, for more information.
You can write to the deputy registrar (academic), Karnataka State Open University, Manasagangotri, Mysore-570006, for information on its two-year distance learning MEd course.
Panjab University, Chandigarh, offers a two-year MEd course. You can write to the chairman, department of correspondence studies, Panjab University, Chandigarh-160014, for more information.
You can call 0191-2430828 to find out about the distance learning MEd programme of the University of Jammu, Jammu, from the director of distance education.
For information on the distance learning MEd course of Punjabi University, Patiala, write to the head, department of correspondence courses, Punjabi University, Patiala-147002.
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