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Your Counsellor Replies

Your Counsellor Replies

I would like to pursue a career in visual merchandising. Please advise.
Sashikant Jagtap,

Visual merchandising is integral to the booming textiles and fashion industry. However there are hardly any specialised study programmes in this field in India. Currently visual merchandisers tend to be graduates of fine arts colleges. The ubiquitous BFA (bachelor of fine arts) programme is usually of four years duration and open to Plus Two or equivalent school leavers. Admission is based on performance in an aptitude test evaluating artistic talent. The high-profile National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad (NID) offers two study programmes — lifestyle and accessory design; apparel design and merchandising — which are readily acceptable qualifications for a career in visual merchandising. These programmes are of five years’ duration during which students take a comprehensive foundation course followed by specialist programmes.

I’m a medical (MBBS) graduate and want to do a postgraduate diploma in dietetics and nutrition. Please provide details of reputed institutes offering this course through distance education.
Nilima Gupta, New Delhi

Among the institutes you can choose from are: Madhya Pradesh Bhoj (Open) University, Bhopal (; Jamia Hamdard ( Directorate of Open and Distance Learning, New Delhi which offers a postgrad diploma in dietetics and therapeutic nutrition (open to home/bio-science graduates); postgrad diploma in nutrition and dietetics is open to all graduates at Madurai Kamaraj University, Distance Education, Madurai ( IGNOU’s Master of science in dietetics and food service management ( is open to B.Sc (home science) graduates.

IGNOU also offers a postgrad diploma in dietetics and public health nutrition to graduates in home science/food science and technology. You could also check out the M.Sc programme in dietetics and community nutrition offered by Vidyasagar University, Directorate of Distance Education, Midnapore (West Bengal) ( and the three-month certificate programme offered by AHERF (Apollo Hospitals Educational and Research Foundation), Hyderabad (

I’m in class XII (science) and keen on a career in the merchant navy. Is it better to start as a deck cadet or should I study marine engineering?
Sridhar Raghavan, Bangalore

There are two typical routes for entry into the officers cadre of the merchant navy — nautical science (deck cadet) and marine engineering. The three-year B.Sc degree in polyvalent maritime science pioneered by the Marine Engineering and Research Institute (MERI), Mumbai, offers structured on-board training covering various activities pertaining to the engine and deck departments. Deck officers oversee the management of ships, while engineer officers are responsible for the operation and maintenance of the ship’s mechanical and electrical equipment.

Admission into the prestigious three-year B.Sc nautical science degree programme of the T. S. Chanakya, Navi Mumbai; four-year degree at Marine Engineering and Research Institute, Kolkata and three-year B.Sc in maritime science at MERI, Mumbai, is through the IIT-JEE 2007. For nautical science and polyvalent maritime science degrees, normal vision of 6/6 is essential for each eye; those wearing spectacles are not eligible for admission. For marine engineering, spectacles are allowed up to plus or minus 2.5.

I’ll be graduating in biomedical engineering next year. I want to improve my employment prospects by doing an MBA. Please advise.
Ravi Murthy, Chennai

In India, you could pursue an M.Tech or ME in biomedical engineering. It is advisable to write GATE for admission to the best postgrad institutions. You will also be eligible for ME programmes in universities abroad. Good GRE/ IELTS/TOEFL scores are required for this purpose. While there is no specific MBA specialisation for engineering graduates, they tend to choose finance, systems management or industrial management ( or aspire to the postgrad programmes of the IITs, Indian Institute of Science (through JMET —, IIITM, Gwalior (, IIIT, Allahabad ( etc. You could also consider hospital management or health administration courses to better your employment prospects.

I’m a final year B.Com student. Should I pursue higher studies in chartered accountancy or enroll for a company secretary’s course?
Shalini Rao, Mumbai

A company secretary (cs) is the vital link between the company and its board of directors, shareholders, government and regulatory authorities. This is a multi-disciplinary profession covering the areas of corporate governance, corporate secretarial, compliance audit and certification, company law etc.

On the other hand, a chartered accountant (CA) is trained in all fields of finance and accounting. Among the important functions CAs discharge are auditing, taxation and cost accoun-tancy. These days they are also active in electronic commerce, risk assessment, and performance measurement. Moreover with the integration of information technology, CAs work in areas of information development, design and management, and systems evaluation. Your decision should be based on an assessment of your strengths and capabilities. Given that the CA course is a tough one, it’s better to have some other options.

I’m studying biotechnology at CHM College, Mumbai. I want to pursue a career in genetic engineering. Please provide details of institutes offering genetic engineering courses in Mumbai.
Shobha B, Mumbai

A master’s degree in genetic engineering is offered by most agricultural universities in the country. Master’s programmes in genetics are also offered by Pune, Osmania, Delhi, Madras and Jawaharlal Nehru universities. Genetic scientists are usually employed in drug research, toxicology, medicine and allied fields.

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