Degrees like Bachelors of Mass Media and Bachelors of Management Studies are all the rage now. But quality of faculty and treatment of the subjects in the curriculum have left a number of students in the lurch, with no job prospects
The admission season has come to a close. Statistics suggest that there is a rising demand from Mumbai students for so-called 'professional' courses like the degrees in media and management offered by the University of Mumbai; these degrees are preferred over traditional streams like commerce, arts and science, this year.
But students who have completed their graduation in courses such as Bachelors of Mass Media (BMM) and Bachelors of Management Studies (BMS), say that these courses are appear lucrative but do not offer any employment prospects. Even some professors are of the same view.
Take the case of Deepti Khera, who despite completing her BMM with specialisation in journalism, opted for a one-year post graduate (PG) diploma in media studies.
"I was hardly taught anything in BMM. First I thought I would take a break for a year and work with some newspaper. But I couldn't get through anywhere, so I took up (my) PG," she told Moneylife.
Abhisheik Patil (name changed), a BMS graduate, decided to pursue his Master of Business Administration (MBA). He said, "I was required to have skills essential to become a manager, which BMS did not teach me. Hence I went and completed my MBA."
Speaking to Moneylife, Harsha Mehta, principal of SIES College of Arts and Commerce said, "Courses like BMM and BMS are nothing but hollow and (appear to be) lucrative. There is a fad among students to take up these courses, thinking they might get a chance to enter the media and corporate world. The subjects offered are also similar to degrees like BA and BCom. In fact, students who have completed their standard 12th in Science take up these courses and end up having ATKT (allowed to keep terms) in the first year itself as they cannot cope with subjects like Economics, Sociology, etc."
Ironically, courses like BMM and BMS are becoming increasingly popular. The cut-off percentages for admission to these courses went skyrocketing this year for most of the colleges based in Mumbai.
"There were more applications for market-oriented courses like BMM, BMS than BA and BCom. We help students to get internships to gain some industry experience. But there is a lot of effort required from the students' side. These courses itself should make internships mandatory," says Dr Mary Fernandes, principal of St Andrews College, Bandra.
Experts say that the subjects taught in these courses only grant superficial knowledge to students. What is required is more in-depth experience. For instance, BMM has subjects such as photography, understanding cinema and public relations, taught just for one semester each. It is also true that most of the students become faculty members after completing their BMM or BMS. Often, these teachers fail to impart better, in-depth knowledge to the students pursuing these courses.
BMM co-ordinator Manjula Srinivas from KC College, one of Mumbai's well-known educational institutes, said, "BMM students have a very niche employment preference. Some prefer only print media, others only production-related jobs while some want to get into movie making. So it becomes difficult for the college to arrange placements. But we try our best."
The total number of seats for the BMM course in Mumbai is 3,848 while that for BMS is 11,838. According to news reports, many colleges had written a letter to the University of Mumbai to increase the number of seats for these courses, due to rising demand.
But if the course content itself does not help in the job market, what is the point in increasing the number of seats for these degrees?
As per the Insurance Act, 50% of investments made by an insurance company have to be in government securities and about 15% in infrastructure-related areas. The balance 35% can be invested in other areas like equities and debentures
New Delhi: The country's largest insurer Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) today said its total investments in the market will cross Rs2 lakh crore this fiscal, reports PTI.
"Our investments will be more than last year... We will top last year's total investment of Rs2 lakh crore this year," LIC managing director Thomas Mathew told reporters on the sidelines of a Ficci event here.
He said the company had invested Rs40,000 crore in equities last fiscal and this year, it will be above that.
LIC is the largest domestic institutional investor in the Indian market.
As per the Insurance Act, 50% of investments made by an insurance company have to be in government securities and about 15% in infrastructure-related areas.
The balance 35% can be invested in other areas like equities and debentures.
"Depending on the business, we will decide on this year's investment. Hopefully, business will be good this year," Mr Mathew said.
Mr Mathew said LIC will participate in the government's Rs40,000 crore disinvestment programme in the current fiscal.
"Earlier, we participated in all the government public offers. This year also, when government public offers come, we will participate," Mr Mathew said.
The government plans to raise Rs40,000 crore through a stake sale in different PSUs in 2011-12. So far this fiscal, it has already raised over Rs1,100 crore through divestment of its stake in Power Finance Corporation.
Public stake sales by a host of companies, like ONGC, SAIL, Hindustan Copper, BHEL and NBCC, among others, are also in the pipeline.
Rahul Bhatnagar, director-general of the National Anti-Doping Agency, says that since the credit for winning medals passes on to the sports bodies, the authorities would ‘manage’ the drug testing results
As the doping scandal involving some of the country's top athletes deepens, it seems that the wrongdoing could not have been committed without the knowledge of the sports authority, and that this illegal practise has been revealed only because drug testing has been entrusted to an independent body over the past couple of years.
The Sports Authority of India is investigating an embarrassing doping scandal after eight athletes tested positive for banned anabolic steroids a fortnight ago.
Mandeep Kaur, Sini Jose and Ashwini Akkunji, three of the country's 2010 Commonwealth and Asian Games gold medal winning relay team, have been suspended along with five other lesser known athletes after testing positive.
The latest high-profile cases are in addition to the 122 other positive cases the country's National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) has detected, involving mainly wrestlers and weightlifters, since May 2010.
Before NADA was set up two years ago, the test samples were collected by the Sports Authority of India (SAI). "It was a clear conflict of interest," says Rahul Bhatnagar, director-general of NADA. "It was like the coaches themselves being deputed to give the samples. The lab would check the samples and the reports would go back to the SAI and the (respective) federation would do the results management."
Mr Bhatnagar explained that the various sports federations spend on the sportspersons and since the credit for winning medals goes to these bodies, the players were protected by the authorities. "Now we are doing it (testing). We have no personal interest in protecting the athletes. So this has been exposed."
NADA collected 2,800 samples last year and has conducted 1,480 tests till July this year.
"When the athletes come up before the hearing panel, most of them say that they do not know how the (illegal) substances got into their body," Mr Bhatnagar said. "Some drugs can get into your system as part of food contamination, but steroids are a serious matter."
Now, some of the athletes who have tested positive are claiming innocence and blaming their coaches. But the NADA chief says that the buck stops with the athlete. "It is very clear in the rules that if any banned substances are found in the body of an athlete s/he will be held responsible for this."
Of course, the sportspersons share a close relationship with the coaches and support staff, like doctors, physiotherapists and officials of the sports federations. "So, it is their responsibility to ensure that they do not consume substances that are banned and not to abet such acts," Mr Bhatnagar said.
Last week, Dr Sajib Nandi, a former medical officer of the National Institute of Sports, said he has substantial evidence to prove that organised doping was going on at the institute with the involvement of top officials. Dr Nandi also met sports minister Ajay Maken and informed him about these illegal practises going on at the institute, in Patiala.
NADA is an autonomous body set up under the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports with the objective of rooting out doping from sports. The organisation, which has been in operation since 2009, follows the code of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
Asked about who pays for these banned substances, Mr Bhatnagar explained: "When a training programme is drawn up for athletes, the government provides the funds to SAI which conducts the training camps, for food, boarding and lodging. A fixed amount is also sanctioned for food supplements (Rs250 a day for top athletes). So the federation could provide the money either from their funds, or athletes could buy these banned drugs on their own."
NADA works through an Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel and an Anti-Doping Appeal Panel. It has a budget of Rs3 crore this year, for its expenditure on staff and materials, like drug-testing kits and the lab costs. While the kit costs about Rs700, the laboratory charges Rs4,390 for tests of samples from players participating in national competitions and Rs8,000 for sportspersons in international competitions.
NADA sends the samples collected for testing to the National Dope Testing Laboratory, also based in Delhi. The laboratory, also an autonomous organisation under the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs, is one of 36 labs around the world that are accredited by WADA. Tests of national as well as international athletes are conducted here.
The anti-doping agency organises educational programmes on the problem of drugs, wherever sports events or training sessions are held across the country. "Our experts, doctors, sports science doctors, legal experts have detailed sessions with players to explain the ill-effects of doping and what they are allowed to consume and what they are not allowed to consume."