Mathematics is as old as civilisation itself and is one of the most useful and fascinating branches of human knowledge. It encompasses many topics of study and as such it is difficult to define the term “mathematics” which comes from a Greek word meaning “inclined to learn”. It may, however, be broadly defined as the scientific study of quantities, including their relationships, operations and measurements expressed by numbers and symbols. In simple words, mathematics deals with study of numbers and their various calculations. The most important skills in mathematics are careful analysis and reasoning, and thus logic is the floor on which the structure of mathematics is built.
The Importance of Mathematics:
Mathematics is used by all individuals in everyday life. In science, mathematics is an essential tool for nearly all scientific studies. Scientists use in it designing experiments, analysing data, expressing precisely their findings by mathematical formulas, and making predictions on the basis of these findings. Such physical sciences as astronomy, chemistry, and physics rely heavily on mathematics. Social sciences, economics, psychology, and sociology also depend greatly on statistics and several other branches of mathematics. Economists (notably econometricians) use computers to create mathematical models (or econometric models) of the economic systems.
Skills and Personal Qualities:
Mathematicians use mathematical theory, computational techniques, algorithms and the latest computer technology to solve economic, scientific, engineering, physics, and business problems. Professionals are often a part of an interdisciplinary team that may include economists, engineers, computer scientists, physicists and technicians. Deadlines, overtime work, special requests for information or analysis, and prolonged travel to attend seminars or conferences may be part of their job.
Employment outlook and opport-unities as Maths Professionals:
Operations Research Analy-sts: Operations research has been defined as an interdisciplinary branch of applied mathematics and formal science that uses advanced analytical methods such as mathematical modeling, statistical analysis, and mathematical optimization to arrive at optimal or near-optimal solutions to complex decision-making problems. Operations research analysts formulate and apply mathematical modeling methods to develop and interpret information that assists management with policy formulation and other managerial functions. They help managers to make better decisions and solve problems. If you’re planning to take this profession be sure you have a thorough knowledge of strong quantitative and computer skills: an advanced knowledge in mathematics.
Mathematician: A mathematician is a person whose primary area of study or research is mathematics. Mathema-ticians are concerned with particular problems related to logic, space, transformations, numbers and more general ideas which encompass these concepts. They do research, come up with problems and solutions, etc.
Chartered Accountant: With the rapid growth in economy, careers in finance and accounts have gained tremendous popularity and the most esteemed career option in this filed is that of Chartered Accountant. A Chartered accountant is somebody who specializes in accounting, auditing and taxation.
Software Engineers: A highly fulfilling career, software engineers design and develop software. They apply the theories and principles of computer science and mathematical analysis to create, test, analyse and evaluate the software applications and systems thatmake computers work. Software engineers are also experts in theory of computing systems, the structure of software, and the nature and limitations of hardware to ensure that the underlying systems will work properly. Professionals in this field have excellent prospects in the next five to 10 years.
Banking: You could work in any one of the following areas in Banking – accountant, customer service, front desk, cash handling, account opening, current account, savings account, mortgage loan underwriter, loan processing officer, back end operations, product marketing and sales executive, recovery officer, retail asset manager, property appraiser and customer service executive. As banks provide loans for setting up business and for various development work and thereby generate thousands of jobs and career opportunities in the banking finance sector.
Teachers: If you have an affinity for numbers, you can pursue a career in teaching. A maths teacher is always on demand as this is considered one of the main subjects throughout schooling. It is a highly paid job in India as many maths teachers provide coaching or tuition to students. Mathematicians who work in academia usually have a mix of teaching and research responsibilities.
Computer Systems Analy-sts: Professionals in this field use IT tools to help enterprises of all sizes achieve their goals. Most systems analysts work with specific types of computer systems – for example, business, accounting, and financial systems or scientific and engineering system to prepare cost-benefit and return-on-investment analysis to help management decide whether implementing the proposed technology would be financially feasible.
Mathematics offer opportunities in Software, Insurance, Market Research, Education, Securities, Banking Sector, Economics, Engineering, Computer Science, Physics, Technical Braches, etc.
India has a rich tradition in math since time immemorial, and this has led to the establishments of various centers of learning in math and related sciences. In the present day too, there are various institutes offering math education and research of world repute in India. Mathematics is taught as a compulsory subject upto Class 10. At the Class 10+2 level, students may opt for the subject, if they so desire. However, those who want to take engineering and technology courses after 10+2 must opt for it 10+2 level. Mathematical of Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation are important components of many admission and recruitment tests. At the undergraduate level, mathematics is offered as one of the combinations both for B.A. and B.Sc. courses. In some universities, it can be taken up as the principal or honours subject.
The two best places in India offering a Bachelor’s degree in math are the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI), Bangalore and the Chennai Mathematical Institute (CMI), Chennai. ISI offers a B.Math degree and CMI offers a B.Sc degree in Math and Computer Science, admission to which is through a written test held in various centers of India in late May each year. Both ISI and CMI also admit students who have qualified in the Indian National Mathematical Olympiad (INMO), or are Kishore Vaigyanik Protsahan Yojana (KVPY) fellows. Some other institutions offering specilized courses are, Numerical Mathematics (Madurai-Kamaraj University), Mathematical Economics (Devi Ahilya Vishwavidyalaya), Industrial Mathematics (University of Pune and North Maharashtra University), Business Statistics and Biostatistics (Avinashilingam Institute for Home Science and Higher Education for Women), Applied Statistics (University of Madras), Statistics with Computer Programming (Bundelkhand University).
At the Master’s degree level, Mathematics is offered by more than 135 universities in India. The courses are offered by the Departments or Schools of Mathematics. Often there is one department or school for both mathematics and computer science. The nomenclature of the award is both M.A. and M.Sc. Some universities make a distinction between Pure Mathematics and Applied Mathematics. Student can also apply for an Integrated MSc-PhD degree offered at some places in India. For integrated MSc-PhD programmes the best places are:
Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai (through a written test and followed by an interview)
The Institute of Mathematical Sciences (IMSc), Chennai (admits through NBHM exam followed by an interview)
Harish Chandra Research Institute (HRI), Allahabad (through a test followed by an interview)
An Integrated MSc degree offered by the Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISER) at Pune, Mohali, Kolkata, Trivandrum and Bhopal, and also at the National Institute of Science Education and Research (NISER) at Bhubaneswar. The IISER admits students via IIT JEE, KVPY and through board exam performances. While the NISER admits students through the National Entrance Screening Test (NEST).
A student can also opt for an Integrated MSc in math offered by University of Hyderabad, which admits students through a written test held in early June. Various central universities also have the Integrated programme.
Pondicherry University and IIT’S offer five year integrated courses in the subject after school. Besides courses in general, pure, and applied mathematics, a small number of programmes are available in such topics as Computational Mathe-matics (of Mathematics with Computer Applications), Mathe-matical Statistics, and Mathematical Economics, Mathematics with Computer Application, Industrial Mathematics, and Functional Mathematics.
Two other most important areas are Statistical Quality Control (SQC) and Operations Research (OR). Some are, Diploma in Health Statistics (DHS) - All India Institute of Hygiene and Public Health (Kolkata-700073), PG Diploma in Statistics (Dr. B R Ambedkar University) PG Diploma In Statistics (Punjab University), PG Diploma in Statistics of two years duration (Banaras Hindu University), Certificate in Statistics (Andhra University), Certificate in Statistical Computing (Karnataka University). Most of the universities which have Master’s degree programmes also have facilities of predoctoral and doctoral research. A number of fellowships are available for pursuing doctoral studies.
Mathematics is a recognized professional career and is among the top career choices made by students in India. Students having general interest in calculations opt for Mathematics career in large numbers. Mathematics is offered by Indian Universities through distance mode also.
(The writer is a research scholar. He is at present Chief Librarian, Navodaya Vidyalaya, Mewat (Old Gurgaon)-122108 Haryana, E-mail: email@example.com)
Sports Education In India By
There are a number of professions in sports and related to it, but to excel in them one has to go though professional training and education. If looking for education and training as a sportsperson, one way to approach training is to start early and get admission in one of the Sports Authority of India (SAI) centers at the State level and then gradually move up.
The basic course for trainers and coaches is formal education in Physical Education that is also graded from the basic level and moving up to the Doctorate level.
Even otherwise, a degree in Physical education comes very handy for those seeking a long career in sports and affiliated fields.
A number of government colleges also run full time courses in physical education right up to the doctorate level.
A basic structure of sports education in India may look like as under
(i) NIS Diploma
(ii) Bachelor in Physical Education (B P ED)
(iii) Masters in Physical Education (M P Ed)
(iv) M Phil Physical Education
(v) Doctorate in Physical Education
There are options available in Sports management too, with the PG Diploma in Sports Management being the course offered most widely.
However, after getting the PG Diploma in sports management, it’s still not possible to get MBA in Sports management which one can get from a number of universities in the western countries.
The broad areas covered under courses in sports management are as under
Organizational Behaviour and Sports Psychology
Theory, Philosophy and Sociology of sport
Business and Government including monetary and fiscal policy
Sponsorship and Broadcasting
Sports Journalism and Public Relations
Quantitative Methods, Research Methodology and Sports Statistics
Project Work and Practical Training and Development of Sporting Talent
Some of the centers where one can get post graduate diploma in sports management are
Alagappa University, Karaikudi, Tamil Nadu ,
Indira Gandhi Institute of Physical Education and Sports Science, New Delhi.
Both these are government recognised and offer one year programme in Post Graduate Diploma in Sports Management.
Eligibility for the study in Alagappa university is successful completion of B P Ed and NIS diploma exams.
One can visit the website http://alagappauniversity.ac.in/about_au.php for more details.
For studying PGDSM from Indira Gandhi Institute of Physical Education and Sports Science, New Delhi, eligibility requirement is achievements in the field of sports and Bachelor’s degree with minimum 40 percentage marks.
Sports management is becoming fashionable course in many private institutions too.
In the Eastern region, Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business management, Kolkata, offers PG Diploma course in Sports management.
The premier learning and training institute for sportspersons in India is run by the Sports Authority of India.
Sports Authority of India
The Sports Authority of India (SAI) is a national level body set up to encourage and develop young sports talents in the country.
It was set up in the year 1984 to promote sports ad sporting talents in the country and is considered a successor to the 1984 Asian Games held at New Delhi.
The SAI has a number of sports facilities and stadiums under it in the capital that include Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium
Indira Gandhi Stadium (Indoor) and Yamuna Velodrone
Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium
Dr. Shyam Prasad Mookherjee Swimming Pool Complex
Dr. Karni Singh Shooting Ranges etc,
Besides these, SAI also runs two centers of excellence at Patiala and Thiruvananthpuram.
SAI runs various programmes at the state level too and the minimum qualification is 10 plus two.
SAI hostels are considered best places in India to train in sports and there are a number of sports scholarships available for deserving candidates.
Netaji Subhash Institute Of Sports, Patiala (NSIS) is also known as the ‘Mecca’ of sports training in India and is housed in a huge palatial building and sprawling lawns. It is Asia’s largest sports institute.
Government of India spares no end in bringing some of the best coaches from around the world. To give an example, boxing is catching up fast with Indian youngsters and players like Vijender, Suranjoy and Akhil have done India proud. The success in boxing goes a lot to the NSIS boxing center where top coaches from Cuba (widely considered the best boxing country in the world) have regularly been giving coaching.
NSIS Patiala also runs Centres of Excellence in 4 sports disciplines of Athletics, Cycling, Judo and Hockey.
The Lakshmibai National College of Physical Education, Kariavattom, Thiruvanantha-puram was established in the year 1985. It runs under the auspices of the Department of Youth Affairs and Sports, Ministry of Human Resource Develop-ment, Government of India.The college is affiliated to the University of Kerala and its academic wing is at par with the NSIS Patiala.
Master of Physical Education (MPE) (2 years)
Post Graduate Diploma in Health and Fitness Management (PGDHFM), (1 Year)
Besides SAI there are other good training centers as well.
Lakshmibai National University of Physical Education (LNUPE)
The Lakshmibai National University of Physical Education, Gwalior came into existence in the year 1957.
It started as an affiliated college to the Vikram University as LCPE, moved on to become LNIPE as Deemed University and finally became LNUPE.
It came under administrative jurisdiction of the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs in the year 2000.
It also carries a number of courses beginning at the diploma, certificate level to research degrees.
YMCA College of Physical Education is affiliated to the Tamil Nadu Physical Education and Sports University and was founded in the year 1920. It is also considered a pioneer in physical education for student, trainers and coaches. It is a project of National Council of YMCAs of India. The college offers a number of programmes in physical education both for girls and boys.
Here is a list of some of the top places for sports education and Training in various parts of India
Alagppa University, KaraiKudi (Tamil Nadu)
Andhra University: College of Arts and Commerce, Vishakhpatnam
Awadesh Pratap Singh University, Rewa, (Madhya Pradeh)
Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, UP
Bharathiyar University, Coiambatore,
Dr. Babasaheb Nandurkar College of Physical Education, Yavatmal, Maharashtra
Dr. Hari Singh Gour University, Sagar, MP
Indira Gandhi Institute of Physical Education and Sports Science, Delhi
LNUPE, Gwalior, MP
Queen Mary’s College, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
Sant Gadge Baba Amravati University, Amravati, Maharashtra.
Most importantly, to be successful in sports one has to have commitment, passion, hard work, discipline, energy, enthusiasm, team management skills, good communication and leadership qualities besides the required skills in sports.
All these can be developed and honed and if one is ready for the hard work, a great career beckons.
(The author is a sports journalist with reporting experience of well known sports events including Olympics and Cricket World Cup. e-mail: vidhanshu@ hotmail. com)