In the world, some botanical gardens have made the necessary shift in focus that underpins scientific research and conservation of plants, making them an essential component of the global conservation goals. Therefore, such gardens, which provide the necessary expertise for replication at regional or local levels, could be termed as ‘Lead gardens’ or models. Lead gardens should serve the present day need of conservation and education vis-à-vis the obligations under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation ( GSPC) as well as in context of the present WTO regime and the Country’s National Environmental Policy, 2006 which encompasses Conservation Policy. Several Lead Gardens in the world have initiated various biotechnological and bio-prospecting programmes, based on their valuable plant collection and knowledge base. National Botanic Research Institute (NBRI), Lucknow and Tropical Botanic Garden & Research Institute (TBGRI) Trivandrum, in India are examples of those Botanic Gardens involved in active research in biotechnology and bio prospecting.
Various Botanical Gardens are providing professional training and most comprehensive ranges of courses for anyone looking to develop their career in botany, horticulture, garden design or botanical illustration. Various courses such as, Practical Certificates, Diplomas & Degrees (B.Sc., M.Sc. & Ph.D.) are being offered by many botanical gardens. Among these Botanical Gardens, some are Indian Botanical Gardens, Shibpur, Kolkata, National Botanical Garden, Lucknow, India, Llyod Botanic Garden, Darjeeling, India, Muzaffarpur Botanical Research Institute, India.
With certificate, diplomas, under graduate and post graduate degree in botany, horticulture, medicinal and aromatic plants, one can easily enter into any research and teaching institution as botanical assistant, scientific assistant, preservation assistant, research assistant, field man, herbarium keeper, or related jobs. One can take up research/ teaching as a career with M.Sc. and Ph.D. degree in botany, horticulture or equivalent qualifications. Depending upon qualification and experience, one can serve as Curator, Superintendent, Botanist, Taxonomist or Scientist in botanical gardens, research institutions, experimental/ field stations including Botanical Survey of India and other related organizations.
(The author is Superintendent Botanical Garden), M.D. University, Rohtak-124001, Haryana e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org: email@example.com)
CAREER OPPORTUNITIES IN LIBRARY & INFORMATION SCIENCE
- Om Shashi Shekhar Singh
Library and Information Science (LIS) is an interdisciplinary field that applies the practices, perspectives, and tools of management, information technology, education, and other areas to libraries; the collection, organization, preservation, and dissemination of information resources; and the political economy of information. The libraries being the repositories of knowledge and information, their importance has increased. In this situation, the librarianship has attained the status of a separate discipline. Librarians are the custodians of libraries and they organize, maintain, and store books in the libraries. They help people to find information and use it effectively in their personal and professional lives. The traditional libraries which contained only books now have periodicals, journals, micro-films, audio-videos, cassettes and slides for various purposes such as education, research, reference and pleasure.
Historically, library science has also included archival science. This includes how information resources are organized to serve the needs of select user groups, how people interact with classification systems and technology, how information is acquired, evaluated and applied by people in and outside of libraries as well as cross-culturally, how people are trained and educated for careers in libraries, the ethics that guide library service and organization, the legal status of libraries and information resources, and the applied science of computer technology used in documentation and records management.
The career in library includes areas like library and information systems management, classification/cataloguing systems, bibliography, documentation, preservation and conservation of manuscript, collection management, information systems and technology, research methodology, computer applications, reference, statistics and management, information processing, archives management, indexing, library planning, etc. Library science is constantly evolving, incorporating new topics like database management, information architecture and knowledge management, among others. It is an interesting subject and provides a great opportunity to have the knowledge of wide variety of information sources.
A Day in a LIS Professional’s Life
On a typical day a librarian might perform some of the following duties:-
ranalyse users’ needs and provide the information they need;
show users how to efficiently search for information on the Internet and in other online resources;
select and purchase materials and prepare those materials by classifying them according to subject matter;
supervise assistants who prepare cards, computer records, or other access tools that direct users to resources;
collect and organize books, pamphlets, manuscripts, and other materials in a specific field, such as rare books, genealogy, or music;
coordinate programs such as storytelling for children, and literacy skills and book talks for adults;
conduct classes as per need for junior professionals;
Eligibility The first school for library science was founded by Melvil Dewey at Columbia University in 1887. The minimum qualification required to take up a course in Library Science is XII standard. Graduates from any stream can go for Bachelors degree in library science the duration of which is one year/ two semesters. After that, students can go for Masters Degree in library science, which is of one-year duration/two semesters course. Advanced studies in Library & Information Science include M. Phil and Ph.D. Besides, there are also diploma and certificate courses. Basically, a good librarian should have keen interest in books as well as a variety of topics, excellent communication skills, customer service attitude, methodical approach, high organizing ability/skills, and ability of understanding user needs.
Employment outlook and opportunities
According to one report, library and information science has been ranked as one of the “Best Careers of 2008.” As India is moving towards a knowledge society with proliferation of learning and research institutes the demand and importance of library science is growing rapidly. Consequently, job opportunities for librarians are on the upswing. Nevertheless, with the advent of information technology and computers the traditional concept of is being redesigned to include not only books and other printed materials but also new tools of information like CD-ROM, internet, virtual libraries etc. There is a lot of scope for a career in library science and the person in this field can find employment opportunities in the following areas.
1. Public/Government libraries
2. Universities/collages/schools and other academic institutions
3. News agencies and organisations
4. Private organisations and special libraries
5. Foreign embassies
6. Photo/film/radio/television libraries
7. Information centres/documentation centers
8. Companies and organisations with large information handling requirements
9. Museums and galleries, which have reading rooms and research facilities
10. Law library/Special library, etc.
LIS professionals can also aspire to get a job in private publishing houses and other private companies handling with voluminous information.
In the age of information revolution librarianship is a well paid job. However salaries of library professionals vary depending upon their individual qualifications, experience, size and nature of the hiring institutes. Persons with a superior record and high qualifications can achieve high positions. The salaries in college and university libraries are comparable to those of teachers. Indeed, the salaries of special librarians are high. Librarians employed in government museum, archives, galleries have higher earnings than those in colleges and universities. Librarians working in research institutes and private documentation centres also have handsome earnings.
Some of the Major Institutions offering Courses in Library Science
National Institute of Science Communication and Information Resource (NISCAIR) New Delhi and Documentation Research & Training Centre (DRTC) Bengaluru are two prime institute offering Library and Information Science courses. Besides this, mostly all Indian universities offer degree courses in Library & Information Science, some are:
Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi
Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi (Website: www.bhu.ac.in)
Banks are considered the backbone of a country’s economy. Its more true for a developing country like India. Indian Banking system is very strong. In the global financial turmoil that happened sometime ago, our country was least affected because of soundness of Indian Banking and Financial system. In fact many countries of the world are trying to learn lessons from our disciplined system of Banking.
Banks in India are not only strong but are also growing fast. According to studies. Banking sector is one of the fastest growing sectors in the country. This growth has brought many opportunities.
Indian Banking Scenario
Regulation of Banking system in India started with Banking Regulation Act, 1949. Banks in India used to be in private hands. In 1969, 14 big private banks were nationalised bringing them under the ownership of government. After 11 years, in 1980, six more banks were nationalised. Of these 20 banks, one New Bank of India got merged in Punjab National Bank. Now in all there are 27 public sector banks in the country consisting of 19 nationalised banks and 8 banks from State Bank group (State Bank of India and its associates).
In the last two decades Public Sector Banks in India have witnessed a transition from traditional banking to modern technology driven banking. Exposure to competition has made these banks re-engineer and re-structure their processes, systems and product line. After economic liberalization these banks have been given enough freedom to do so. However, for various matters these are required to follow guidelines issued by Ministry of Finance, Reserve Bank of India and Indian Banks Association.
Post nationalisation, the Banks were asked to open more branches in rural areas. Large number of people were recruited to man these newly opened branches. Expanded network gave a new identity to these banks and millions of new customers came to the fold of Banking. The business of Banking moved from class banking to mass banking.
Public sector banks in India employ more than 7 lakh people at present. Of these a large number of people will be retiring in next 5-6 years. To fill this gap and to take up the growing business the Banks are on a recruiting spree as can be seen in media and from vacancy announcements. Only this year about 40,000 vacancies have been created in public sector banks due to retirements, resignations and expansion of business.
Earlier recruitments in public sector banks were made through Banking Service Recruitment Boards. Each board was taking care of manpower requirements of 3-5 banks in a certain geographical area. Now the boards have been abolished and each public sector bank may announce it’s own recruitment process for the number of people required from time to time. Thus more such advertisements are seen these days. Another change is seen in lateral hiring by these banks. Earlier officers were recruited only in Junior Management Grade. Now public sector banks are offering direct employment in middle and senior management cadres as well. Thus for both freshers and experienced people career opportunities are available in public sector banks. To meet their manpower requirements these banks are presently recruiting in large numbers both in clerical and officer cadre.
A clerk is mostly a front staff in a bank. Depending on the requirement clerks are placed at different counters of the banks e.g. savings, deposit, current deposit, term deposit, retail loans, cash credit, agricultural loans, credit cards, government business, cash receipt or payment etc. Maximum customer interface in banks occurs at these counters managed by clerical staff.
Eligibility for Clerks
The minimum age for applying for the position of a clerk in nationalised or private sector banks is 18 years. The maximum age limit is 28 years. There is no uniformity with regard to educational qualification for eligibility. This becomes clear from the recently advertised positions of clerks in different banks. In one bank graduates with minimum 40% marks are considered eligible while another banks is accepting candidates with 60% marks in aggregate in 12th standard. Those having an university degree (in any class) could also apply. This bank has put another condition of having secured minimum 60% marks in mathematics at SSC/10th standard. As most of the recruitments in clerical cadre in public sector banks are made state-wise, the candidate applying for the post in a particular State is expected to be proficient in the language of the State. Proficiency means knowing to read, write, speak and understand the language.
Examination pattern for clerks
Eligible candidates are asked to appear in a written examination. This written examination is objective in nature consisting of four papers viz
1. Test of reasoning ability and numerical aptitude
2. Test of clerical aptitude
3. Test of English language
4. Test of General awareness
The structure of written examination may differ from bank to bank. To qualify in the written test the candidate should pass in each of the objective test separately with required minimum qualifying marks. It is also necessary that the candidate obtains a certain percentage of marks to be eligible for moving to next stage of selection.
From those who get the qualifying marks as above, the bank calls a fixed number of people to appear in the interview process. The number of people called for interview is in a certain proportion of available vacancies. This interview is a simple process in which question about candidates’ academic and cultural background, career goals etc. are asked. Effort is also made to know about his aptitude for the job and customer orientation etc. Most of the people applying for a clerks position in the bank are fresh from college. They should be ready to answer questions about their choice of subjects, streams etc. From people who are employed or have work experience, questions may be asked about the job or assignments they have been handling. In case of interview also minimum qualifying marks are prescribed.
The final merit list is drawn by adding up marks obtained by the candidate in the written test and interview.
Finally selected candidates can look forward to a fruitful career in the bank, they join. All public sector banks provide training to new employees for equipping them to take up their assignments. Induction training which happens immediately or soon after joining is the first training programme they attend. Subsequently they are offered training in various banking disciplines.
Public sector banks are few organisation which offer promotion from one cadre to another. Thus those who join as clerks may be promoted as officers, as per banks norms. For bright candidates, in some banks, this promotion from a clerk to officer is possible in a period as short as one year.
Recruitments in Officers cadre
Vacancies in officers cadre in public sector banks are filled from within the organisation after promotion of clerks and also by direct recruitment. To meet the shortage of manpower in officers cadre, now a days the public sector banks are required to recruit large number of officers. Most of the vacancies for which recruitments are made are in Junior Management Graduate Scale I, which is the entry level position for joining a public sector bank as an officer. This entry level position is known as that of probationary officer or management trainee. Bank probationary officers can come from any discipline or field of study, although there is a misconception that only people from commerce or finance background are eligible. A finance or commerce background may help the candidate adjust to the banking environments faster than others but banks recruit talents from diverse backgrounds of science, literature etc.
The minimum age to apply for entry level officers position is 21 years while maximum age may be 26 years or above as decided by individual banks. As regards qualification, the candidate should at least be a graduate from a UGC recognised university. In some banks only first class graduates are considered eligible. For some other banks the minimum percentage of marks required is 55 percent. Those with post graduate qualification may get some relaxation in qualifying percentage of marks, in few cases. There have also been instances of banks preferring to recruit people with post graduate degree or diploma in management. Particular recruitment advertisement should be carefully studied to know the eligibility criteria.
The test for probationary officers consists of the following objective papers:
1. General Awareness
2. Data Interpretation and Logical reasoning
3. Verbal Reasoning
Some banks prefer to include a descriptive paper also in the test process. In this paper the candidate is required to write essay and attempt composition. Minimum qualifying marks are prescribed for both objective and subjective papers. Candidates are called for interview on the basis of marks obtained in written examination.
Interview for officers position is expected to be more comprehensive. Here along with general questions, the interview panel may try to judge the candidates understanding of nation's economy, issues before the economy etc. One should always be ready to answer questions like ‘why you want to choose banking as a career?’, ‘what are your expectation from the job’ etc. Also questions relating to earlier job experiences may be asked. For getting selected a candidate should do well both in written examination and interview.
Recruitment in higher scales
With some experience one can expect to join a public sector bank in a higher scale. Most of the vacancies in higher scales exist in Middle Management Grade II or III. Of course the candidate should fulfill the eligibility criteria as regards to age and qualification. The experience required for higher scales keeps changing from bank to bank, it may be one year or more. Professionally qualified people (with qualifications like MBA, CA etc) stand better chance in this regard.
Since last 3-4 years public sector banks have started recruiting from campuses. This campus recruitment covers only a small part of their manpower needs but it has opened a new window of opportunity to students wanting to make a career in banks. From campuses banks are taking MBAs from different disciplines, agriculture graduates, chartered accountants etc.
There is a well defined career progression path in each public sector bank. Performance and potential are key elements which determine this career progression. Most senior officials in public sector banks started their career as clerk or scale I officer only. In tune with the time banks have reviewed their promotion policy and now for bright, hardworking and knowledgeable employees it takes less time to move to higher scales. In many banks a person who joined as an officer may reach to the position of Genera Manager in 14 years. After that one can aspire for the position of executive director or chairman of a bank. These are very high positions, nomination to which is decided by the Government and not by the individual banks.
Many public sector banks have a network of foreign branches. Thus joining a public sector bank gives you the opportunity of working abroad also. Transferability in a bank job provides you the chance of seeing different parts of the country.
Public sector banks may not offer fancy financial packages which multinational and few other companies offer. But the compensation in these banks with the recent wage revision and including perquisites is quite good. And there is an element of job security too. The housing and medical facilities are also considered attractive.
The expansion mode in which public sector banks in India are, is creating large number of opportunities for young people to choose banking as their career.
Middle Management Grade – Scale II: Manager
Middle Management Grade – Scale III: Senior Manager
Senior Management Grade – Scale IV: Chief Manager
Senior Management Grade Scale V: Assistant General Manager
Top Management Grade Scale VI: Deputy General Manager
Top Management Grade Scale VII: General Manager
Public Sector Banks in India
Punjab National Bank
Bank of Baroda
Bank of India
Bank of Maharashtra
Central Bank of India
Indian Overseas Bank
Oriental Bank of Commerce
Punjab and Sind Bank
United Bank of India
Union Bank of India
State Bank of India
State Bank of Indore
State Bank of Hyderabad
State Bank of Patiala
State Bank of Mysore
State Bank of Saurashtra
State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur
State Bank of Travancore
(Author : Vijay Prakash Srivastava, HRD, Div, Bank of India, Star House 9th Floor, Bandra – Kurla Complex, Mumbai – 400051, e-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org)