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Studying in india

Dear Sir,
I am studying in Class XII and am aspiring to become an astrophysist. I would like to know which are the government institutes offering this course and how to apply. Is there an entrance exam for this, and if so, what would be the syllabus? How many percent of marks should I have to get a seat in govt institutions?
Yathin Babu N

Dear Yathin,
Most good courses for astrophysics are available only at the post-graduate level.  You will have to complete your degree with Physics as one of the subjects (and if you are a good student, you can aim for a degree in Physics from IISc, IISERs, IITs, NITs, BITS etc.) and then apply to institutions such as Indian Institute of Astrophysics in Bangalore, or the others I have mentioned above, for post-graduate specialisation.

Dear Sir,
I am a first PUC student who passed my Class X (CBSE) with 9.4 CGPA. I like electronics and computer programming. Is there any engineering course that allows me to pursue both these courses at the same time? Also, I want to join the American army as a chief engineer. Is this possible? If possible, is there an opportunity for me to work as an astronaut with NASA?
A student

Dear Student,
It would be advisable that you join a degree course in Electronics Engineering as that will strengthen your foundation, and later you can decide to specialise in computer programming, aerospace etc.  You cannot join the American army unless you are a US citizen, but you can certainly seek employment in NASA if your track record is good.

Dear Sir,
I am a Class IX CBSE student. I am fairly good in all subjects. I have a talent for creative writing and am interested in pursuing a course in the arts or humanities field. Also, would it be better if I take up science in +2 and then shift to arts?
A student

Dear Student,
Studying two more years of science after Class X is definitely an advantage, particularly if you are a good student, have been scoring well, and enjoy Science subjects.  Subsequently you may shift over to Arts and do your graduation in journalism, mass communication, literature, liberal arts or any other related subjects.

Dear Sir,
I am a final year MCA student from a reputed institute in Bangalore. I am passionate about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and curious to learn and work in the area. I need you to guide me on, what would be my next step in my career to specialise in AI. I need your help on the Stream/Courses, Institutions, Career avenues and also the scope of AI in India. My Academic performance is: 10th - 68.48%, II PU - 58.83 %, BCA - 77% (agg.) and MCA - 81% (Upto 4 Sem, agg) if this helps you. I would also like to know the companies working in the field.   

Dear MJ,
There are many colleges in India offering post graduate courses in Robotics, Automation and Artificial Intelligence. If you are a good student, you can apply even to IITs or other national institutes.  BVB College in Hubli also has a good department of Automation.  The scope in India is a little limited currently, but growing steadily, and if you are really passionate about the field, you can eventually hope to make a good future.

Dear Sir,
I am currently in 3rd year Bsc (Biotechnology) with Biochemistry, Biotech, and Zoology as core subjects. I want to go for pharmaceutical field, but to do M Pharma I should hold a Bachelors degree in Pharmacy. I am confused what to do. Is there a good scope for MSc in bio tech? What is the criteria for doing MSc bio tech in IISCs and IITs ? Also advice me of all possible fields I can go for.

Dear Asha,
Having done your graduation in biotechnology, you should now be in a position to identify your areas of interest and specialisation, for e.g. genetics, microbiology, biochemistry etc.  Also you should introspect whether you are more inclined towards research, teaching, quality control, production, marketing etc. Explore the areas where the pharmaceutical industry requires biotechnologists.  Based on that you should decide what subjects to take up for your post-graduation. Admission to IITs and IISc for post-graduation in science is through the JAM-14 exam, to which the last date for application is October 16 and exam is on February 9.  Get more details from

Dear Sir,
My son will complete his plus 2 in Chennai by March 2014. Group taken is PCMC. He is very fond of Physics and Chemistry. What is the best branch in BE he should select that he can do higher studies abroad after BE?

Dear Vidhya,
Please help your son identify whether he would prefer pure sciences or engineering as his career.  Then he can narrow down to whether he prefers physics or chemistry. Similarly, for engineering he has to identify whether he is more into hardcore technology (such as electrical, electronics, telecommunication, instrumentation), or he prefers hands-on work like mechanical, chemical, industrial production etc. His choice for degree should be based on the above factors, and when he is half-way through his graduation, he will be in a better position to start selection of his higher studies abroad.  Please go more by his interest and aptitude rather than which branch has the best scope.

Dear Sir,
I am studying in Class XII, in Bangalore and would like to become a game designer and work for game developers like Rockstar, Electronics Arts etc. I have decided on getting BE in computer science and BSc in animation. What would you suggest? What are the courses I should be taking?  What are the institutes that offer these courses?

Dear Udith,
Your decision to take up BE in computer science is appropriate, because it will give you a strong foundation to successfully become a game designer. As you know all the good universities in the country offer computer science engineering, and depending on your merit ranks in entrance exams you can select the institute you will study in. You do not need to do a BSc in animation. After graduation you can go for higher studies in game development or general design, either in India or abroad. Do ensure that you are a creative person, and have good spatial skills (i.e. you can visualize length, volume, colours, capacity etc in three dimentsions).

Dear Sir,
My niece has just completed her BE in Environmental Science with distinction. So far she has not found any suitable placement. Kindly throw some light as to where she can find suitable posting with her specialisation of Env science. There is some rumor that BE graduates with this specialisation are having scope only abroad, and not preferred in India. Is it so? Then what is the fate of those youngsters who pass out with this specialisation? Should they complete some other additional courses to get absorbed in India? Kindly help them by giving suitable advice.
Narendra Kumar

Dear Kumar,
It is true that environmental science is a comparatively new field in India, and the scope is increasing quite slowly. If she has an opportunity to study and work abroad, she will eventually come back to a bright future here.  If that is not possible, then she may either take up an entry level job in an NGO or teaching institution, or move into allied areas such as human settlements (see website, forestry, wildlife,  plantation management etc.

Dr Ali Khwaja is the founder and
chairman of Banjara Academy.
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