Wednesday, March 21, 2018

How to do Career Planning?

Career Planning after High school Education:

The vertical and horizontal growth of opportunities for a lucrative career has added a new facet of commercial considerations for choosing a particular path of education. Plethora of knowledge resources within  the fist, awareness of educational avenues, aspirations of the students and the expectations of the parents have built of a huge pressure on the tender mind of the children now a days. 

Importance of education is well accepted in regards to broadening the perspective to life, securing a better job in homeland or overseas countries, increasing the resourcefulness but the rankers are not necessarily so bright or lucky when it comes to “becoming rich”. Nonetheless, importance of good education cannot be underestimated as much as it provides a guarantee to better career prospects. Few years back, parents were not active in career planning of their children. 

This was a blessing in disguise for the children as they could decide, without any pressure from the parents, what career they want to pursue as per their ability and aptitude. They were less prone to stress and more willingly pursued their goal as the decision was their own – children cannot shift the blame to their parents if they fail to achieve the goal. Now the scenario is changed. Parents have ceased to be a mere advisor or supporter. They have become active and some time aggressive to thrust upon the children an education course to see the children in a position which they have been dreaming of all the years the child travelled from the cradle to a college. Parents have a legitimate right to dream about the career of their wards as they are deploying their hard earned money and still willing to sacrifice necessities of life for costly education. However, it would be better if the parents appreciate that “You can lead a horse to the water but you cannot make it drink”. 

Choosing a right career has become an important subject in itself and extracurricular activities for the students and has made the parents to keep abreast of educational options and job market. Suggesting specific courses for a particular stream, its eligibility criterion, education providers, fee structure, course duration, etc will be out of scope of the present blog for want of canvas. The blog focuses on general principles to be guided by while planning the career path by the students and parents. 

(I) Tips to students for choosing a career plan: 

  1.     Consider your inherent strength and aptitude in particular subjects and build on these strengths and aptitude. Lend thy ears to all, rake up the omniscient Google, attend the workshops and fair on career planning but nobody knows you better than you yourself. Be an informed and independent decision maker.
  2.     Do not get carried away by “Me Too” phenomenon. Each student has different strengths and financial support from the family. 

  3.     If you choose a career, though less lucrative,  which revolves around your strength and aptitude, you will achieve more at the end of your career if other achievements are also factored into, apart from pecuniary gains.

  4.     You would be a passionate professional if you practice a profession which is very close to your heart. 

  5.     Each stream (Science, Commerce and Arts) can open the avenues for a remunerative career, the only caveat is that you must have consistent bright performance in whatever course you are pursuing. 

  6.     Discussing the data on GDP may sound out of context to some of the readers but it is very germane to the issue of career planning when the outcome of your today’s decision is to be tested on the anvil of job market after 5 to 10 years. Ours is a huge country which needs not only good doctors, programmers and engineers bit also needs good teachers, bureaucrats,  accountants, designers, retailers, etc. Our economy has already moved from Primary Sector (Agriculture, Forestry, Fishery, Mining, etc) to Secondary Sector (industries) and now entered in to thriving Service Sector with 53.80% contribution in GDP (2016-17) with a growth rate of 8.90% (2016-17) – the highest among the three sectors of economy. The booming service sector in our country assures a decent job to aspiring youth who have equipped themselves with market oriented skills. 

  7.     If you are lucky to be a child of rich parents, getting admission, now a days, is a family matter of money and not that of your Mark sheet. As a student, you have to decide whether you are capable enough to run the academic race lasting for half a decade. If you do not withstand the arduous test, your parents will lose the money and more importantly, you will lose some valuable years which is a big loss one can never make good. 

  8.     All things said and done, “Man proposes, God disposes”. Keep your “Plan B” ready, in case your “Plan A” fails. If it happens, do not lose your heart, though easier said than done. The outcome of Plan B will not be less rewarding if you work on Plan B with same enthusiasm and perseverance which you have intended to apply for achieving your Plan A. 

  9.     “Earn while you learn“is very popular path in developed countries. No doubt, the concept is very useful in terms of financial support and gaining on-hand experience. However, practically all the followers of the concept gradually lose the focus on their education and drops out before reaching the Finish Line. Beware of this pitfall before you tread on this path. Money has greater attraction power than that education has.

(II) Tips to parents for choosing a career plan for their children: 

  1.     If your child has not performed well in the exam, choosing a good career plan will be difficult and costly too. However, do not scold your child. Bear in mind that you have no moral right to do so if you have not monitored the progress all the early years while the poor performance was brewing up - a very bitter statement for the parents to swallow. Under such scenario, not to give a vent to your feeling as a parent will be more prudent. If you do so, issue may flare up -locking the stable gate is of no use once the horse has run away.

  2.     Choosing a career plan is a ticklish job. Your child is already under pressure, particularly when the mark sheet is not so impressive. Discuss with him his choices and various options available as per his scores in exam. Spare time to consult other parents, students, relatives, and colleagues and gather information and share with your child. Spare time from you work to visit colleges along with the child, at least two – three colleges. Emotional support is as important as financial support. 

  3.     Give more weightage to the views and choice of your child than those of yours. 

  4.     Shed your parent ego. Advise him as a friend, not as an elder.  

 5.     Though higher education has become an industry where money as a factor of production is a means to get into it but may not give the outcome as you expect. Outcome depends on calibre and hard work of the children. 

  6.     Do not thrust your choice on your children even though you have sacrificed a lot and have great stake in their further progress. 

  7.     Do not get carried away by the fairy dreams of good career being shown by the advisors and sometimes, by the family members. Consider what is required for materialising the dream. Consider: Have you got the financial resources as a parent? And: Has your child got the mettle for the strenuous race as student.


Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Save Water - Tips to Save Water in Domestic Use

Water has been much glorified in all the civilisations to the extent equating it with the God. All civilisations and scriptures have at least a few rituals wherein water is at the centre of rituals. And, all these aura and veneration around water are not without reasons. Archaeological relics indicate how our ancestors have conserved water and obviated its shortage by its judicious use. In modern times, each speaker at environment meet harps on Save Water.

One cannot think of life without water – even the simplest form of animal or plant needs water. Human body is composed of 60% of water. Human being needs water for various physiological functions and domestic use. Nearly 70% surface of the Earth is covered with water of which about 2.50% is covered with fresh (suitable for drinking) water. Most of the sources of fresh water are difficult to exploit for domestic use due to financial, spatial, topographical, political, etc reasons. 

This has resulted into severe shortage of water for domestic use. Some of the heart-wrenching videos and images portraying the unhygienic ways of quenching the thirst by the poor people have been making rounds in the social media from time to time. These videos and images highlight the urgency of saving water, its frugal use and equitable distribution. 

It is found that the major cause of strained relations amongst the neighbours in areas hit with water shortage is usurping by the rich and mighty the due share of water of the poor and the weak. In fact, same is the situation in the cases of nations in water-poor regions.

Why the world is facing shortage of water for domestic use:

Confining the discussion to domestic/household level, following are the reasons leading to the shortage:
·         With the rise in living of standard, overall per capita domestic use of water is increasing.
·         Rapid urbanisation increases the domestic use of water – a person living in a village uses less water but uses more water after migrating to a city.
·         Awareness to save water is increasing but practicing the awareness in daily life is decreasing.
·         Most of the developing countries supply domestic water at a subsidized rate leading to indiscriminate use, rather wastage, of water by a small section of the society who is able to manage the supply to suit their needs.
·         Average family size is decreasing leading to higher per capita use of water for same strength of population in the region.
·         Inefficient storage facility (No ballcock / no auto monitor to turn off the water supply)
·         Over flow of storage tank going un-noticed as the overflow water pipe is directly connected to drainage pipe.
·         Leaking pipes, taps, toilet flushes, etc
·         Care for Personal hygiene is a must for health but onslaught of marketing ads for personal hygiene products has graduated such care to an obsession to the level of hygiene practices required for medical team of operation theatre. 

Tips to save water in domestic use:

(Readers might find some of the tips “strange” but they are valid and worth considering for implementation)

  • While shaving, turn off the tap. Use tumbler for water you need while shaving.
  • While brushing the teeth, turn off the tap. Use brass/copper lota or such other utensil
  • Take “Bucket Bath” rather than shower bath or tub bath.
  • Do not change clothes on each occasion of going out of home during the same day.
  • Do not destine the clothes to laundry bag every time you put off the clothes during the same day. Give your clothes due opportunity to serve their due tenure till they really need washing. You can afford water to wash many pairs of clothes in a day but society cannot when there is shortage of water.
  • Exhort servant/domestic help/driver, if you have any, to use water as required and not “as available”.
  • Sweep the stone or tile cladded open area with broom rather cleaning with water pipe.
  • While washing clothes manually, use the leftover water after rinsing the clothes for beating the clothes with washing bat (wooden thapi or dhoka).
  • Select a washing machine which is smart / efficient in water use.
  • Load the washing machine with recommended washing load.
  • Soaking the clothes in power added water for about 6 hours before washing needs less water and efforts to wash.
  • Wash your vehicle with one bucket of water and a rag of cloth instead of hose pipe. If you do not know “how to”, watch the man who provides this paid service every morning to your neighbours.
  • Use the utensils for cooking, serving and taking meals thoughtfully – some of the utensils used once can be reused without washing.
  • Clean your used utensils immediately after the meal is over. Do not leave the used utensils overnight. Used utensils kept in wash basin overnight needs more water and energy to clean. It also provides strong attraction for household insects and rats too.
  • RO plant takes in 4 litres of water for giving you 1 litre of pure water. Collect the waste water for suitable use.
  • Take in glass only such quantity of RO water as you need.
  • Consider: Can we use the tap water for cooking rather than RO water? Remember: tap water is a better source of minerals than RO Water and it will, in most of the cases, not harm once boiled.
  • Repair / replace the dripping water taps/faucets as they are major component of loss of water. 
  • Use Dual Flush (Half / Full Flush)Water Efficient Toilets, water saving aerator taps / flow restrictors in kitchen and wash basin.
  • Put a tightly closed plastic bottle/jar of appropriate size filled with sand/water in the cistern of the toilet flush if the quantity of water gushing out is more than  required.  The same objective can also be achieved by manipulating the intake tap and bending the rod of the ballcock.
  • Leakage from concealed water pipe is apparently does not get noticed and wastes good deal of water, particularly when the surface is facing the sun. Look out periodically for such blind spots, particularly in old houses.
  • Exhort family members and friends to use water wisely. Do not shy away from nagging in deserving cases.
  • Before just tilting down a bucket of used water, think how it can be meaningfully used for some other purpose.
  • Lifting water from source of bulk raw water, conveying it to water plant, its purification and distribution consumes good deal of electricity and efforts of the water supply utility agency till it reaches to your door. In most of the cases you also use electricity to pump it up to overhead water tank in your house. This means when you save water, you also save on electricity bill.
  • Installing Water Meter and charge the user as per the quantity consumed is the most effective way to rationalise the use of water. As an individual co-operate with the Municipal Corporation/ Apartment Owners Association / Housing Society for installing water meter.
  • Lawn needs large quantity of water. Consider its plastic cousin – the artificial green grass turf. Or grow hardy plant, shrubs and trees in place of lawn wherever practical.
  • Our age old practice of harvesting the rainwater from rooftop (collecting and storing in an underground pucca tank) for domestic use is practically forgotten. Wherever feasible, this practice should be implemented. This could solve the shortage of at least drinking water round the year.
Do you want sufficient water round the clock, round the year: Waste not, want not.