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Something beyond the conventional

+1 vote

Source: DH

Are you looking for something beyond the traditional degrees? Have you been looking up for interesting courses that resonate with your passion, but haven’t had any luck yet? The good news is, there are a number of interesting degree courses that may match your interests, but you are likely to have missed catching them because they are generally overlooked. Here is a look at eight creative yet overlooked courses that have a great career prospect. 

Viticulture & oenology
If you are interested in the oldest forms of biotechnology, you should consider getting a degree in viticulture and oenology. Viticulture is the study of production of grapes, and oenology teaches the science of wine and winemaking. Additionally, it also teaches students to identify, address and solve issues faced by the grape and wine industries.

Options: With this course, you can make a career in wine and related industries, such as vineyard management, winemaking and winery management, food and beverage technology, hospitality and tourism among many others.

Bakery science & management
Are you interested in the scientific aspects of baking? Bakery science and management focuses on the scientific aspects that can impact the bakery sector, including bakery ingredients and flavours to mixes and equipment. This course will train and equip students to stay updated with today’s high-tech businesses involving complex equipment, formulations, organisation and products. 

n Options: If you have a knack for baking and a head for business, you can start your own. As courses like this are designed to train students as a baking technologist, you can seek jobs in restaurants, hotels, clubs, food manufacturers, testing laboratories and bakeries. 

Floral design & management
For those who love flowers and are artistically inclined, here is a chance to take your passion to the next level by taking up the Floral design and management course. This course includes sourcing, purchasing, distributing, marketing, designing with, and selling floricultural products. This course balances business and science where systematic business procedures and design principles are applied in the operation of a retail or wholesale floral business.

Options: This course opens doors to multiple job opportunities such as retail florist and designer, interior plantscape technician, display artist, wedding and bridal design planner and much more. 

Turfgrass management
Have you ever wondered who maintains the professional sports fields and stadiums to stay all green and flat? Due credit goes to the turfgrass professionals! Combining botany, and business management, turfgrass management is an overlooked course with an interesting career option. In the turfgrass management course, students are taught all aspects of plant and soil science, and learn environmentally sound strategies for controlling common turfgrass pests such as weeds, insects and diseases. Likewise, a turfgrass professional is knowledgeable about entomology, plant pathology and weed science. 

Options: This is a perfect career for those who love science and sports at the same time. Turfgrass management professionals can work as golf course superintendents, athletic field managers, sod producers, turfgrass researchers, and even as private consultants.

Public health entomology
For the humanitarians in heart and the lover of science, public health entomology gives a chance to stay true to your passion and create positive impact. This course is focused on insects and arthropods that impact human health and lays great emphasis on insect vectors and vector-borne disease control. It also includes research on the behaviour and ecology of various such species. 

Options: Various career opportunities include roles as epidemiologists, health development managers, public health advisors, health programme specialists, medical practitioners in public health, clinical university teachers etc. 

(The author is co-founder, The Chopras)


Natasha Chopra, Jun 29 2017,
posted Jun 29, 2017 by anonymous

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+2 votes

Source: BM

For parenting, this is a magical microcosm, real-world simulator for our children to navigate

It’s been a hectic week and weekend. Faraway relatives have descended on namma ooru to celebrate. Mid-week dinners, late-night airport trips, and chatting assemblies, have thrown life as we knew it, into happy chaos. The scheduling that we’d honed as parents (decimated by the summer holidays) was just recovering. Now, carefully-crafted bedtimes and routine fly out the door, as grandma celebrates a birthday. It’s not just any birthday, it’s the 80th.

And she’s not alone; there’s an identical twin who is twice as crazy as her. It’s the event of a lifetime, one worth commemorating; and in true Indian style – over many days and meals. Goodbye, quiet time. The pluses are many. And I’ll start with the one that makes parenting lighter 1. I don’t need to worry about our meals at all – and what parent doesn’t love that! It’s all good. Day 1 is a full-on excitement-overload. 2. There’s so much ‘lurrve’. And compliments.

The children have obviously grown and everyone is staring at them in amazement. “How tall! How and when did this happen?!” I often borrow the line , “We water their feet every morning!” The children are enjoying the attention/smiles/bad jokes/stories/ laughter. And guess what? They’re learning from the village. The stories will, no doubt, remain. Well, the scandalous ones will. Especially, when they’re grandmas’! As I watch the shenanigans, I can’t help but notice 3. the psychological value of socialising. Everyone is loosening up. There’s the old aunt sitting with one of the children, giving her advice on what not to take seriously, and how to ignore a baby brother who’s bugging you. The older-but-still-young relatives giving career-advice to someone or the other, and the giggling cousins (notice how no one is on their phone?!), well, just giggling. There’s the oddball relative who’s missing a filter between his thought and words.

He’ll say something inappropriate for sure. And that’s okay too. Our kids are getting exposure to the real world, in an atmosphere that largely positive, and within their parent’s earshot.As the kids practise a special song for the twin grandmas, I see them ‘collaborate’. The “leaders” steamroll their way, the peacemakers hone their skill. It’s such a pond of learning, and one that’s rich in human relationship and interaction. Such bliss. Well, at least until the tiredness sets in. My rose-tinted reverie was interrupted by Ms. Teen, the super girl who’s tackling school, projects, early-rising, co-curricular, tuition and partying. She burst through the door with a whiny voice that I haven’t heard in a long while. “I have no time for myself and the family has moved ahead without me, and I have tuition while you all have fun. And I haven’t completed my Geography project, and someone stepped on my white shoes and ruined them, and I didn’t get any presents, and....”she said crying. As always, the cure is, to put her to bed.

This morning, I woke up to a strange jolting sound and heard myself shout out to Mr. Dad, What’s that?”He replied calmly (as he was right beside me), “The alarm.” Then, school frenzy began. Two out of three children could not wake up, and when I decided to give in and get back under covers, she decided to do school. Back to the frenzy – this time, with lost time.

Argh. Even the even-tempered Mr. Dad is kinda grumpy this morning. He blames overeating; we’ll blame exhaustion. And honestly, these are small prices to pay for the fun that was – creepy uncle included.

+1 vote

Source: TOI

With Harry Potter, Tintin and Sherlock Holmes being included in the school curriculum, students from junior and middle school, have a reason to rejoice. The Indian School Certificate Examination (ICSE) had announced that these books will be included in the syllabus for the 2017-2018 academic session. We asked some students to speak about their favourite books that could enter school syllabuses, like Harry Potter did. Here's what they have to say...
Swathi Seshadri (2nd PUC student, Christ PU College)
" Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, has definitely been one of the most amazing books I've ever read. It has inspired me to follow my dreams irrespective of all the hardships. Ranging from deadlines, life changes and dreams, it covers everything a teenager would want to know about life after school. Fangirl is a book which proves that simplicity is the utmost sophistication."
Hemangini Singh Rathore (10th grade student, Presidency School)
"Much like how Harry Potter stands for values of love and determination, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, is packed with important ideals that would fit right into the principles that schools try to instil in their students. From unending grit for survival, to sacrifices, and proving that tyranny is always overpowered in the end, this book is a goldmine of good ideals. Plus, it's always a better read than Shakespearean 'classics'!"
Aditi Maria Das (1st PU student, Mount Carmel College)
"I feel A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini will make for a good read. When you read this book, you tend to have a new perspective about the world and the way you think. Shakespeare's writings are kind of forced on us, whereas these books every student will enjoy reading."
Brinda Sridhar(2nd PU student)
" The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Contrasting to the horrors of the World War II against a deep love for language and reading, it presents a personal and moving account of wartime reality. Students should be exposed to literature like this, because the entertainment aspect of the novel is balanced by important historical details that everybody ought to know."
Pradhyumna S (1st PU student)
" The Motorcycle Diaries by Che Guevara. Not only does this memoir appeal to the sensibilities of students that are interested in travel, but it is also a very inspirational piece that pushes readers to step out of their comfort zones and widen their horizons. The story outlines how Che's life turned out, and sends out strong messages about core values."
Rishvanjas Raghavan (2nd PUC student, VVS Sardar Patel PU College)
"I would love to see Sudha Murthy's How I Taught My Grandmother to Read: and Other Stories in school syllabuses. This book is true Indian-ness at its heart. While the short stories are very elegant and well-written, they promote all values a student is expected to learn at school, such as respecting elders, valuing time, or even saving money, in an irresistibly interesting manner. The book can be used as a whole, or in parts over middle and high school."

By Sanjana Sindhe


+1 vote

Photo credit   V. Srinivas Murthy, The

From a foundation in memory of a friend to a library on the move, young professionals in the city are taking books to those who need them the most

Sarumthy K.

Children at Twinkle Library, which was inaugurated this month, at Cheshire Home on Old Airport Road          

Children living in the neighbourhood of a primary school and crèche run by city-based trust Sewac-B in Guddadahalli, Hebbal, were pleasantly surprised a year ago when stacks of books were delivered to their premises.

It heralded the birth of a library— a gift by four friends.

Under the banner Nirupa Reading Foundation, city-based Rajni Singh and her friends — Vikram Sridhar, Sindhu Naik, and Kapil Vardhan — started setting up libraries in children’s homes, schools, and old age homes across the city. The initiative began last year, and to date, they have set up three libraries—two in Bengaluru and one in Gurugram (Haryana).

Their plan is to spread the habit of reading in cities across India.

Apart from the crèche, the second library in Bengaluru — christened Twinkle Library — was inaugurated this month at Cheshire Home on Old Airport Road.

Nirupa Reading Foundation, which was registered as a trust in March this year, was started in memory of their friend Nirupa, who died after battling cancer at the age of 36. Nirupa, Ms. Singh, and Ms. Naik met when they were part of Runner Girls India, an all-women runners group in Bengaluru, in 2007

“I introduced Nirupa to Vikram and Kapil and we used to travel together extensively. We were almost like a family,” Ms. Singh says. “Nirupa was very fond of reading. We wanted to keep her memory alive in a constructive way, and that is how the foundation came about. We want to give the gift of reading to underprivileged children and adults through the trust,” Ms. Singh, a 41-year-old software engineer, adds.

The Hebbal library is operated by the crèche staff five days a week for two hours in the evening. The children were asked to come up with a name for the library and it was christened “Happy library”. The library has 500 books, of which 120 are in Kannada and the remaining in English.

“Nirupa Reading Foundation contacted us and set up a well-structured library. Now, at least 20 children visit the library every day from the neighbourhood. We also have a librarian to assist the children,” Shalini Joshi, secretary, Sewac-B, says.

At Cheshire Home, which provides care, treatment, and education support to about 45 physically challenged and visually impaired children, 300 children’s books have already been stacked in a cupboard. Most of the books are pre-owned and donated. “The new books are funded by our friends and relatives. We have not gone for corporate funding as of now,” Ms. Singh adds.

The librarians at the two facilities have been trained and all books are colour coded to match with the children’s reading levels. “We have followed the Hippocampus Reading Foundation’s Grow by Reading Model so that children read books appropriate for their age and reading capacity,” she concludes.



+1 vote


Image source: TOI

While the academic year for schools in the city has begun, three schools have come under the radar of the education department for various issues and have been slapped with criminal cases in the Kumaraswamy Police Station limits.

Firdose International School in Sarakki, IQRA Public School and Rani Mother Mary School in Illyas Nagar have slapped with an FIR by the Block Education Officer who made surprise visits to these schools recently. A senior official who is handling this case in the station said, "These schools violated many rules and regulations. All three were running without licences."

The police officer added, "The schools had permission to run batches from nursery to Standard 2, but they took in students till 4th standard without the education department's permission. These schools claim they had applied for permission and it was rejected by the department as they did not meet certain criteria required for admission."

Surprisingly, the education department which is busy hunting down schools that are violating its diktats is making sure the schools follow every single rule in their rule book.

"These schools have been booked under the Karnataka Education Act, 1983, the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act of 2009 and IPC 418 and IPC 420. We have got this complaint from the BEO and we have issued a notice to the schools to come back with whatever documents they have, so we can compile a report and submit it to the education department," said the official. Since the schools have begun their classes across the city, a few are still rushing up with their admissions. The police officer said, "We have stopped all admissions for these schools this year and we are taking necessary steps to shift these students to other schools immediately."

Speaking to Bangalore Mirror, N Venkatesh, Block Education Officer, South division 1, said, "These schools did not have permission to run any kind of educational activity. They were cheating parents with their own pricing. They had sent a request earlier for legitimacy, and we had rejected it on grounds of our policies and rules. Still they continue to function. That is the reason we gave a complaint in the police station and asked the school to immediately shut down."

"In all this, students should not become victims. Hence, we have formed a committee to look into alternative measures. We are admitting these students to nearby schools and we have also informed the parents about this," he added.

These surprise visits in the city will continue for a few more days, he said.

List of violators

Meanwhile, the Director of Public Instruction released a list of 15 unauthorized schools in Bengaluru south zone-3. The list comprises Reliance Public School, Crystal School, Austin Town; MES English School, Jayanagar; St. John Art Foundation, HSR layout; All New Public School, Mangammana Palya; RZ School, Bande Palya; Green Tree School, Bande Palya; Blue Bell School, Roopena Argrahara; Master Kits School, Mangammana Palya and St. Saras School

By Kumaran P

+1 vote



You can turn the messiest room in your house to the one that is creatively energised. These five easy DIY ideas are sure to bring in new energies to your kids' room. Make learning fun for your kids.

Take advantage of the creative posters available in the market and create the world map on the wall. Put the discarded socks to use. Cover the feet of chairs and ta bles in the kids' room with the socks your little ones do not use anymore. Isn't this cute?

Paint a twig and use instead of regular plain curtain rods to give the room a fairytale look. Dress up the side table of your baby girl's room with a princess skirt. All you would need is some tulle, ribbons and elastic to tie it up.

If your kid is not using skate boards anymore, put them to better use. You can hang them on the wall to showcase toys or picture. Innovative and inter esting, this will surely bring in some excitement in your kids' room. Decals come in trendy avatars these days. Choose some from your children's favourite fairy tale characters or super he roes. Go in for the easy-to stick variety.

Put them up on the walls of your children's bedroom in different places such as next to the wardrobe or the study table. Wall decals can also be removed easily so you can buy new ones as the kids grow up. If the kids have outgrown their baby quilts, transform them into pillow covers. You could also sew up two or four of them to make cute bedspreads.