According to M M Chaturvedi, programme co-ordinator, CIC, this programme is not an engineering programme but involves maths as an integral component, which is taught during the entire course. The programme includes training in core mathematics, information and computer technology (ICT) and science disciplines and additional courses on innovation and technology management, entrepreneurship, business, communications, etc. Since innovation is a fundamentally application oriented domain, there is a strong focus on problem solving and project work and training on building solutions for real world problems.
DU had set up the CIC in 2011 with the objective of fostering an ecosystem of innovation and connecting research with application for the benefit of society. It aims to support application-oriented research to solve real world problems by developing ideas into innovative applications that can be commercialised successfully. The course focuses on developing affordable innovations that reach a large number of people and at the same time are commercially viable, sustainable and relevant, explains Chaturvedi.
During this programme, students work on real life problems faced by the society. For each problem, students first prepare a mathematical algorithm and then simulate it on the computer for testing. After testing, they come up with relevant solutions with help of members of the faculty.
Since the programme is very new, students have not been able to complete their projects, which they choose on their own. Multipurpose robots, designing the wings of a plane, roller coaster design, etc, are some of the projects students are working on at present, says Chaturvedi.
Maths, computational skills, computer languages and communications skills, among others, comprise the course module. In the third semester, students need to pick their major from the three main streams of electronics, bio-informatics and system biology, or commerce and economics.
To be eligible for the programme, students need have passed +2 (minimum aggregate of 60% in four subjects) in any stream with maths and any one language as a compulsory subject. There is a written test followed by an interview. The fee of the course is Rs 5,000 per-semester. Last year, for a total of 40 seats, we received over 2,000 applications. This year we are hoping for even better response, says Chaturvedi.
As to advantages of the programme, Chaturvedi says, The programme encourages innovation; it allows students to develop ideas into innovative applications and lets students develop meaningful linkages with various segments of the society.
The dates for the entrance exam will be announced in June. For more details about the course and application forms, log on to cic.du.ac.in
Even as they wait for their II PU results, students, who attended the Common Entrance Test (CET) on Monday, found the Maths paper difficult to crack.
Two days ahead of the announcement of II PU results, the students appeared for CET at 12 centres across the city. They said Biology paper was "easy", but not Maths, which was a tough nut to crack. "Biology was easy, but I faced difficulty with Maths paper," Sneha L K, a student of the JSS College for Women, told source. However, that has not dent Sneha's confidence. She is all set to crack the other two papers -- Physics and Chemistry -- on Tuesday.
Sagar M from Maharaja's PU College too endorsed Sneha's view on the Monday's papers. "I feel Physics paper will be tough," he said. Yashaswini C R from the Sadvidya College said that she could do well as she had focussed on it and worked really hard. "I've performed well in both the papers. Hope everything goes well on Tuesday too," she said, keeping her fingers crossed.
However, there were some students like Rakshith L Y who didn't bother much about Maths. He said: "I'd concentrated more on Biology and have performed well. I'm not bothered about Maths. I just want to perform well in Physics and Chemistry," he said.
In all, 5,111 out of 6,894 students took the Biology test in the 12 centres. But there were no absentees in Maths. The tests were held between 10.30am and 11.50am (Biology) and between 2.30pm and 3.50pm (Maths). The Tuesday's test timings are as follows: 10.30am-11.50am (Physicls) and 2.30pm-3.50pm (Chemistry).
Police security has been beefed up with prohibitory orders being clamped in 200-metres radius around the centres for the tests. Photocopying centres near the test centres have been directed to down shutters.
Read More About Karnataka Common Entrance Test
If one were to ask students as to what they want to do after 10+2, most would say they want to take up medicine, engineering or chartered accountancy. However, students have a wide range of options to choose from which are not only equally rewarding but also have a far better career scope. One such field, Actuaries, opens the door for a rewarding career as a financial mathematician.
Who are actuaries?
Actuaries are experts in assessing the financial impact of future events. They enable financial decisions to be made with more confidence by analysing the past, modelling the future, assessing the risks involved, and communicating what the results mean in financial terms.
They add value by enabling businesses and individuals to make better-informed decisions, with a clear view of the likely range of financial outcomes from different future events.
How to become an actuary?
Anyone with an aptitude for mathematics and statistics can take up this course and become an actuary. To qualify, a candidate has to pass the Actuarial Common Entrance Test (ACET) conducted by the Institute of Actuaries of India (IAI), Mumbai (www.actuariesindia.org).
A candidate must have passed 10+2 examination or an equivalent with English as one of the subjects. Even those who have a higher educational qualification and those who are working and having qualifications in mathematical subjects have to take up the examination. For example, engineering students or professionals, chartered and cost accountants, company secretaries, management graduates, graduates in mathematical and statistical sciences, etc. are eligible to take up ACET.
After clearing the ACET, a candidate needs to clear a series of 15 papers prescribed by the IAI to be awarded the Fellowship in Actuary (FIAI) to be designated as a Qualified Actuary. It could take anywhere between four and six years to clear all the 15 papers depending on the time devoted. It is a completely distance learning programme and there is no fixed duration to complete the course. However, there are a few institutions awarding Master's and postgraduate programmes in Actuarial Sciences such as Bishop Heber College, Tiruchi; Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NIMS); and Mount Carmel Institute of Management, Bangalore.
Where do they work?
Traditionally actuaries were involved in insurance companies, building financial models of the future, estimating necessary parameters and drawing conclusions of likely outcome about solvency and profitability of the firm. Also, an actuary's important activity included product pricing, reserving for liabilities, monitoring financial stability of the organisation and managing the risk of a life insurance company. However, today, there are wider applications of actuarial skills and they are employed in various sectors beyond the traditional fields such as insurance and pensions.
“Actuaries fall in the category of both finance professionals and risk professionals. Currently, they work in the traditional area of life insurance, non-life insurance and pensions in the Indian context. However, at the global level, this is changing significantly,” said R. Arunachalam, FIAI, a consulting actuary, who also pointed out that actuaries are much sought after in non-traditional areas such as enterprise risk management, and social and infrastructure investments.
Investment management is a field where actuarial expertise is used in investment strategy, performance measurements, portfolio management, and economic and investment analysis. Here actuaries are employed as advisors, analysts and portfolio managers. Actuary also has a role to play in corporate finance which involves raising and management of capital.
With the expertise of investment management and long-term liability management, actuaries are in demand in the area of retirement benefits as consultants and advisors. They design retirement benefit plans for employees of organisations, making provision for the same through appropriate funding strategies, and advise on fund management for self-administered schemes.
Actuaries are required to value and certify accrued gratuity liability and leave encashment benefit liability of the employees of companies for making appropriate provision in the corporate accounts as per applicable accounting standards.
Just a handful
In India, currently there are only 238 fully qualified actuaries, including a few from foreign countries, who have been given permission by the IAI to practice in the country. Mr. Arunachalam pointed out that the sheer size of the Indian business would easily absorb a few thousand actuaries.
“The opportunity is really huge – and hence it would be prudent to pursue this profession and get higher pay and benefits,” he said.
Presently, around 12,000 students have enrolled themselves with IAI as student members, pursuing the actuarial course. This is in contrast to the barely 400 in the year 2000. The opening up of the insurance sector in India is believed to be the reason for the increased interest in pursuing actuaries.
Mr. Arunachalam pointed out that actuaries are in high demand and rank among the top in the western world in terms of pay, benefits and work environment for the services they render. “The day is not far off for the Indian businesses to start discovering the true value of the finance and risk advice these professionals provide,” he said.
Risk Analysis and Management of Projects (RAMP) is an area where an actuarial role is increasingly being associated to bring about greater sophistication into the entire process of project planning and management, more particularly with financial risks having to be coped with.
The demand here could be for application of skills right across the range of actuarial study and should interest the emerging generation of actuaries.
In a different focus, Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) is developing into a relatively new area for actuaries to be involved in and bring into wider play concepts developed in relation to issues of capital adequacy. ERM actuaries can take the roles of Chief Risk Officers within organisations, spearheading the corporate governance and risk management across all sectors.
Actuaries having knowledge and skills of software can enter niche areas of providing IT solutions to financial services companies. They can also work in government organisations and regulatory bodies in areas of demography, perspective planning and socio-economic research which involves validating the assumptions about future trends, statistical and mathematical modelling and estimating the financial implications for the future.
Source: The Hindu
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