If the term Rural Manager fills your mind with frames of villages, starvation and poverty, read on. You are about to enter the world of knowledge. Verghese Kurien who initiated 'Operation Flood' in India and created the brand 'Amul' and Muhamed Yunus who revolutionised the concept of banking by introducing Grameen Bank were some dynamic Rural Mangers.
As a Rural Manager your main responsibility will be to help various rural sector organisations and institutions in professionalising their operations. For e.g., you will help cooperative firms, rural development organisations, farming organisations, handicraft units, healthcare units, educational institutions and others. You will help them to devise systems, understand traditional marketing and product development principles, run production processes and manage human resources.
As a Rural Manager you will be in close proximity with people. You will have to understand their problems, culture, ethos and their need for development. You will devise and implement methodologies to empower them with the know-how of managing micro enterprises of production. For the interested, a micro organisation is typically a household organisation in the rural sector.
To be able to do this you have to understand the relationships among agro-climatic conditions, natural resources, production systems and livelihoods of rural people. The rural resources are land, soil, water, forest resources, animal husbandry, dairy, fisheries, etc. There are also some non-farm activities like trading, retailing, education, etc. With this understanding, you will have plan and implement rural development programmes. You will be devising a way to use the rural resources in the right way.
You will research rural systems of livelihood and identify areas where the system needs intervention, or improvement. You will plan whether a cooperative needs to be set up or the government must intervene. You will decide if an NGO should address the problems. You will plan how to sustain these developmental efforts and how to expand.
As a Rural Manager, you will identify projects, plan out strategies and implementation, raise funds required and then set up the organisation. You will do a social cost-benefit analysis and make presentation to the potential funding organisations, Government, or corporate organisations. You will monitor and control the progress of the project.
You will be developing micro organisations in the rural sector which are needed for rural development. You will empower rural people with the knowledge of running those micro organisations and help them with finances. You will often have to help them understand the nuances of finance, marketing, and production. You will assess their proposal for setting up organisations and help them to get the required finance.
You will be working in various rural organisations like cooperative firms, NGOs, and joint sector firms in association with the government. You will set up and run these firms and thereby help the rural development process. In these firms, you may be working in areas like micro finance (giving small sum of money to the rural folks), marketing of products manufactured by cooperatives, finance and accounting, raising funds to run the organisation, etc.
You can also work for other organisations involved in the rural sector in a range of areas. Planning and information systems, production management, inventory management and logistics, marketing, finance, accounts, human resource development, rural development and natural resources management are other areas of work.
The most exciting part of this job is the fact that you will be working towards the development of the rural folks. For that you don't always have to live in villages and small towns. Only some positions in this field require living in rural and semi-urban conditions. But then you will be away from poisonous city fumes.
The job profile of a Rural Manager is fast changing. You will be using modern technologies like IT working in rural computerisation programmes! So you need to be tech savvy as any other corporate manager.
In organisations working in the rural sector there are very few levels of jobs. You will enter as a Junior Officer or Trainee. Depending on your performance, you may be handling big responsibility as a Project Manager. You can progress very fast here if you have the right attitude and skills.
* A desire to work for the development of the society
* A helping nature to reach out and help people
* You must enjoy interacting with people from various streams of society
* Good communication skills
* Leadership ability
* An ability to adapt to difficult conditions in life
* Strong reasoning abilities
* Dynamic, suave, tactful and diplomatic
* Ability to persuade, and convince people
* Ability to sympathise and
empathise with people
As for the educational qualifications, you will do well if you have a postgraduate degree/diploma in Rural Management/Rural development/Rural Administration. A degree/diploma in Social Work/Social Welfare Administration will also do. You can specialise in Rural Marketing under some MBA programmes.
Apart from these courses, there are ample opportunities to enter the field of Rural Management with qualifications and experience from other fields. For example, you can work in advertising/marketing and then switch to Rural Marketing. With experience in financial companies you can join ural sector financing or work in grameen banks. Even those with a degree in medicine can join one of the NGO firms working in rural health sector.
* NGOs involved in rural development like Eklavya Foundation
* Consumer product companies like Hindustan Lever Ltd., BPL or other companies involved in the rural sector
* Banks like NABARD, Grameen Bank; rural banking branches of other banks, etc.
* Large scale cooperative like Amul
* Other cooperative organisations
* Government organisations like National Dairy Development Board and KRIBCO
* Government departments and programmes run by various ministries
* National and international donor agencies engaged in promoting rural development like the Aga Khan Foundation, Partners-In-Change, etc.
Money & Other Benefits
In an NGO firm you will begin at Rs 3,000-16,000 per month depending on the type of organisation.
In consumer and other corporate companies, you will start with Rs 15,000-40,000 per month.
Banks pay Rs 12,000 per month.
Cooperative firms pay Rs 6,000-7,000 or more per month.
Government organisations pay you in the range of Rs 10,000-12,000 per month.
National and international donor agencies pay in the range of Rs 7,000-6,000 per month. In most of the NGOs, cooperative firms and donor agencies you will generally have to work under contracts of say one to two years. Under contractual jobs, you generally get a consolidated salary. No other benefits like House Rent Allowance, conveyance allowance, etc.
India is an agrarian economy where almost 80 per cent of the population lives in rural areas and directly or indirectly depends on agriculture. With economic and technological developments and globalisation, the future of Indian economy is bright. The demand for trained Rural Managers is also going to swell in the near future.
There are numerous jobs with donor agencies. And the money they offer is quite good. For instance, on an average, US$ 7 billion was given to various Third World NGOs by US Donor agencies between 1995-96 to 1999-2000. Now this kind of money needs efficient managers to deal with. So more and more professionally trained Rural Managers are finding jobs with donor agencies.
If you were to be a social worker you'll spend most part of your life wearing khadi and working with tribals in some village. You'll miss out on exciting marriage proposals and perks such as a fancy car, plush flat at Napeansea Road and prepaid air travels associated with management. You won't have suited-buted executives, but a million street children for company. If you are still with me, you probably are the samaj sevak kinds.
So now that you have decided to be one, let's find out what it's all about. As a social worker you'll work to prevent and alleviate social problems and address various social issues such as poverty, unemployment, public hygiene, malnutrition, physical, mental, and emotional handicaps, anti-social behaviour, alcohol addiction, drug addiction, old age, environmental pollution, deforestation, etc. Phew, now that's quite a heap of problems to deal with. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. As a social worker you won't be confined to a cubicle for an office. The whole world will be your office. Often you'll be on the field, working without a fixed schedule. Talking to people, learning about their problems, organising programmes to train and educate them, lobbying with the statutory authorities to get things done, sensitising public about social issues by organising seminars, symposiums, educational programmes, etc will be part and parcel of your daily life.
You'll also be involved in the most important part-fund raising. To be able to do all this you'll either have to setup your own NGO or actually become what they term as a 'Social Entrepreneur'.
And now for some specialised areas for the budding social worker:
Psychiatric Social Worker: It's for those who have a solution for every problem. The agony aunt kinds! Your area of work will be hospitals, clinics, rehabilitation centers, counselling centers treating people with psychological problems like family maladjustment, depression as the fallout of a broken home, antisocial behavior, addiction, abnormal sexuality, etc. You'll also work with mentally retarded people, handicapped persons, depressed college students, drug addicts and others.
Family & Child Welfare Worker: You'll specialise in solving family related problems, offer child guidance.
Urban & Rural Community Development Worker: Here's you chance to work with national/international NGOs to crusade for development issues such as illiteracy, poverty, lack of drinking water, healthcare, land fertility, communication infrastructure, etc. That's not all. You'll also counsel male members about drinking, wife beating, environmental pollution, so on and so forth. Do we see another Shabana Azmi in the making?
Criminology & Correctional Administration Worker: This is not for the chicken-hearted. You'll work in institutions like prisons, reformatories, remand homes, crime and delinquency prevention programmes counselling and reforming adult and juvenile offenders and criminals.
Labour Welfare and
Industrial Relations Worker: After all, there is still some
hope left for the ones craving for an office set up. Thank the law that says
it's mandatory under the purview of labour laws to employ social workers in
industries and offices with a large work force.
Your job would be to interact with these workers and counsel them on family and work related problems such as absenteeism, alcoholism, etc. This is critical in improving the productivity of the staff and maintaining cordial relations between the management and the labour force.
Gerontologists: This one's for someone with a softer side. Lend your strong shoulders to old and retired people who have nobody to look after them. You can drive their blues away by simply talking to them or better still running day care centers.
Environmental Social Workers: If you like watching National Geographic more than Baywatch or SUN TV, prefer animals to kids, this one's for you. The career will help you get in touch with the real world around you. You will address various environmental issues like air pollution, deforestation, noise pollution, global warming, rehabilitation and so on.
Rural Managers: You'll work in cooperatives, agro industry, NGO and also management streams like marketing, human resource development, finance, information systems, production, rural development, etc., depending on your area of specialisation.
Now let's talk of what it takes to be a social worker:
ASPIRATION to work for the development of the society heads the list
Remember social work is more of an involvement than a job. Anyone can be a social worker... a musician, poet, physicist, doctor, teacher... anyone. But of course, companies prefer people with specialised knowledge. You can specialise in two areas:
*Social work itself, or
*Field like psychology, education, medical science, management, environmental science, rural management and development, cooperative management, home Science, nutrition, etc.
*Master degree/diploma in social work
Prospects in this field have more to do with avenues than money.
*Social welfare departments of State/ Central Government which address social problems and issues at a governmental level
*Correctional schools, reformatories for children who have committed crime
*Rehabilitation clinics for the handicaps
*Organisations working in the fields of woman and child welfare, family planning, etc.
*Hospitals, clinics and drug rehabilitation centers
*Special schools like the schools for the blind and family welfare centers
*Rural and community development center in governmental and non governmental sector
*Cooperatives and public welfare trusts which work for social and charitable causes.
Money & Other Benefits
Now, let's talk about the most exciting part. Money of course! As a social worker you can look forward to a starting salary of Rs 2000-14000 or even more per month. Hold on, there is no such thing as a free lunch. The above salary depends on your qualifications and the kind of organisation you get to work with. Postgraduates in Rural Management are the enviable lot with the highest salaries in the business.
Most jobs are contractual in the NGO sector. Your salary will increase after 4-5 years of experience from Rs 4000-20,000 a month. Add to that another 3-5 years and you can take a cool Rs 25,000 per month.
Starting salary in the government sector is in the range of Rs 6,500-7,000. Hospitals and other industries offer Rs 5,000-7,500 per month. And now for the bad news - if you are employed with a NGO you get no additional perks like House Rent Allowance, Leave Travel Allowance, Medical Expense reimbursement, etc. But if you are employed in a government sector you can expect to get various additional perks. Some guys have all the luck in the world!
Social problems are increasing in direct proportion to the advancement in civilisation. So what we get is problems like absenteeism, drug addiction, rehabilitation, health, education, etc. And of course the ever-increasing problems of environmental pollution, only makes matters worse. But the sunny side to this is that more and more corporates are contributing funds for social causes and even the governments is waking up to its responsibilities. So what does all this translate to? A goldmine of opportunities for the aspiring social worker in you. There are specialised donor agencies that collect and distribute large funds. For instance, on an average, US $ 7 billion is given to various third world NGOs by US Donor agencies. No more begging bowls for social workers, who can now form their own NGO and approach these donor agencies for funds. There's only one hitch here (sorry to burst your bubble). Most of the jobs are contractual ranging for a period of 2-5 years. But this is not true in a government set up like a prison, department of social welfare, etc. or in a corporate organisation.
Careers options in Environmental Science have increased in direct proportion with industrialization and urbanization. Ironically the aim of the Environmentalists has been to check the growth of polluting industries and unnecessary urbanization. Most countries today face environmental threats and are not only working to fight against the scourge of pollution affecting mankind but also towards saving wildlife habitats and forests from the ever increasing demand for land from the man and the industry. Environment as a subject encompasses the study of basic and applied sciences, socio-economics, ethics and law.
Other than areas where Environmental Scientist and Technologist work there are in addition fields like Eco Journalism and Eco Tourism also available as career options. Eco tourism would involve study of tribal culture, folk art, study of temples and artefacts, forests as well.
Educational qualification would depend on the area of work one chooses within this sector. Environment related education could be covered through different disciplines. However graduate and postgraduate courses in Environmental studies can be pursued after 10+2 with science. There are institutes offering specialized courses in Environment Technology and Engineering and research facilities at post-graduate levels. The Adventurers Wilderness School at Bangalore offers courses in Eco Tourism.
Environment Science concerns itself with the study of flora and fauna as well as the pollution of different kinds viz air, water and soil. In the work sphere there are environmental scientists and educationists, environmental related technologists working in the laboratories, environmentalists also work in close collaboration with oceanographers, botanists, zoologists etc. An Environmental Technologist for example would be designing, constructing and maintaining systems for waste control in cities. An important area of work for an Environmental Scientist would be solid waste management, which involves devising methods for disposing solid waste as well as reducing harmful contents in them
Graduate/Postgraduate degree in Environmental Science; degree in Environmental Engineering
Environmental Science is for those of you who have a genuine love for nature. Something that translates beyond planting cactus and palms in your balcony.
If you have an opinion on everything from the height of the Narmada dam to the yellowish tinge on the Taj Mahal, you probably have what it takes to be a crusader for the environment. Here's giving you more info on the topic.
Concern about the world we live in has increased manifold over the last two decades of the 20th century. Concerns about everything - global warming, rising of sea level, suspended particulate matter (SPM) in the air, level of nitrogen dioxide in the air, lead pollution from paints used for various things, sulfur dioxide pollution from industries, polluted river water, pollution in the sea, sound pollution, the list just goes on.
As an Environment Scientist it's your core job to identify pollutants, factors that affect acceptable level of pollutants in the air, identify what causes the pollution, and then develop systems and procedures to arrest pollution. Your job is to see that industrial effluents and bi-products are harmless to the nature, the level of SPM in the air is within acceptable limit, river water is pollutant free and the harmful gases in the air are treated to make them harmless. Environmental Scientists are mainly concerned with research on environmental pollution and developing ways to control it. You will be concerned with research and development in the areas of solid waste management, management of toxic waste and biological waste, chemical waste and various other types of waste. You'll work on everything - air pollution control, green house gases, ozone depletion, side effects of pollution on human being, animals, and plants. Water quality management, land conservation, soil conservation, etc. are also your areas of work.
In fact, the job is very much specialised in several fields:
Environmental Planning: The job of environmental planners are concerned with planning, designing and developing systems and procedures to counteract the pollution. You could be involved at a macro level where you plan and design the environment control systems and procedures for a whole township/city/region.
Environmental engineering: You'll be responsible for designing, constructing and maintaining waste management systems and other systems to control pollution. You'll work at the micro level i.e. for an industry/plant. Waste treatment of industries, municipalities, refineries, distilleries, mines, fertilizers, food processing and textiles industries are a major concern today for environment engineers.
As an environmental specialist you could work in media houses like newspapers, magazines and journals as journalists to write and report exclusively on environmental issues.
Environmental scientists are also involved in the area of imparting education in colleges, universities, schools and community clubs.
You could serve as social workers or environmentalists in various NGOs to address various environmental issues and problems.
You could also try your hand at environmental related tourism or eco-tourism.
* Love for nature and your desire to do your bit for it
liking for science subjects, specially Chemistry and Biological Science
* Sensitive and proactive
* Strong reasoning abilities
* Take initiatives
And of course each of the specialised areas described above need different attributes.
To become an environmental journalist, you need:
To be an engineer or a planner, you should be:
As for the educational qualifications:
To become an environmental planner, you need:
To become an environmental engineer you need:
To become an Environmental Scientist, you need at least
You will get a job any one of the following establishments:
Manufacturing and process industries-mainly for the engineers. Some environmental managers have good scope here. Various environmental research laboratories under the Central and State Governments - It is mainly for the environmental scientists with M. Sc., Ph. D or higher qualifications.
Various departments and agencies of the Central and State Government Environment Ministry - here mainly the Environmental scientists and engineers get jobs.
NGOs - Mainly for the environmental managers and scientists.
Various environmental control authorities like Pollution Control Boards, etc. - Here it is a milieu. There are environmental scientist, engineers and even managers.
University and college departments as faculty members - mainly the scientists, engineers and planners get jobs as per the nature of the institution (i.e., whether it is an engineering college, university department, an institution offering planning courses.)
Various urban and regional development authorities like BMC, DDA, New Delhi, CMDA, Calcutta and other related organisations involved in urban and regional planning and development - here, mainly the environmental engineers and planners get jobs.
Money & Other Benefits
In the manufacturing and process industry, you could start with a salary of Rs 7,500 - 12,000 a month. The growth prospects here are immense.
engineer in a large-scale company earns about Rs 40,000 per month.
In various environmental research laboratories under the Central and State Governments, you will be paid Rs 6,000 per month as a Research Fellow.
Rs 8,000 is the norm for Research Assistants after M. Sc.
With a Ph.D it could be Rs 13,000 per month. You can reach a maximum salary as of Rs 25,000.
In various departments and agencies of the Central and State Government Environment Ministry, salary is in the range of Rs 7,000 - 12,000 per month depending on the level of job. The maximum as per the present scale is Rs 30,000.
A small scale NGO will pay you Rs 3,000 a month while a large scale NGO (like those funded by WWF) will pay you about Rs 6,000 per month in the beginning. The maximum you can command is Rs 30,000 if you are working for an International NGO.
In various environmental control authorities like Pollution control Boards, etc., the salary is in the range of Rs 7,000-12,000 per month depending on the level of job. Maximum salary is about Rs 30,000.
As a university or college faculty member, you can earn Rs 12,000-13,000 a month in the beginning. Your maximum salary as per the present scale can be Rs 25, 000 when you are senior most.
In various urban and regional development authorities, you should expect your starting salary to be about Rs 7,500-10,000 a month.
Environmental awareness is definitely on the rise. There are some states in India like West Bengal, where study of environment is compulsory for all graduate courses irrespective of the stream/subject you are in.
These days, to set up any industry, whether small or big scale, one needs a clearance certificate from the State Pollution Control Board. Unless all the norms laid down by the Board is met, no industry can be started. Even the number of NGOs working to raise awareness about the environment is increasing and the media is doing its duty by publishing/broadcasting news and features on environmental issues.
Government is also doing its bits by actively formulating policies and implementing those through various departments, directorates and departments. Almost all the universities in India have set or are in the process of setting up Environmental Science departments. This translates to opportunities for jobs for anybody who is planning a career in this field.
Forests are very precious natural wealth for any country. They are a source of many natural products like timber. Their management and preservation is extremely important for maintaining ecological balance. Forestry and Wild Life go together since forests serve as home for the wildlife. A large and a well-trained work force is needed to operate at various levels for managing and maintaining the forest wealth.
The Indian Forest Service Officers (IFS) who are recruited through UPSC by the Central Government play a very crucial role in the management and supervision of the country’s forest reserves and wild life.
As given in details of Indian Forest Service
Forestry essentially entails outdoor work. There work would involve mapping the forestry area, preparation of documents on forest resources like timber, ground for cattle grazing etc, identifying areas which require particular attention for either fresh planting, pest control etc. They are also responsible for the preservation and protection of forest and wildlife from campers and poachers, which is often a challenging task, accumulating data on flora and fauna of the region and wasteland development.
UPSC conducts the IFS exam every year. Candidates in the age group of 21-28 years with a graduate degree in Science or Engineering are eligible to take the exam. More details on the exam are available in ‘Exams in India’.
IFS officers other than working under the Ministry of Environment and Forests get good opportunities to join government-sponsored projects related to their area of work.
Forestry & Wildlife
Are you concerned about the fast depleting biodiversity? Do you want to protect the wild animals and their natural habitat? Does rapid urbanisation, increase in human population and unplanned use of forest resources disturb you? Then you are the right candidate for a career in Forestry and Wild life.
Forestry essentially entails outdoor work. You'll be spending most of your time mapping forested areas, particularly during the initial years of your career. If you take this up as a career, you can choose to work for:
Forest Service & State Forest Service
There are many wild life species in India that are endangered and need to be protected and conserved. As an Indian Forest Service or State Forest Service Officer, your core job will be protection and conservation of forest resources and wild life.
In India, there are over 500 protected forest areas. If you get a job in one of these areas, you will be devising, implementing and monitoring detailed management plans. You will be constantly monitoring habitat parameters, resources and human population. You will also be in charge of preservation and protection of forests from campers and poachers.
As a forest management professional, your core job will be managing forest resources in such a way that they are not depleted. You will prepare documents about forest resources such as timber, ground for cattle grazing, shelter for wild animals, food and water for animals, etc. You will also identify areas, which require particular attention for fresh planting, felling, and thinning of dense forests or pruning, or pest control.
You will also plan wildlife reserves, roads leading to interesting spots, recreation points, lakes, etc. You will supervise the crew conducting these assignments and maintain progress records.
There are a number of areas in which you can be involved. You may choose to be involved in research in various areas. For instance:
Biological diversity: You will find out how biological communities are organised; what is the impact of various forms of land use on the levels of biological diversity; how we can preserve biological diversity, etc
Human Ecology: Here you'll find out what role man plays in biological communities. How do his activities affect productivity and diversity of biological communities?
Eco-development: You will break your head to find out how humans can manage the ecological environment and improve the habitat. How can we improve the efficiency of the use of fuel, fodder, construction material, etc., to reduce demand for these materials.
Climate Change and Tropical Forests: You will study the impact of climatic change on forests. You will find out the potential of forestry as an option for improving the environment.
Communication: It will be exciting to find out song pattern recognition
in insects (say, cricket or grasshoppers), communication signals during
courtship and their role in male mating success.
Wildlife Biology And Management
You will identify wild life habitats, carry out census, devise plans for conservation and monitor the implementation of the plans.
You will standardise fertiliser dosage for plants, say, for teak plantation. You will recommend where to plant the trees and conservation policies.
For Indian Forest Service and State Forest Services you need to be physically strong with a lot of adventure and risk taking attitude in you. Your height should at least be 165 cms. Be prepared for a walking test for 25 km. The minimum height for women is 150 cms, with corresponding weight. The walking test in your case would be for 14 km. You should love flora and fauna and should be able to adapt to difficult living conditions. To be a successful forest manager, you must have all the skills of a business manager. Your analytical, reasoning and mathematical skills should be very strong. You should have excellent communication skills, good leadership abilities, strong determination and lots of patience. You should also enjoy mixing up with people from different background. As for the educational qualifications, you should at least be a graduate. In addition to this, you will need a degree/diploma in Forest Management/Plantation Management/M.Sc. in Forest Economics and Management or other related subjects. To be a Forest Researcher, Wildlife Biologist or other forest professionals you should have an explorative and inquisitive mind. You should have a keen interest in biological science and academics. Of course you should have a love for the wild. As for the educational qualifications you should at least have a M.Sc. in Zoology, Wildlife Biology, Forestry, Forest Resources, Agricultural Science, Botany or other related subjects.
Indian Forest Services and State Forest services
In various NGOs and government organisations like WWF-India, Bombay Natural History Society, NTPC, IFFCO, Society For Promotion Of Wasteland Development, Tata Energy Research Institute, AFPRO, etc.
Forest research institutions like Wildlife Institute of India
Various companies involved in using forest resources. For example, ITC Bhadrachalam Paper Boards, WIMCO and BILT (Ballarpur Industries Ltd.)
Various international and national donor agencies involved in ecological conservation like World Bank, Ford Foundation, Aga Khan Foundation etc.
Universities departments and colleges
Various State Ministries and Central Government Ministries
Money & Other Benefits
In Indian Forest Services, you will start with Rs 12,000 a month and in State Forest services, about Rs 10,000 a month.
In Forestry Research, you'll begin at Rs 5,000 per month as a Junior Research Fellow. But when you join as a faculty member in a Forest Research Institute or in university department, start with Rs 12,000 a month.
Forest Management professionals get better salaries. Starting salary of Rs 12,000-25,000 per month.
Government departments and Ministries pay you in the range of Rs 8,000-12,000 a month to begin with.
Other organisations like NGOs, international or national donor agencies will pay Rs 4,000-28,000 a month.
With increasing awareness about forest conservation among developing nations, there is an increasing need for many trained forest managers and forestry government staff to protect and refurbish the fast depleting forest wealth. With the growth of forests we see the growth of industries related to forests providing industry based opportunities.
The Indian government is also taking large initiatives in conservation of natural and forest resources. Huge amount of fund has been earmarked for various agencies. So, as a whole, number of professionals involved in the field will be increasing.