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Guiding light

education Updated: Sep 17, 2013 16:01 IST
Hindustan Times
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The lowdown

University teachers not only work in tertiary-level and research institutions, but also contribute their expertise to many ­national and international missions. Professors have been/are union ­ministers and advisors to prime ministers/ministries. In ­addition to ­universities/colleges, private coaching ­institutes, ­private ­education-content companies/web portals, and think tanks, some can be consultants to big companies and ­international bodies. University teachers get the opportunity to mould opinions, to shape young lives and also constantly learn and grow. Subject expertise is very important. Teaching is not everybody’s job. It is not about just reading a book or two in class. A good teacher has to be ready for all kinds of questions that the students might choose to ask. You should have the ­ability to come down to the level of the weakest students and make learning fun for them. Your teaching should reflect how much you have thought about the topic at hand

Clockwork
9am: Check emails, make ­arrangements for taking class
9.30am to 11.30am or 11.30am to 1.30pm: Take classes
1.30pm: Lunch
2pm: Attend faculty meetings, attend to administrative work
6.30pm: Return home
9.30pm: Study for research work

The ­payoff
Assistant professor — pay band of Rs. 15,600 to Rs. 39,100 with academic grade pay (AGP) of Rs. 6,000; ­Associate Professor — pay band of Rs. 37,400 to Rs. 67,000 with AGP of Rs. 9,000; Professor — pay band of Rs. 15,600 to Rs. 39,100 with AGP of Rs. 10,000

Skills/TRAITS
* Intellectual vitality
* High levels of self-motivation, especially to focus on research
* A genuine interest and dedication in your discipline
* Ability to innovate and teach
* Analytical skills
* Ability to reason and hold an argument on a topic
* Strong verbal and written ­communication skills

Getting there
The University Grants Commission (UGC) conducts the national ­eligibility test (NET) to determine ­eligibility for lectureship and for award of junior research fellowships in 77 subjects. The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research holds the NET for life, physical, chemical, mathematical, earth atmospheric ocean and planetary sciences, jointly with the UGC. Information on exemption, ­subject list and other details are on www.ugcnetonline.in

Institutes and URLs
* University of Delhi;
www.du.ac.in
* Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi;
www.jnu.ac.in
* University of Calcutta, Kolkata;
www.caluniv.ac.in
* University of Pune;
www.unipune.ernet.in
* Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi;
www.jmi.ac.in
* University of Mumbai;
www.mu.ac.in
* Panjab University, Chandigarh;
www.puchd.ac.in
* Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi;
www.bhu.ac.in

Pros and cons
* Constant learning and growing
* You get plenty of leave and time off, though some professors work on holidays too
* Academic freedom to pursue your ideas of research and teaching

There are various dimensions to this particular job. You get to travel the world, you can contribute to the community and returns are immediate. As a university teacher you are a lifelong learner ----- Dr Pratibha Jolly, principal, Miranda House, University of Delhi