Career Guidance

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I have just completed my class XII (non-medical), but did not score well. I did not take any engineering entrance test either. How can I become an aircraft maintenance engineer?
To become an aircraft maintenance engineer, you need to obtain a licence from the Director-General of Civil Aviation (, Government of India. The AME (associate membership exam) certification is not a degree but a specialised licensing programme for servicing and maintenance of aircraft. Only institutes approved by the DGCA can impart training in this field to prepare you for the AME exam conducted by the Aeronautical Society of India ( On clearing the internal exams (section A and B), the DGCA issues an AME licence, considered at par with a BE/BTech in aeronautical engineering from an Indian university. If you have cleared your plus-two exams (including in physics, chemistry and maths), you are directly eligible for writing the section A exam. The age limit is 23 years (at times, the upper age limit is relaxed for engineering diploma holders in any branch of engineering (50% marks) and science graduates.

Many flying clubs have training institutes attached to them. However, only a few of them offer training on heavy aircraft and jet engines as most make do with small carriers and piston engines. So, before signing up, check whether the institute has the necessary aircraft, engines, library and modern teaching aids, etc.

Also, make sure the institute is listed on the DGCA website. On completing the first year of the three-year training programme, you can take the basic paper 1 of the AME licence exam, followed by paper 2 at the end of the second year, and paper 3 on airframe/engine/DR compass after the fifth semester (2½ years). Clearing these three papers at the earliest will fetch you the basic aircraft maintenance engineer certificate (BAMEC) from DGCA.

This will make you eligible for a job in the aviation industry. That leaves you with paper 4 in your specific area of competence, which will earn you the AME licence.


The course typically covers 18 topics: flight aerodynamics, workshop technology, metallurgy/electricity, electronics/jet engineering, etc, as applied to aircraft maintenance. Training in the maintenance of sophisticated appliances such as radio equipment, compass systems, gyroscopic instruments, aviation direction finder, radial and line engines, too, is incorporated in the course.

Alternatively, you can opt for a BE/BTech in aeronautical engineering from an engineering college.

While these programmes include instruction in maintenance of aircraft and its components, the emphasis is more on the design and development of commercial and military carriers.


I have completed my MBA with specialization in finance. At present, I am working with a securities firm. I wish to become a fund manager. What special skills are required to succeed as a fund manager?

Aman V

Despite soaring salaries, there is an acute shortage of fund managers at a higher level. Poaching from rivals is rampant. Adding to the crisis, even topnotch fund managers move to less stressful positions such as consultants or advisors that offer even fatter pay checks coupled with a more leisurely lifestyle. As a result, several people in equity sales who have an analyst background move into fund management because of this shortage.

But do not be in a hurry to jump in. It takes a few years to groom a good stock-picker, that is, someone who knows how to invest and where to invest at minimal risk. The agent or distributor assumes the role of a financial advisor and is the key channel for bringing mutual funds to a large number of investors all over the country. The Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI), which sets industry standards for all funds operating in India, has a certification process involving the AMFI Mutual Fund Test. The certification has been made mandatory by the Securities and Exchange Board of India for anyone engaged in selling mutual funds -agents as well as those employed in distribution companies and banks. After clearing the test, you can apply for your AMFI registration number, which will certify you as an AMFI Registered Mutual Fund Advisor (ARMFA). The association has prepared the necessary study material to help you prepare for the test. The workbook can be obtained from its office in Mumbai. Visit




I am a BA political science (hons) student. Could you outline the career options after an MA with specialisation in international relations from JNU?

Lakshita Garg

After your Master’s from Jawaharlal Nehru University’s School of International Studies, you will have the following options — you could either opt for teaching political science or international relations at the college or university level on qualifying the National Eligibility Test (NET), conducted by the University Grants Commission for central/state universities or the State Level Eligibility Test (SLET) for state universities.

The civil services in general and the Indian Foreign Service (IFS), in particular, is another popular option for students of political science. The general studies paper requires considerable knowledge of Indian polity and current affairs. If you have a flair for writing, you could become a political analyst for a newspaper, news-related website or TV.

In Delhi, you can take up research jobs in organizations such as: Institute for Defence Studies & Analysis ( Centre for Policy Research http://www.cprindia .org) Research & Information Systems for Non-aligned Countries ( Indian Council of World Affairs ( Nelson Mandela Centre for Peace & Conflict Resolution (, among others.

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