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Coffee With USN Murty – Student Counselor

25 July 2008 6 Comments

In today’s world when students are having so many options, they face a lot of stress. This is especially true when students with great aspirations, dont get the suitable rank to meet their dreams..
There is so much confusion.. Should they go for a good college with a “Ok-oK” course? or should they choose the “hot” branches in any college they get the seat?
There is so much to worry about… And here is person who makes student’s life easier (especially when it comes to IIT seat selection).. Its my pleasure to welcome Mr.USN Murty, a passionate student counselor from Hyderabad.

Coffee With USN MurtyMe: Sundar Rajan G S
UM: USN Murty

Me: Sir, can you give a brief introduction about yourself? When did you start counseling students? Do you do this as a “for profit” activity or more as a service?
UM: I am Dr USN Murty working as a Scientist F/Deputy Director Head Biology, IICT – a national Lab under Ministry of Science and Technology Govt of India since 1984. I am basically a medical entomologist, presently working on application of Information technology for the control of vector borne diseases like Dengue, Filariasis, Malaria etc.

I have started counseling students way back in 1990.. I will do this job as a service.. that is my hobby which I am really passionate about.

Me: Why have you chosen Counseling.. What drives you to do this?
UM: This is only my service and hobby.. It is not my career. I have knowledge in this area and I am passionate about this.. Hence I am continuing in this field. I will give counseling personally.. I also counsel through media like local news papers and ETV2

Me: Sir, in your recent experiences.. how many people go for medicine compared to engineering? What do people give importance to.. Medicine or engineering?
UM: Unless student is interested in MBBS he/she will not go for Bio, physics, chemistry group in plus two… If they do not get MBBS normally.. they go for repetition rather than joining in other courses like BVSC, BDS, BSc Ag etc., Otherwise most of the students will go for engineering due to some peculiar reasons like “fast settlement”, ease of getting seat since more colleges are established in AP (260 colleges under JNTU).. After BE or B.Tech they can go to US for MS program followed by Job. This has become a regular practice in AP.

Me: Sir, You counsel students who have finished engineering.. What are the recent trends?
UM: Normally they look for good universities if their GRE and TOFEL is good. Otherwise they look for any university.. Irrespective of the standard of University to secure admission. This is quite normal in the case of engineering students who wish to go for US for higher education. Very few will go for Higher studies in India in engineering discipline. Now a days some of the students are getting absorbed in IT companies. After acquiring job experience they are keen about MBA in premier institute. This is another new direction of engineering graduates,

Me: Sir, not all students get to do the “happening” branches in top colleges.. They have to take a trade off between going to top colleges or choosing a favourite subject.. What do you recommend? And on what basis do you recommend to the students.. How do you judge if a student will do well in XYZ department instead of ABC department
UM: Good question. Every student will aspire good branch in good college, I suggest them to go for any kind of subject in good college since basic degree is only a general engineering subjects not a specialized subject like M.Tech or MS. For eg in IITs I suggest them to go for his own choice of branch in any IIT though all branches in IITs are equally valued internationally.
The judgment will be based on his rank. In case if he secured a good rank naturally he will go to good college choose good branch. The question of counseling will come into picture where student rank is just average or above average, There my guidance or any counselor guidance will be vital.

Me: In the past, have you done some mistake in judging.. If so.. how do you handle it.. If not, what makes you to get it right every time you counsel a student.
UM: I will tell every student after my counseling to discuss with others and his relatives also. So question of mistake does not arise in such situation.

Me: What are the most common branches which people want to choose? Assuming that a student’s rank doesnt fetch a seat in that branch, how do convince him to take up another branch? And what are the recommendations that you give to that student.
UM: For eg a students gets a rank of 1000 for which he may not get ECE and Computers then I suggest him to go for MEch that is hard core engineering and I will explain the built facilities of Mech Eng with live examples. If his rank is poor then I will explain about civil engineering and its opportunities in India and abroad as well. In the case of civil students can go for jobs related to pollution control that will give lucrative salaries in abroad. Most of the people does not like civil that is wrong concept. Mech eng will have excellent role in CAD/CAM and design of equipment etc.,

Me: In this whole rat race of engineering entrance and seat selection.. branch selection etc.. we forget people who take pure science.. Do you convince people to take pure science? If so.. What advise do you give them.
UM: It is excellent question. Students who secure very poor rank will come to me with an ambition of computer or ECE branch requirement. I will try to convince them to go for B.Sc so that they can enter into IIT MSc through JAAM admission. Normally no one like my advise then I will tell them to go for M.Sc. Physics , Maths or Chemistry in IITs. This also will not be taken by most of the students unless they are interested in research. There are some instances where All India Rank IIT No 1 opted for M.Sc. Physics in IIT kanpur. This is an exceptional case. Such cases will be referred to many of the students who come to me.

Me: What are your other activities that you do related to career?
UM: My research is mainly focused on control of vector borne diseases by using simple information technology tools. Other societal projects also have been successfully completed by me and our technology also transferred to many agencies for its implementation in rural areas.

Thank you very much sir! Our country needs services from counselors like you 🙂

Readers, hope you enjoyed this edition of coffee with experts. For previous editions of coffee with experts, click here.




  • Payal said:

    y is the interview based on career counseling questions that are focussed on engineering and science subjects? What abt other streams?

  • Sundar Rajan G S (author) said:

    @ payal.. that was a very insightful question.. The questions were focussed on sciences and engineering because sir.. predominantly gives advise for these students only..

  • sandeep said:

    Hi Sundar, I have been reading your blog since a couple of months.It has helped me take some decisions pertaining to my career.The interview with Manas Garg convinced me not to take up MBA since i m only 20 and i am doing my final year in engineering in Mysore.This interview above is best suited for students who are really confused.Well i chose branch over college for engineering i took electronics here in VVCE leaving out NIE and SJCE since i could not get electronics there. Now its campus time and not many companies visiting us citing recession and still both the colleges i mentioned above have managed to bring in around 80 companies for campus recruitment where as our college has managed 7 so far. So thank you for this interview i ll let my juniors read it and hope it ll serve as an eye opener for them.

  • akram khan said:

    sir how is field of regulatoryaffairs in india

  • sandeep said:


  • sandeep said:

    hi this is Sandeep
    we have so many options 2day den why every1 opts for btech.,bba,law,medical…i know d answer to dis becoz der z a lot of scope in all dese fields…
    i just wanted to know how can we decide wat we want to become…2day its very hard 4 students 2 decide which field to choose becoz of stress,competition,pressure and that too when you have so many
    so my question is HOW CAN WE DECIDE WHAT WE WANT TO BE????
    Plese answer because its really very important…