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New Delhi, 17th July (IANS): India's largest employability skills test, which will test employability of fresh graduates and share scores with prospective employers, has been launched across 29 states and seven Union Territories.

The test, by employability assessment company Wheebox, was launched to mark "World Skills Day" in collaboration with the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), UNDP, Association of Indian Universities (AIU), Pearson Education and HR technology outsourcing firm PeopleStrong.

Called the "Wheebox Employability Test (WEST)", it will be open to students who are final year graduates, post-graduates or diploma holders from engineering, polytechnic, Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs), and state-run colleges or management schools, the company said in a statement.

The test is available in both Hindi and English.

The 70-minute test will measure an individual's numerical and problem-solving skills along with English language, basics of information technology (IT), and behavioural traits. It aims to give the students a snapshot of their capabilities.

It will also provide an initial transcript and detailed scorecard for each module to the candidate, highlighting strengths as well as improvement areas.

The scores will be then shared with 110 organisations across 10 sectors to help employers to shortlist candidates using the scores, the statement noted.

"In 2016, over 30,000 new employment opportunities were provided to young graduates from campuses as an outcome of the initiative. This partnership brings a new dimension and understanding to the way India and the world looks at hiring skilled talent," said Nirmal Singh, Founder and CEO of Wheebox.

"The report provides an insight into the future jobs and skills required by employers also the hiring trends of the market while understanding the needs of the job seeker and organisations," Singh added.

The findings will be part of India Skills Report 2018 which will be published during the Global Skills Summit in November.

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Kolkata, 15th July (IANS): President Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday applauded the discipline and organisational efficiency that the ex-servicemen carry with them even after leaving active service.

Mukherjee was speaking after inaugurating the first ex-servicemen's rally organised by the Brahmastra Corps of the Army's Eastern Command at the newly-built Nabagram Military Station in Murshidabad district of the state.

He also saluted the "veer naris" (widows of army men), saying while the slain army men's loss would leave a void for ever, the government would continue to take good care of their widows.

The President, who completes his five year term on July 24, expressed happiness at getting this one last chance to meet the jawans, "veer naris" and ex-servicemen of the region as the Head of State.

Mukherjee had inaugurated the Nabagram Military station on October 8, 2016. Built as a model military station, it covers an area of 252 acres.

The President had also laid the foundation stone of the project in 2014.

"I hope Nabagram will not only become a model military station but also bring about all-round development in the area in terms of creation of jobs and infrastructure in the township of Nabagram," he said.

Six "veer naris" and two ex-soldiers who had suffered injuries during military operations were felicitated by the President.

Over two thousand veterans and "veer naris" from Murshidabad and neighbouring areas were present at the event.


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Los Angeles, 13th July (IANS): Members of the all-women rock band Haim wants more female artistes in the music industry irrespective of whether it's on stage or behind the scenes.

The "Want you back" hitmakers would love to see more females take jobs in the studios and become sound engineers and studio technicians, reports bbc.co.uk.

The members of the band are three sisters -- Este Haim, Danielle Haim, and Alana Haim.

"We do see women working in the studios but we want to see more. It's a quantity issue... There are so many amazing women that work in music and I think it's time more girls looked into being engineers and studio technicians," Danielle said.

The girl group hopes it inspires women to join the industry more and more.

"I think there's the feeling that we are coming together now and we want to make a difference and we want to inspire women. Not just to be in bands but to be producers, engineers, technicians, stage managers, tour managers. There's a million things you could do in music. It would be awesome to see that more," Este said.

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Kolkata, 12th July (IANS): Authorities of a state-run medical college in West Bengal are in a quandary following a rush of applications by a clutch of post-graduates, including PhDs, for a post that requires them to handle dead bodies.

While the opposition CPI-M is calling it a reflection of the state's job market condition, the Malda Medical College and Hospital authorities are attributing it to a "misunderstanding" over the job profile.

Of the 325 applications received till last Friday by the college-hospital, for the Group-D post of hospital morgue assistant (known as "dome" in colloquial Bengali), around 10 per cent are postgraduates including a couple of doctorates.

"Around 30 to 40 are postgraduates. Of them a couple are PhDs. The minimum eligibility is Class 8. So there is no upper limit as per educational qualification. As per age, the criteria is 18 to 40 years. I think there was a misunderstanding about the profile," Medical Superintendent cum Vice Principal Amit Dan told IANS.

Dan said perhaps the numbers reflect the demand for government jobs.

"The job offering was for two persons only. It is not right to view it as a stark reality of the job market. We believe they were not adequately informed about the profile," he said.

But the authorities are yet to take a call on whether they will interview these "over-qualified" candidates.

"We have not decided yet. We may as well interview them and provide complete information about the profile. In all likelihood, they will refuse once their misunderstanding is cleared. We can't stop them from applying," he added.

Communist Party of India-Marxist veteran leader Sujan Chakraborty said the development offers a glimpse into the present situation in the state.

"PhD, MSc, MA students, all applied to work as Gr D in the morgue at Malda medical college.D present situation in West Bengal @MamataOfficial," Chakraborty tweeted.

About 13.9 per cent of people (15 years and above) with post graduate degrees, and 9.8 per cent of people with graduate level qualification are unemployed in West Bengal as per the Fifth Annual Employment-Unemployment Survey Report for 2015-16.

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New York, 9th July (IANS): The US dollar traded higher against most major currencies as the country's jobs report for June came out much better than expected.

In late New York trading on Friday, the euro fell to $1.1404 from $1.1422, and the British pound decreased to $1.2882 from $1.2971 in the previous session, Xinhua news agency reported.

The Australian dollar edged up to $0.7601 from $0.7587.

The US dollar bought 114.04 Japanese yen, higher than 113.21 yen of the previous session. The US dollar rose to 0.9643 Swiss franc from 0.9615 Swiss franc, and it edged down to 1.2873 Canadian dollars from 1.2955 Canadian dollars.

US total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 222,000 in June, well above market consensus of 170,000, the Labor Department announced on Friday. The unemployment rate was little changed at 4.4 per cent in June.

In June, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 4 cents to $26.25. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 63 cents, or 2.5 per cent.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against six major peers, was up 0.22 per cent at 96.008 in late trading.

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