Published: 02nd July 2019
Govt moves to make four-month internship at UG level mandatory across institutions in India
At present, internships are part of the three or four-year bachelor programmes only in case of vocational and technical courses
An internship spanning at least four months will soon be mandatory in all undergraduate courses in colleges and universities in India. Based on a five-year vision plan- Education Quality Upgradation and Inclusion Programme-prepared by ten experts groups-the Union Human Resources Development Ministry has decided to ask institutes of higher education to make internships, across all streams, compulsory.
At present, internships are part of the three or four-year bachelor programmes only in case of vocational and technical courses. The recommendation under EQUIP, which the government is set to implement, on the other hand, says that the internships can be with state governments or local administration to study government schemes, with local industry as well as research internships with faculty or researchers at students' own or other institutions.
"All institutes of higher education will also create opportunities for community engagement by students, especially in services that make use of mechanisms for social engagement of students at the undergraduate level," the report has said. "These will be designed to give exposure to students to the pressing issues of the local community, State, and country. It is proposed to prepare guidelines for mandatory four months internships and community engagement and roll it out in all UG programs."
Officials in the higher education department said that the implementation of the suggestion will be carried out in a phased manner in all central, state and private institutes over next five years and it could start as early as the upcoming academic session. "We are already asking universities to make internship part of their course structures," said an official. The initiative, however, is not finding favour with some higher educators who feel that "one-size-fits-all" formulae do not work in case of education.
"There are many students who have creative bent of mind for instance and they might not be interested in getting industry exposure," said Rudrashish Chakrabarty who teaches English at Kirori Mal College in Delhi University "A broad vision of any policy document of this scale should be to give students choices rather than imposing something that forces them towards industrial engagement rather than academic engagement." Meanwhile, as part of the initiative, the ministry is also asking universities to revise the curriculum of 100 courses to make students more employable from the next academic session.