NEW DELHI: Internship programmes spanning at least four months will soon be made mandatory in all undergraduate courses in colleges and universities across India. The Union Human Resources Development Ministry made the decision based on a five-year vision plan put together by 10 different expert groups.
At present, internships are part of three- or four-year bachelor programmes only in vocational and technical courses.
As part of the new initiative, the ministry has also asked universities to revise the curriculum of 100 courses to make students more employable from the next academic year.
According to the Education Quality Upgradation and Inclusion Programme (EQUIP) report, 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 the student’s own institution or elsewhere.
“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 EQUIP report said.
Officials in the higher education department said the recommendations will be implemented in a phased manner in all central, state and private institutes over the next five years and 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, did not find favour with some educationists. “There are many students who have a creative bent of mind and might not be interested in getting industry exposure,” said Rudrashish Chakrabarty who teaches English at Kirori Mal College in Delhi University.