In a bid to make students more participative towards the policies in the education sector, the Union Human Resource Development Ministry has introduced an internship programme for college students inviting them to engage directly in the policy making. The internship programme for two months, which can also be extended to six months, is open to students pursuing undergraduation, postgraduation and research. The domains available for the students are technical education skill development, distance education, school, and vocational education.
There are three batches commencing on October 1, December 1 and January 1, 2015. The Ministry has notified that interns would be given opportunities to be associated with formulation of policies, implementation of projects and various initiatives in the education sector for mutual benefits. You would get a taste of how the government functions and embrace policy issues in human resource development by generating inputs such as empirical analysis, briefing reports, policy papers, etc. The Ministry is hoping to monetise the new ideas of the young talent.
There are six slots and no stipend is paid during the internship. After the internship, candidates shall be paid a token amount of `10,000 in appreciation of their efforts. A certificate of appreciation is also issued. Send a CV and NOC from your institution to Harjeet.firstname.lastname@example.org to be considered for the internship. You should also indicate your preferred choice of batch. Details at www.mhrd.gov.in.
Calling this a welcome change as students would get real time exposure, Prof Avinash Kumar, Associate Professor, Public Policy and Governance, Management Development Institute, Gurgaon, says, “In the policy making process often the beneficiary is excluded. This results in demand-supply gap in public services. The internship programme will create an opportunity for the beneficiaries to contribute and understand policy evolution processes and appreciate the complexity of designing public policy. Ultimately, if this process becomes the culture of policy making in India, the MHRD internship programme is expected to the break the bureaucratic divide and create a knowledge-based policy processes with constructive stakeholders’ engagement.”
Rwitwika Bhattacharya, who started the Swaniti Initiative, where students get to intern with MPs and pick up practical knowledge, concurs, “Currently the system (specifically human capital) is overburdened with the amount of work, with one bureaucrat serving over 1,25,000 Indians. Creating an internship programme is exciting because it marks the beginning of a channel of lateral entry for young professionals into the system. Interns can be helpful because they can help do the ‘base work’ in any system like writing memos and engaging in research, and help relieve the system a bit. Similarly for students, this is an opportunity to learn and grow as professionals and they no longer need to rely on the UPSC route to work with the Government. Eventually though the Government should consider lateral entries for full time/permanent positions, beyond what is available through the Officer on Special Duty (OSD) position.”