Taking cue from the UPA government, the Centre has decided to recruit students as interns in various departments for a monthly remuneration of Rs. 10,000 a month.
The concept introduced during the UPA regime didn't really kick off successfully then. But now, the NDA government is giving the idea a stronger push.
"The two-way interaction would be beneficial for both (government and interns). The interns can give new ideas to the officials and help them finetune government programmes," a senior government official said.
The selection would be made by a committee of joint secretaries in each department and the applications would be invited by each department through a public announcement.
An intern working in the planning commission, who was not willing to be quoted, found the experience of working with the government "refreshing". "The government is warehouse of statistical knowledge and best practices on the issues I am working on. The experience would help me a lot in my PhD," she added.
Another intern who has worked with the rural development department did not find officials encouraging as they were considered outsiders. "They (officials) didn't have time for us and made me do some office work," he added.
Now, the BJP government wants all departments to hire interns on the basis of a project proposal. "We also want that senior-level officials should mentor them during internship and help them in completing their project which could be useful for the government," an official said, adding that they would get internship certificate only after completing the project.
The department of personnel and training (DoPT) has also asked the departments to install "idea boxes" to solicit some "out-of-the-box" suggestions from officers to create conducive work culture and improve functioning of the departments. A senior officer will have to examine each suggestion and see whether they are worth implementing or not.
The department has also asked ministries to employee of the month award for outstanding officials. "Nominations from all eligible employees would be called for from all wings of the department and would be examined by a committee of joint secretaries which could meet once a month," a DoPT circular issued last month said.