State mulls mandatory internships for college students
Maharashtra’s undergraduate students may soon be mandated to participate in internships lasting from six to 12 weeks, which will form an integral part of their academic curriculum. A similar initiative has also been proposed for post-graduate students
MUMBAI: Maharashtra’s undergraduate students may soon be mandated to participate in internships lasting from six to 12 weeks, which will form an integral part of their academic curriculum. A similar initiative has also been proposed for post-graduate students, who will have to dedicate four to six weeks to internships with government, private or non-profit organisations. The responsibility of securing these crucial internship opportunities is expected to rest with the colleges, according to details revealed in a recently disclosed draft from the state’s higher and technical education department.
The draft not only outlines the internship plan but also seeks to establish a comprehensive framework to incorporate practical work experience into academic curricula, aligning with the objectives of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020. The government has shared this draft with university vice-chancellors and principals of autonomous colleges and invited feedback.
The phased introduction of the NEP in the state’s higher education institutes commenced from this academic year. The government has unveiled an illustrative NEP-aligned course framework for traditional courses and engineering programmes. The new course structure emphasises a flexible and multi-disciplinary curriculum, encompassing extracurricular activities, project work, internships, skill development and value-enhancement courses. While 62 autonomous colleges, including the University of Mumbai, have already embraced the changes, non-autonomous colleges are to adopt the new framework by the following year.
As per the draft, internship activities span a range of experiences, including industrial training, academic and industry research projects, entrepreneurship, seminars, community engagement, and collaboration with government entities, micro-small-medium enterprises and non-profits. Technical course students, particularly those in engineering, may be required to undergo full-time internships during their final semester, with the option to concurrently pursue online courses.
To facilitate internships, the draft proposes the establishment of an internship cell in all higher education institutes, comprising the institute’s head, a nodal officer, faculty and student coordinators. This cell’s mandate extends beyond project placement, encompassing efforts toward personality development, communication skills enhancement and interview preparation for students.
Upon completion of their internships, students will be tasked with preparing comprehensive reports outlining their learning experiences, which will then be presented before an expert committee. This approach aims to enrich the regular academic journey with practical insights and better prepare students for the professional landscape.