The Maharashtra government’s first-of-its-kind ‘M’s Internship Programme inviting applicants that got off to a good start with 4,993 applicants enrolling online, saw the bulk of the applicants getting cold feet at the next stage. Only around 40 per cent crossed the first hurdle, the online test where the applicants’ general knowledge, aptitude, and understanding of governance were put to test. Of these 1,999, only 1,391 uploaded essays, the next step of the selection process. The top 100 candidates will now appear for the interview for the prestigious internship programme.
The brainchild of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, the programme offers graduates and post graduates an 11-month stint with the Maharashtra government, and carries with it stipend and other perks. The Fadnavis government is planning to invite interns to prepare them for a public service role every year.
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The applicants were graduates and post graduates from reputed institutes. Those who have moved on to the next stage of selection include 58 graduates and post graduates from premier educational institutes, including Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), Institute of Chemical Technology, Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute (VJTI) and the National Institute of Technology.
Priya Khan, an officer-on-special-duty in the Maharashtra Chief Minister’s Office, said that the government had drawn up a shortlist of the top 100 applicants who cleared stage I. “They will now be called for interviews. We expect the interns to be with us by the end of this month,” she said.
The move is aimed at helping young minds understand how a public office functions and preparing them for a public service role. Khan said the selected interns will be assigned roles in government’s flagship initiatives such as ‘Jalyukt Shivar Yojana’ or ‘Drought-proof Maharashtra’.
While some of them will be placed in the ‘M’s office, others will be attached with crucial government departments of education, rural development, finance, urban development, and the chief secretary’s office. The government is also planning to place some interns in the collector’s office in various districts.
Khan also confirmed that the Mumbai Municipal corporation has sought two interns and the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO), one of the sponsors of the initiative, has sought five interns.
The internship comes with a monthly stipend of Rs 20,000, medical insurance cover, and daily allowances. At the end of the course, the government will award the interns with a certificate.
On being asked why several students opted out before completing the selection process, sources said it is likely that the initial applicants included those who had enrolled out of curiosity. Among those who were out in the first step, there were 106 applicants who took the test, but could not complete it.