The University Grants Commission (UGC) has asked all affiliated universities and colleges to offer at least one semester of internship as part of their undergraduate programmes. Unlike the present trend, where internships are mostly part of the technical courses, the commission has asked colleges to offer the internship-embedded degree programmes for all disciplines.
While any UG programme in any discipline is eligible to embed internship in their curriculum, the institutes have to offer these internships in consultation with sector skill councils — AICTE, FICCI, CII etc. The internships need to be at least 20 per cent of total credits for the UG course and need to be off-campus work, as per the guidelines.
The duration of the internship should be at least one semester which can be offered in a continuation or at intervals without altering the total duration or programme. Students will be given credits for the internship they opt for. These credits will be included in the total programme credit or in the result. Students will be eligible to take the master’s course based on the core subjects or internship. This, says UGC, will ensure ‘vertical mobility’ of students.
The concept of offering an internship or apprentice-embedded courses was first announced as part of the Budget 2020-21 announcement. The Minister of Education has now released detailed guidelines for higher education institutes to ensure standardised offering of these courses. The UGC too has written to higher education institutes asking to implement the same.
“The competencies demanded by the industry need to be embedded in our university curriculum so that the employment-employability gap is overcome. The minimal linkage between the general degree curriculum and employer’s requirement calls for an effective remodelling of degree programmes, driven by changing needs of the industry and service sector. Apprenticeship and internship can play a significant role in this context…You are requested to kindly promote apprenticeship/internship embedded degree programmes in your University as well as the colleges/institutions affiliated to your university,” the letter by the UGC read.