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Maharashtra: Government plans internships for undergraduate students

December 18, 2023
Ronita Torcato 
The Maharashtra government plans to open its higher and technical education department  to undergraduate students for internships under the New Education Policy (NEP). The NEP has made internships  mandatory across courses, not just in engineering, as was the case before, and  students will be on the lookout for internships at the end of two years.
 
In the new four-year programs, which have exit options at every level, students will be required to earn credits through mandatory internships before graduation. 
 
Maharashtra’s education department has engaged with other departments to gauge the opportunities that can be made available to undergraduates pursuing  different courses. It also intends  to take the proposal to the state cabinet for guidelines to execute the program.
 
“We are in talks with various departments to work out details, ” a government official said, adding, “some departments have already  offered a few internships to students  from  professional streams, Now, for the first time, internships are being considered at  a policy level.”
 
Officials  from the higher and technical education department  have shortlisted  the law, school education and water conservation departments for partnerships in the proposed internship program. 
 
The department also plans to utilise  the internship portal of the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) which can be accessed by both  students and recruiters.
 
The AICTE portal is aimed at  preparing a skilled workforce for  industry and provides details of virtual internship opportunities. 
 
The University Grants Commission (UGC) has recommended  completion of an internship of two to four credits of about 60 to 120 hours duration during or after the fourth semester of the undergraduate degree program.
 
Maharashtra has already implemented an 88 credit course for its four-year honours program for engineering students. Andhra Pradesh’s internship program requires one full semester of internship which could  well be emulated by other states.
 
It may be noted that during Devendra Fadnavis’ tenure as Maharashtra’s 18th chief minister, the administrative quarters of the government at Mantralaya had a sizeable number of student interns who were paid Rs 30,000 each month. It is  not clear if the Shinde Government envisages  paid internships.
 
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