Students taking traditional degree programs such as BA, BCom, BSc, amongst many others, will now be able to pursue internships as part of their education as will their peers in technical courses such as engineering and management.
On Friday, the University Grants Commission (UGC) issued the apprenticeship regulations for degree programs, allowing courses from every discipline to provide internships as part of the programs. Such courses will be named ‘Internship/apprenticeship embedded degree programmes’.
Presently, only students taking professional courses such as journalism, architecture, administration and others are expected to attend mandatory internships, but the same privilege is not given to students studying English (honours) or BCom (honours), for instance.
The UGC regulations also recommended that colleges and universities commit at least one complete semester to internships and assess candidates based on their experience of the same.
The panel also requested institutes to grant the internships 20 per cent of the overall credits if they wanted to provide embedded degree programs to the graduates.
Making internships a requirement of the degree programs is aligned with the goal of the current National Education Policy (NEP) to make students ready for jobs. Last week the latest NEP was launched.
“With a large number of students enrolled in general degree programmes in India every year, there is a consensus among stakeholders for a shift from ‘academic-only’ approach. 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,” the guidelines read.
According to the guidelines, any degree programme will be eligible for an embedded apprenticeship programme.
Degrees which have internships as part of the program will provide a type of traineeship that will occur not on campus, but at the company premises where a student is doing it. It may be a commercial organisation, or non-profit.
Before presenting the embedded degree programmes, the institutions of higher education will have to sign a prior Memorandum of Understanding with discipline-specific commercial and non-commercial organizations to provide the apprenticeship. The courses are scheduled based on available facilities and infrastructure.
The regulations specified that students would be graded on the basis of their internships, and their mark sheets would represent the final grades.
The assessment must be carried out by institutes with the organization that offers the internships. Of starters, if a student volunteers for a media company, the organization’s editors will send the student a certificate and it will be part of the student’s final result.
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