New Delhi: The University Grants Commission (UGC) Tuesday approved the guidelines for research internships that students can pursue at the undergraduate level.
The National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 makes such internships mandatory and calls for research as a requirement for graduation in all domains, specifically for the four-year undergraduate programmes. Hence, the UGC has issued guidelines instructing educational institutions how to go about this.
The guidelines approved Tuesday specify the period of internship, how students can get these internships, and the course credits attached.
While all students are required to do internships, the time period depends on the duration of the course a student wishes to pursue.
Under the multiple entry-exit facility offered under the NEP 2020, students can exit a course after two semesters (first year) or four semesters (second year) as well. If they exit after one year, they will get a certificate, if they exit after two years, they will get a diploma.
“The internships of 8-10 weeks of 10 credits, after 2nd or 4th semester, will be mandatory for the students desirous of exiting with a certificate or diploma, respectively,” the guidelines specify.
Students who want to pursue a four-year programme along with research will have to do 10 weeks of internship, along with one year of actual research work. Those who want to go for a plain four-year undergraduate programme (without research) will also need to pursue at least 8-10 weeks of internship.
The guidelines specify how an institute can support students by partnering with other research and educational institutions to arrange internships for them.
“Research internship experience can be gained by working with faculty/ scientists in education institutes, research institutions, industrial research labs, nationally reputed organisations and individual persons distinguished in specific fields,” the guidelines read.
During an internship, the student would be attached to a research supervisor — preferably from another institute — for a specified duration at the supervisor’s research facility to conduct a time-bound project, the guidelines add.
It’s also suggested that researchers who are working on external projects should provide internship opportunities to students so that they can learn from them.
According to the guidelines, the ‘research internship’ is meant for two purposes — “to enhance employability of an individual student” and “to develop research aptitude of an individual student”.
Students will apply for research internships either on their own or through faculty mentors at their parent institute. An online portal has been developed where students can register themselves for research internships.
Interns will be selected by host organisations based on their selection criteria. The host organisation will arrange to intimate the potential intern through the portal itself or through mail, and will ask for confirmation or for acceptance.
(Edited by Rohan Manoj)