Odisha’s Department of Higher Education to introduce internships for UG students-

In a bid to make undergraduate students employment-ready as they pass out, the state government is planning to integrate internship programmes across all its courses, stated a report in The New Indian Express.

Odisha’s Department of Higher Education is designing a ‘model UG syllabus’ with the help of 12 public universities under which students will have to undergo an average of six-week summer internship.

At present, colleges offering general and professional degree courses do not have any provision for internships nor do they mandate it in the case of professional, commerce and science subjects. Under the new syllabus which will be ready by the 2024-25 academic year, students of all streams including humanities will have to undergo internship to earn credits that would contribute to their final score.

While the Odisha State Higher Education Council is the nodal agency in the project including framing the internship component, the public universities are working on developing content for each subject.

Officials of the department said under the new system, every student irrespective of his or her stream, has to actively engage in on-site experiential learning to earn two to four credits that will be added to the final credits. Each credit will require a minimum of 30 hours of on-site practical learning.

“Students can pursue the summer internship at the end of their fourth, fifth and sixth semesters. After the internship, the students will have to submit a report which will be evaluated by the college,” informed an official.

Since providing internships to 2.7 lakh to 3 lakh students clearing UG every year is a huge task, the council has suggested tie-ups with government departments, Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs), municipalities besides local industries, business organisations, health and allied sectors to help students engage with the practical side of their learning and further improve their employability.

“For example, in the case of humanities, students can do their internship in the council itself or the textbook printing press which can teach them publishing or museums to learn about museology and so on,” the official stated.

The department has also recently started research internships in the 11 centres of excellence (CoEs) set up in seven universities under World Bank-supported Odisha Higher Education Programme for Excellence and Equity (OHEPEE). Of these, four are researching social science, humanities and literature and the rest are focusing on science and public health. Students interested in pursuing research in their PG, can learn about research techniques, approaches, and equipment, among other things, at the CoEs. This year, Utkal and Sambalpur universities have started research internships.

Focus on internship

– Students will have to undergo a six-week summer internship as part of the new syllabus

– Students will earn credits that will contribute to their final score

– Each credit will require a minimum of 30 hours of on-site practical training

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