Engineering students will have more scope to broaden their horizons and acquire more work experience before taking up jobs. First-year students, who enrolled in this academic year, will have to complete a six-month internship in their final year instead of the earlier mandatory four-week internship.
The Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU) has decided to enhance the internship duration to make the students more industry ready. What’s more, they will also be allowed to travel to other countries for their research or industry internship.
VTU Vice Chancellor Karisiddappa said that this proposal will be approved by the joint board of studies shortly. “Students can apply to companies and universities for internship opportunities abroad as well. Earlier, they could not travel abroad for their internships as companies were not ready to take on students for a short duration of four weeks. Now, they can get more exposure as the internship duration has been enhanced,” he said.
In two batches
The modalities have already been mapped out. Students will take up internships in two batches. While one set of students will do the internship in the seventh semester, the second batch will do it in the eighth semester. One entire semester in the final year will be devoted to the internship, and in the other semester students will prioritise completing their projects and assignments.
The All India Council for Technical Education has also batted for a six-month internship. It said the university’s decision to extend the duration is in line with the recommendations made by the committee appointed by the State government to review internship policies for engineering and polytechnic colleges.
The committee, which had submitted its report earlier this year, recommended that colleges ask students to take up two internships: one short-term and another long-term. Prof. Karisiddappa said students would have to take a short-term internship of about four weeks after the first year, while the six-month-long internship will be completed in the final year.
An official of the university said that colleges will have to follow guidelines and ensure that they help students bag internships. “We also want colleges to counsel students so that the students can pick internships in fields that they are interested in,” the official added.
Students and college managements have welcomed the move. A. G. Nataraj, Principal, AMC Engineering College, said that students can discuss internship opportunities with the mentors in their respective colleges. “All the changes were in line with the National Education Policy which aims to make the students job ready,” he said.
Ajay Kamath, State Secretary of All-India Democratic Students Organisation said that prior to implementation of the new internship duration, the university will need to discuss this matter with all stakeholders particularly students so that they can discuss and prioritise the challenges that may arise with this change in internship format.