IIT-D Disrupts Idea of Internships

For first time in institute’s history, internships are optional; students can instead work on new tech & hobby projects
IIT Delhi has taken an unprecedented step this year, encouraged by the ever-increasing success stories of startups. For the first time in its nearly five-and-halfdecade history, the institute has made summer internships optional for its students.From this year, other than summer internship, third-year students can opt for live projects in subjects like robotics and design-based learning, or pick up any other hobby project after consulting the department. Until last year, it was mandatory for everyone to go for a 10-week internship, which often helped students secure job offers.

What made one of the oldest IITs in the country to think differently were the stories of youngsters making it big in the world of business with their disruptive ideas, and the government’s thrust to promote entrepreneurship. An increasing number of students are pursuing entrepreneurial ambitions now while they are still in college.

“Aspirations and interests of the students are changing. Not all students now want to go to the industry for training. Many want to try their hands on entrepreneurship. In addition, a few want to pursue higher studies,“ said IIT Delhi dean -academics Anurag Sharma.

While some IITs still insist on summer internships, a few like IITBombay already allow students to choose other engagements as well.

IIT Madras and IIT Kharagpur continue to stick to internship. “It is compulsory here as we believe that this gives the student experience while being on the job,“ said a faculty at IIT Madras.

IITs in Kanpur and Roorkee prefer that their students go for summer internship but due to paucity of good companies around their locations, they have made it optional.According to a faculty member at IIT Kanpur, almost every year there is a debate to make intern ship compulsory .

For companies, of fering internship gives a chance to identify and evaluate fresh talent and tap into. For instance, Raj Raghavan, director-human resources, at Amazon India, says it is “a key source for identifying talent, grooming the same and later hiring the into the Amazon fold“.

Though more and more students from top institutes are choosing to work on their own products and businesses, companies don’t seem to be concerned about any shortage of talent as the number of engineering and technical institutes is growing as well in the country . “If a few IITs decide that they will not encourage internships, we will go to non-IIT institutes,“ a leading oncampus recruiter said.

Boston Consulting Group is one of the companies that heavily rely on internship for identifying new talent. “During the summer internship programme, we are able to evaluate the candidate better based on their ability to learn, develop their skills, build relations and make an impact,“ said Suresh Subudhi, partner and head of recruitment at BCG India.

IIT Delhi, meanwhile, has renamed its summer internship programme `Design and Practical Experience’. The design and practical experience will now fetch five non-graded points for the students in their third year.

To get their degree, students have to earn 15 non-graded points in all. Two p o i n t s c a n b e ear ned through projects such as on robotics, designing, car-race designing and other hobby projects. Starting from this year, IIT Delhi will give non-graded points to language learning, communication skills, ethics and social responsibility.

At IIT Kharagpur, an eight-week summer internship is mandatory . “Both at the undergraduate level and the master’s level for integrated degree, summer internship is compulsory ,“ said chairman of Career Development Centre SK Barai. This s the route to get the pre-placement offers and hence will not be done away with, he added.

IIT Roorkee wants its students oining internship in their third year but it sees a problem. “Not all companies are really keen on teach ng or training our students. They ust take interns for the sake of it and this exercise becomes useless or our students,“ said director Pradipta Banerji. IIT Roorkee encourages its students to join academic research institutes abroad.

Nevertheless, Roorkee has intensi ied its engagement with industry to give a platform to the students for practical training. “We are in the process of signing more MoUs for research and development and this will help our students in getting access to live training,“ Banerji said.

Source: The Economic Times



Neeraj; an entrepreneur & a visionary in the field of Railway, Defense & Automobiles, is a graduate in commerce and a Harvard Business School Alumni. He’s an expert in govt. liasoning & contracting and has an exceptional network & connections at both local as well as global level. He’s an expert in Market Strategy & Planning and has served number of overseas companies as an advisor/consultant. He takes a profound interest in upcoming startups & is very receptive towards ground-breaking ideas & innovations. He likes to brainstorm those ideas and if the values & philosophies matches; he is even ready to invest his resources, serve as a mentor or act as an incubator to futuristic businesses.

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