In a move aimed at improving industry-academic partnerships and improving the employability of engineering students, the government has made it mandatory for engineering institutes across the country to ensure that students undergo at least three internships during the course of their studies.
From now on engineering students in the country will have to undergo at least three mandatory internships during their course and it will be the responsibility of colleges concerned to ensure internship for students, union minister for human resource development Prakash Javadekar told the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.
''Every student in a technical institute should undergo three internships each spanning four to eight weeks before completion of his / her under-graduation course. The responsibility will be on the institute to help students find a suitable industry for the internship,'' Javadekar said.
Teachers of engineering courses will also be required to appear for an annual refresher course. ''Every teacher in each of the technical discipline shall mandatorily undergo an annual refresher course through SWAYAM portal (Massive open online course), encapsulating all advances in their field of study,'' the minister said.
The compulsory summer internships have so far only been followed by reputed engineering colleges leaving many graduate engineers at a disadvantage due to lack of experience. Quoting AICTE data, the minister said, only 6.96 lakh students out of 15.87 lakh students at 10,328 technical institutions get jobs through placements. He, however, said this number would have been higher if students had not opted for start-ups and higher studies.
In 2015-16, 56 per cent students graduating from engineering colleges remained unemployed.
Earlier, in March, the minister had said that only 40 per cent of engineering graduates got placed after graduating from college. He had attributed falling demand in the industry and the lack of required skills among graduates as the reason for the low employability levels. The HRD minister said the target is to increase the placement to 60 per cent.