UGC Guidelines for Research Internships and UGC Declared Undergraduate Internships: The decision was made by UGC after it was revealed in the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 that internships would now be encouraged and made mandatory. The University Grants Commission (UGC) has declared that all undergraduate students in recognised Indian universities will be required to do an 8-to-10-week research internship. “Atma-Nirbhar Bharat is built on the fusion of research, innovation, and technology development” (Self-reliant India). The institutionalisation of research internships at the undergraduate level is envisioned to play a critical role in catalysing the inter-disciplinary/multi-disciplinary, transdisciplinary, and translational research culture embodied in NEP 2020, “according to the UGC guidelines.” As per the recently announced criteria, these internship programmes aim primarily at increasing students’ employability while also assisting them in developing research skills. The UGC took the decision after it was revealed in the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 that internships will now be encouraged and made mandatory. Students will be assigned to a research supervisor, ideally from another higher education institution (HEI), but it might be from the same organisation, for a certain period at the supervisor’s research facility and will complete a time-bound internship assignment. Students seeking a research internship will receive hands-on training in research tools, procedures, methodologies, and equipment, as well as learn about other elements of doing high-quality research. Students will be able to get this experience through working with teachers and scientists in HEIs, research institutions, industry research labs, nationally renowned organisations, and individuals who have made significant contributions in their disciplines (draftsmen, artisans, musicians, artists, choreographers, etc.).
Internships of eight to ten weeks for ten credits will be required after the second or fourth semester for students wishing to graduate with a certificate or diploma, depending. Students will be required to complete 450 hours of internships. A research internship requires a minimum of 45 hours of participation in internship activities per week–a total of 450 hours is required to get the given credits. Furthermore, UGC has suggested that various HIEs give Research Ability Enhancement Courses (REAC) for 10 credits. The document states, “A few Research Ability Enhancement Courses (RAEC) in research and analytical tools and methodologies, worth 10 credits, should be taught during the 7th semester as pre-requisite courses for 4-year degree (Research) students.” Research in the form of a dissertation or project work, ideally in interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary, or transdisciplinary domains, for 30 credits.
The designated Research Internship Supervisor from the host institute will monitor and evaluate students’ internship progress. The supervisor for the host organisation will conduct the evaluation as well as a seminar presentation/viva-voce at the HEI, for which a panel of HEI specialists, including the supervisor, will allocate marks. The proposal states that “the research internship supervisor will assess the interns based on their honesty and research output.” Students will also be evaluated by their parent HEI based on their activity logbook and internship supervisor’s assessment report; the format of their presentation and the quality of their intern’s report; skill sets gained and demonstrated; originality and inventive contribution.
Portal For Internships
A centrally operated portal will also be created shortly, allowing Internship Provider Organizations (IPOs) to provide internships with the definition of eligibility rules, allowing students to search for internships of their choosing, internship allocation, and record and feedback. Students will register at the research internship portal to apply for research internships on their own or through the faculty mentor of their parent HEI. Students will be chosen by host organisations based on their selection criteria after enrolling and applying for internships. The host organisation will arrange to notify the possible intern via the site or via email and will request confirmation of acceptance. Following that, students will obtain approval from their parent institution and join the relevant host organisation. “The student will work in the supervisor’s lab/working area at the host organisation.” “During the internship period, the parent HEI will organize, through the mentor, to maintain track of the activities and performance of students as interns at the host organisation, based on periodic reports supplied by students,” the proposal states. After the internship, students will submit an internship report, one copy of which will be handed to the host organisation and the other to the parent HEI.