Internships have been made mandatory for all engineering students according to a directive issued by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE). The initiative has been taken to enhance employability levels. According to a statement by the AICTE Chairman SS Mantha the initiative was part of the National Employability Enhancement Mission (NEEM).
During a regional workshop on 'AICTE-CII Survey of Industry-Linked Technical Institutes 2013' held on May 24, 2013 (Friday) Mantha has said that the idea of NEEM was “not to create jobs, but to improve employability”. He mentioned that engineering students in the fifth, sixth and seventh semesters of their course will have to undergo an internship for anything from three to 24 months. Moreover, the AICTE is planning to register external agencies who can communicate with industry in order to get internships for students. The registration process will begin in mid-June. He also added that there will be no guarantee for jobs, but students will become employable.
In addition, the AICTE has also signed a MoU with BSNL with an idea to train third and fourth year engineering students in communication and related fields at 43 training centres across the country. The AICTE will pay for the training to the colleges, which will direct the funds to BSNL. Mantha had informed that BSNL has some of the best training centers with world class equipment. The students will undertake 400 hours of training at the centres. Moreover, he mentioned that similar collaborations are being worked out in other disciplines of engineering with micro, small and medium enterprises.
As per source, another proposal launched under NEEM aims to reward and challenge students with potential is the 'Student Innovation Promotion Scheme'. Four regional-level workshops will be conducted, and 10,000 to 15,000 students will be invited to one of them, to work on projects on the spot. Besides, MSMEs will be asked to evaluate the project and selected students will be pushed to the next level of design or technology.
Sources also informed that, additionally, the AICTE also plans to initiate a placement portal to form a link between students with industry. In the placement portal students will be able to upload their biodata in a set format, and industry will be able to search the eligible applicants who meet their requirement criteria for employment into a particular post. Also, a research portal where all projects by UG and PG students will be put up is also being planned. Both the upcoming portals will have links on the AICTE website.