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IIT-Delhi: Summer Internships now Optional

In an unexpected change this year, IIT-Delhi, for the first time, in its’ five-and-half decade history, has made Summer Internships optional for its students. The step, inspired by the success stories of start-ups, wants to inspire students to think differently, and help them make it big by nurturing their ideas and entrepreneurship skills.

For the Third-year students, until last year, the 10-weeks internships which was mandatory, can now be replaced for live projects in subjects like robotics and design-based learning, any other hobby project after consulting the department. The move is said to be taken considering in mind that an increasing number of students are pursuing entrepreneurial ambitions now while they are still in college. The summer internship programme has been renamed ‘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 points can be earned 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.

Traditionally, Summer Internships have helped students land a job immediately after 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 IIT Madras and IIT Kharagpur continue to make internships manadatory, IIT Kanpur and IIT Roorkee, too give the students an option, albeit because of paucity of good companies around their locations. According to a faculty member at IIT Kanpur, almost every year there is a debate to make internship compulsory.

The internships assume significance importance historically, because they helped students land jobs right after they graduated, but also gave the Industry to identify and pick fresh talent and absorb it. However, even in the age of entrepreneurship, there is no dearth of talent, as engineering colleges are aplenty in the country. Several IT and non-IT companies rely heavily on these internships to recruit new staff every year. Boston Consulting Group is one such company. “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.

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