The UGC draught guidelines state that institutionalising research internships and immersions at the undergraduate level will be critical in catalysing the inter-disciplinary research culture envisioned in the new education policy. NEP 2020 includes a provision that lets students to enter and exit several times during a four-year degree programme.
The University Grants Commission (UGC) is putting in place a policy that will allow undergraduate students to engage with researchers, scientists, academic supervisors, and industrial R&D labs to obtain hands-on experience with innovation and research approaches.
Undergraduate students who choose to depart courses after one or two years instead of pursuing a full four-year UG degree would be required to complete such internships and immersions, according to the higher education authority.
The New Education Policy (NEP) 2020 includes a clause that allows students to enter and exit a four-year degree programme numerous times.
“The internships of 8-10 weeks of 10 credits, after the second or fourth semester, will be mandatory for students who wish to exit with a certificate or diploma, respectively. Continuing students may, however, undergo optional research internships after 2nd / 4th semester, to enhance their research capabilities, by engaging as interns in HEI (higher educational institutions)/research institute/industrial R&D labs,” as per the UGC draft guidelines.
According to the UGC’s draught recommendations, institutionalisation of research internships and immersions at the undergraduate level will play a significant role “in catalysing interdisciplinary/multi-disciplinary/trans-disciplinary…research culture,” as envisioned in the new education strategy.
According to the guidelines, the initiative will “provide an opportunity for undergrad students to conduct research in a real-work environment with faculty guidance over a specific period of time, create conditions conducive to students exercising a quest for knowledge and its discovery and applicability for solving…real-life problems.”
It will also teach students how to prepare research proposals, scientific reports, presentations, and manuscripts for publication, as well as research methods, analytical tools, and procedures. It could also help researchers in HEIs, research organisations, and R&D labs find novel solutions by utilising research interns. This practical-oriented immersion project can provide a minimum of 20 credits out of the required 160 for a 4-year degree.
Domain-specific students can also work with nationally renowned organisations and prominent persons in specialised fields, such as draughtsmen, artisans, musicians, artists, choreographers, and so on, according to the UGC draught guidelines.
NEP’s main focus
These internship programmes are primarily concerned with students’ employability and specific results based on abilities sought by industrial centres. The newly adopted course structure in NEP2020 envisions the integration of research components in degree programmes, particularly for four-year bachelor’s degree programmes with a fourth year devoted to the development of research competencies among students.
This necessitates the creation of a framework for providing undergraduate students with research internships that are based on established levels of competency. According to the UGC recommendations, the framework would outline how HEIs can support interns as a provider or an organiser, as well as how research organisations or research centers/laboratories can support research internships as providers.
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