Undergraduate students in their the pre-final year at IIT Kharagpur will not have to look for internship in companies or universities outside their campus this year. As venturing out is out of the question during the lockdown, the institute has floated in-house internship projects, asking students to take their pick, either from a topic within their departments or from anything offered by another department that interests them.
The move has come as a big relief as internship for eight weeks is compulsory for all pre-final year student.
The office of the registrar has instructed departmental heads to pay the interns allowances once they successfully complete their projects. A large number of the UG students are on the campus due to the lockdown. Those who have gone home are also within the fold of the in-house internship; all models are being created online, to be converted into real models once the lockdown is over and components are available.
Going by the rules, internship has to begin in April and end by July-end. Students usually take up assignments in companies, not only for the experience and the pay, but also for the fact that many of them are eventually selected during campus placements. Many move to universities in other cities or even abroad. By August, students bring their assessment reports from their supervisors. “Internship cannot be waived off. But given the extraordinary circumstances, all the 19 departments as well as the interdisciplinary schools of studies have been asked to float internship projects. This has started and students are taking them up,” said Debashish Deb, dean, undergraduate studies.
The faculty is happy because this system will help “plough back” the manpower it usually loses to the industry. For example, in the civil engineering department, a group of students had taken up desalination of sea water through osmotic/membrane distillation as a project, explained a faculty member, Shirshendu Dey. Another student, Dhruv Saha, has taken up a project to build electromagnetic strips that could remove protein from blood and body extracts, too, he said.
At the electronic engineering department, three interns have started on a project to develop an autonomous vacuum cleaner. “This would be very useful for the elderly, especially in lockdown,” said faculty member Prabir Biswas. Another intern is working on error minimisation of outdoor videos by applying his machine-learning skills.
Source: Times of India