It’s not quite the place where you would expect job-hunting students to seek an internship. But oddly enough, the government is where many bright sparks — from the London School of Economics (LSE) to Kellogg’s — are heading for their final rite of passage to the professional world.
The country’s apex planning body, the Planning Commission, for instance, is proving to be a very popular destination since it started an internship programme two years back.
The only quibble: selection is strict, hence only the best pass muster. Just 40 of the over 300 who apply every year are inducted.
A hands-on insight on how things work in the world’s largest democracy — as a student says – is a great “pull factor”.
“I intend to work on the development sector and this was the natural choice,” said Priya Mukherjee of LSE, working on a project on the Human Development Report at present.
Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, who first mooted the idea, told Hindustan Times: “Participation of such young people makes for a very lively intellectual atmosphere. This is also a way of attracting young people to the government.”
Vivek Wadhera, a student of Kellogg’s from Botswana, says he opted for a summer placement because of the “strong reputation” the commission has. The internship provides him with a one-time payment of Rs 5,000. But, as Wadhera says, students are “not so much in it for the money” but for the “excellent opportunity”.
Ahluwalia said global institutions like the International Monetary Fund have a “very active system of internships”. The White House and Oval Office routinely take interns to give young Americans an idea of how the US government works.
The initiative has caught on, with even the Reserve Bank of India and the Law Commission of India offering similar internships.
This summer, the RBI took in 43 students, including 13 from universities abroad, like Stanford.
6 months ago