TULIP: New Government Initiative, Aimed At Professional Development, Opens Doors For Fresh Graduates 

TULIP: New Government Initiative, Aimed At Professional Development, Opens Doors For Fresh Graduates 

by Arun Kumar Das - Thursday, June 4, 2020 06:00 PM IST
TULIP: New Government Initiative, Aimed At Professional Development, Opens Doors For Fresh Graduates Human Resource and Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Puri at TULIP launch.
  • TULIP will help young graduates gain learning experience in the urban sector.

Aiming at professional development of young aspirants, the Union government today (4 June) launched a programme for providing internship opportunities to fresh graduates in urban India.

The Urban Learning Internship Programme (TULIP), an online portal, was launched jointly by Ministries of Housing and Urban Affairs and Human Resource Development along with All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) for offering internship to new graduates in all urban local bodies (ULBs) and smart cities across the country.

Smart City Mission, a flagship programme of the government, has made significant progress over the last three years in laying the foundation for future of urban India. Till date, projects worth over Rs 165,000 crore have been tendered of which projects amounting to around Rs 124,000 crore are in the implementation stage.

With the launch of TULIP, young graduates can avail experiential learning opportunities in the urban sector.

TULIP has been conceived pursuant to the Budget 2020-21 announcement by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman under the theme ‘Aspirational India’.

"The government proposes to start a programme whereby the urban local bodies across the country would provide internship opportunities to fresh engineers for a period up to one year,” she had announced in her budget speech.

Such a programme is expected to help reap the benefits of India’s demographic dividend as it is poised to have the largest working-age population in the world in the coming years.

India has a substantial pool of technical graduates for whom exposure to real world project implementation and planning is essential for professional development. General education may not reflect the depth of productive knowledge present in society. Instead of approaching education as ‘doing by learning,’ our societies need to re-imagine education as ‘learning by doing’.

The launch is also an important stepping stone for fulfillment of AICTE’s goal of 1 crore successful internships by 2025. The digital platform powering TULIP enables discovery, engagement, aggregation, amplification and transparency. The platform is customisable and provides immense flexibility to both ULBs/smart cities and interns to enable convenient access.

Security features have been thoroughly tested and the platform has been made scalable, federated and transparent by design.

TULIP would help enhance the value-to-market of India’s graduates and help create a potential talent pool in diverse fields like urban planning, transport engineering, environment, municipal finance etc. This will not only catalyse creation of prospective city managers but also talented private/non-government sector professionals.

TULIP would benefit ULBs and smart cities immensely. It will lead to infusion of fresh ideas and energy with engagement of youth in co-creation of solutions for solving India’s urban challenges. More importantly, it will further government’s endeavours to boost community partnership and government-academia-industry-civil society linkages.

Thus TULIP would help fulfil twin goals of providing interns with hands-on learning experience as well as infusing fresh energy and ideas in the functioning of India’s ULBs and smart cities.

For ease of implementation, guidelines have also been formulated which spell out the objective, eligibility conditions, duration of internship, terms of engagement, logistics and other operational features of the programmes.

The guidelines also provide illustrative roles for interns which can be further refined at the level of ULBs and smart cities at their discretion. A handbook for ULBs/smart cities and interns has also been prepared for ease of implementation. Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry has also agreed to allow use of administrative expenses under its missions/programmes for the payment of stipends/perks under the programme.

The Ministry would reach out to state governments to help boost internships in their cities. It will undertake capacity building initiatives in partnerships with state governments to enable participation of ULBs and smart cities under TULIP.

As states and UTs have a deeper understanding of the regional challenges and opportunities at the urban level, they can effectively implement TULIP by matching their needs with skills developed through such internships.

Human Resource and Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal `Nishank’ and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Puri, along with senior officials from both the ministries, were present at the launch.

Arun Kumar Das is a senior journalist covering railways. He can be contacted at akdas2005@gmail.com.

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