Student entrepreneurs can now take break from semesters

Image by LUM3N from Pixabay

Higher education students, who are working on start-up projects, will have an option to take a break from their semesters for a year or more and rejoin to complete their programme.

Such students will also get relaxation from the requirement of minimum attendance percentage to take their semester examinations.

The Human Resource Development (HRD) ministry has asked all the higher education institutions to make clear provisions for providing such leeway to promote start-up and entrepreneurship among the students.

“A committee, to be set up by each of the higher education institutions, will review the start-up projects of each of the students to decide on the duration of semester break that they can be allowed to enable them focus on their enterprise,” official sources said.

The ministry has also asked the institutions to bring in provisions for giving “appropriate” academic credits to “student entrepreneurs” based on the review committee's assessment of the innovative prototypes or business models.

“Institutes may need to develop clear guidelines to formalise this mechanism,” the Ministry has said in a set of guidelines issued recently for the implementation of the National Innovation and Start-Up Policy 2019.

The ministry has asked all the higher education institutions to establish processes and mechanisms “for easy creation and nurturing” of the start-ups, not just by their students but also faculty members and other staff.

“Allow faculty and staff to take off for a semester/year (or even more depending upon the decision of review committee constituted by the institute) as sabbatical/ unpaid leave/ casual leave/ earned leave for working on startups and come back,” the ministry stated in its guidelines.

The institution should also consider allowing the use of its resources to the faculty members and staff who want to establish start-up “as a full-time effort.”

“The seniority and other academic benefits during such period may be preserved for such staff or faculty,” the ministry guidelines added.

The ministry has permitted the higher education institutions to start part-time or full-time MS, MBA PGDM (Innovation, entrepreneurship and venture development) programs for those incubating and nurturing a startup company.

“The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has already issued guidelines for a similar program,” an official said.

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