With 10 more days to go for deadline (31st March 2012) to submit application for internship with Ministry of Statistics & Program Implementation (MOSPI) Internship, we bring you an insider’s perspective of this much coveted internship program and share tips on how to make best of your internship experience. Subhashini Balsundaram, currently in final year of M.Sc (Statistics) at University of Madras shares her experience of interning with MOSPI in summer 2011. Read on…
Internship in MOS&PI: A great opportunity to the aspiring statisticians
I am doing my Masters in Statistics from University of Madras, Chennai. I never had any idea about internship in MOS&PI (Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation). I just knew about the Essay writing competition conducted by them to promote official statistics among PG students. I appeared for that exam last year, and I came to know about MOS&PI internship then. The ministry offers summer internship programme to PG / research students in statistics. The aim of this scheme is also to expose students to the official statistical system. Most of the universities do not cover this in their syllabus, but official statistics is the backbone of the statistical system of India.
The ministry offers internship in New Delhi as well as in the Regional Offices (RO) of various states. I chose to intern with Social Statistics Division, CSO, New Delhi. It was surprising to me that I was the first one to intern there except for the Delhi University students. People there wondered why I traveled more than 2,000 Kms for this internship when it is available in the Chennai RO too. But I preferred Delhi to have a better exposure and to have a feel of working with the GOI. Even the ROs offer a great opportunity to the students.
The period of internship was for two months. The day I joined, I felt a positive vibe. People were motivated and gave challenging assignments in spite of me being just a student. I was given enough space to learn and work. As it was Social statistics division, they had several publications on Social statistics. One such was “Selected Socio-Economic Statistics India, 2011”. The draft for the publication had been prepared by an ISS (Indian Statistical Service) officer and I had to review it to make required corrections/ improvements. It was not just a reviewing and modifying work, I had to visit eminent persons in various ministries like MOHFW, Ministry of Labour, Ministry of HRD, etc. to collect available data for the recent years and clarify the unknown facts. It is really tough to interpret a time-series or any other data without understanding the terms, definitions and computations of the corresponding indicators. Therefore I had to study and do lots of homework for these. My work was appreciated and published by the Ministry in October 2011 – http://mospi.nic.in/Mospi_New/upload/sel_socio_eco_stats_ind_2001_28oct11.pdf
The two month period was a turning point in my life, because it offered a quality time; I knew the exact structure and system of the Ministry, and the opportunities and careers available there. At the end of the two months, people who questioned as why I came all the way to Delhi, asked me to encourage my juniors and others to take up this internship. Their aim is to spread the official statistical system to all the academicians in this field. It is easy to get an internship, but doing it in the respective core field is more important. This is a perfect place for the statisticians all over India.
Every year the ministry calls for applications for the Internship in the month of February. It is a simple process to apply; just the application should be submitted in the prescribed format as given in the website www.mospi.nic.in. They select the interns on merit basis. They not only offer internships for students, but also conduct “On-the Spot Essay Writing competition” every year and the winners are awarded with attractive cash prizes (I won 5K as a cash prize last year) in a grand function celebrating the Statistics Day in New Delhi. Also the Training Division of MOS&PI, NASA (National Academy of Statistical Administration) provides a week training on official statistical system twice a year to the students.
Either the Office in Delhi or the ROs (DES), both provide inputs in various aspects. Indeed many have different perceptions about Government jobs and people working there. But from my personal experience I can say that people there were hard working and find their positions very prestigious. And now I am inspired by that and determined to take up the ISS civil service exam :)
The last date for this year’s internship applications is 31st March 2012. Head over to Ministry of Statistics & Program Implementation (MOSPI) Internship for more details. All the best!
FYI! You can look for similar internships on Internshala.