Prime Minister Modi said in one of his speeches that a one-km autorickshaw ride in Ahmedabad takes INR 10 while India reached Mars at INR 7 per km. This has been the feat of India’s very own magic lamp – the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). What’s more interesting is that ISRO’s magic is not limited to reducing the distance between us and the far-off space; the organization has also been actively involved in nurturing budding scientists by providing them meaningful internship opportunities. So, let’s hop on the shuttle and find out how to get an internship at ISRO!
Types of internships at ISRO and eligibility criteria
ISRO offers summer, winter, and long-term internships to students pursuing B.Tech, M.Tech, M.Sc, MCA, or equivalent courses provided they’ve scored a minimum of 65% in all their academic degrees. These internships typically last between 3 months to 1 year and are conducted in various units of ISRO such as Indian Institute of Remote Sensing, Dehradun, National Atmospheric Research Laboratory (NARL), Tirupati, Physical Research Laboratory (PRL), Ahmedabad, Semi-Conductor Laboratory, Ajitgarh, National Remote Sensing Centre, Hyderabad, Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology, Trivandrum, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Trivandrum, U R Rao Satellite Centre, Bangalore, and Space Application Centre, Ahmedabad. Students can find internships in domains such as electronics and electrical, radio frequency systems, remote sensing, geographic information system, image processing, astrophysics, astronomy, analog and digital systems, molecular physics, optics, etc.
How to apply for ISRO internships?
1. Application through Head of Department (HOD):
To apply for an internship in ISRO, you can request your HOD to forward your application to the Program Planning and Evaluation Group, the HR department at ISRO. This application must contain details about your academic background, the project you’re interested in, and your availability for the internship. Don’t forget to attach a copy of your resume, cover letter, mark sheets of all semesters, and a letter from HOD that states your college allows you to intern at ISRO. The application must be sent 3-4 months prior to the internship period.
2. Online application: ISRO careers
While most units of ISRO accept applications through the aforementioned method, NARL and PRL accept online applications. However, even in this case, you would need to send a hard copy of your application to these institutions.
3. Campus recruitment:
ISRO visits some selected colleges such as IITs, NITs, BITS Pilani, etc. for campus recruitment.
ISRO recruitment process –
In some units, the selection takes place purely on the basis of the application form, while in others, an interview may also be conducted. In the initial screening process, which may take place over call, students are asked about their academic background and their interest in working with ISRO.
Some sample questions are:
1. What is your favorite subject and why?
2. What all do you know about ISRO?
3. Which is more important—work ethic or work management?
4. Would you still work if you had sufficient money?
Some scientists may also be keen on conducting a face-to-face interview and may ask questions centered on your field of study and areas of interest. Some sample questions for ISRO interviews are:
Computer Science –
1. How to setup ReactJS on Windows?
2. What is the difference between ReactJS and React Native?
3. What is the usage of Virtual DOM in React Native?
4. What is the REST API used for?
5. What is the difference between a constructor and a destructor?
Core engineering –
1. Which material would you prefer for designing shuttles and why?
2. What is the difference between rocket and missile?
3. What is humidity ratio and how would you measure it?
4. Explain the free vibration of cantilever beam.
5. What are the various parts of refrigeration cycle?
6. What is the relation between beamwidth and directivity of the antenna?
7. What is the usage of pipelining techniques?
8. What is a Class-F microwave amplifier?
What to expect after you secure an internship at ISRO?
ISRO internships are an amalgamation of fun, excitement, and learning of a lifetime. Once the verification process is wrapped up, students are allotted to scientists either in groups or individually. Post that, mentors assign the ongoing projects on the basis of a candidate’s interest. ISRO houses the most advanced technologies, and as an intern, you may get a chance to try your hands on them. Interns are encouraged to actively participate in both on-going projects and co-curricular activities. Last but not the least, the campus is nothing short of a wonderland—the gigantic machines, prototypes of shuttles, and satellites give you an adrenaline rush which no Nolan movie is capable of.
Read Umang’s internship experience at IIRS and Manu’s journey at Development and Educational Communication Unit to delve deeper into the world of ISRO.
Tips from ex-interns –
1. A high CGPA of 8 and above in your grade-sheet enhances the chances of getting hired during campus recruitment.
2. Researching about the department you’re applying for an internship in and presenting relevant work experience may put you a notch above the rest in the application race.
3. A taste for innovation and a keenness to learn new skills are highly appreciated at ISRO.
So now that you know it only takes a well-crafted cover letter and a curious soul to experience the magic of space, wait no more. Apply to ISRO internships right away! You can also check out similar engineering internships to give your career a rocketing start.