The Sahakar Mitra Initiative is expected to help cooperative institutions obtain access to fresh and innovative ideas from young professionals, while interns will receive field experience and the confidence to be self-sufficient. The Sahakar Mitra Scheme or a Summer Internship Program has been launched by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare(SIP). Another term for it is the Scheme on Internship Program.
The initiative is managed by the National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC), which aims to benefit both cooperatives and young professionals (interns). The initiative is intended to be a win-win situation for both cooperatives and young professionals. The concept would also allow academic professionals to develop entrepreneurial responsibilities and leadership through cooperatives like Farmer’s Producers Organizations (FPO).
Sahakar Mitra Scheme Objectives
- The interns will learn about the role, contribution, and impact of NCDC and cooperatives.
- Interns will get knowledge of the NCDC’s context and operations.
- To participate in cooperative start-ups, professional graduates should be oriented toward a cooperative business model.
- Interns will have the possibility to assume leadership and entrepreneurial responsibilities in cooperatively governed Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs).
- To help newly established cooperatives or individuals in need with business ideas and initiatives by offering guaranteed project loans on more favourable terms to emerging cooperatives in the early phases of growth.
- To promote Modi’s “Vocal for Local” concept.
- Capacity development in the cooperative sector
Key points of the Sahakar Mitra Scheme
- It offers financial help to interns for the duration of their internship, which is four months. The internship is sponsored in the amount of Rs. 45000.
- Eligible professionals can apply for the Sahakar Mitra Scheme by visiting the NCDC website. 60 interns will be trained.
- A Regional Office can only have two interns at a time. A single university may propose not more than two interns each year.
- Once chosen, an intern cannot be re-selected for the Sahakar Mitra Scheme.
- People who meet the eligibility requirements can only apply online.
- A person’s internship time cannot exceed four months. A person cannot be hired as an intern more than once.
Who can apply for the Sahakar Mitra Scheme
Professional graduates in disciplines such as IT, agriculture, allied fields, and others, would be eligible for the internship under the Sahakar Scheme. Professionals pursuing or who have completed their MBA degrees in Cooperation Finance, Agri-Business, Forestry, International Trade, Project Management, Rural Development, and other fields are also qualified. The Union Minister also launched an online application portal for the internship application, which is available on the NCDC website.
The Number of Interns and Location
NCDC requires that not more than sixty interns work at its Regional Offices, LINAC, and Head Office at any given time. A Regional Office can only have two interns at a time. A single university may propose no more than two interns each year.
Process of Selection of Sahakar Mitra Scheme
- A person’s internship time cannot exceed four months. A person can only be hired as an intern once.
- The recommendation can be made to the Regional Director NCDC or Chief Director LINAC or Head of HR Division at HO of NCDC by the Head of Department of the UGC / AICTE / ICAR approved Universities / Institutions as applicable. Only online applications will be accepted.
- Prospective interns will be shortlisted by committees, as may be prescribed by MD from time to time, based on screening of their bio-data and recommendations of the sponsoring institutions.
- Interns will be placed at HOs, LINACs, and ROs based on their preferences and the needs of NCDC.
- The intern will be supervised by an officer designated as a ‘Mentor’ to provide orientation, guidance, special assignment, and other SIP-related activities.
- In the case of interns at RO, he or she would be expected to focus on a cooperative and develop a business plan/project report on the cooperative society’s commercial growth. Within two weeks of completing his or her internship, the intern will submit a written report with a detailed description of the work performed. He or she will demonstrate the experience obtained and how he or she intends to put it to use in the future.
- The business plan/project report / detailed report submitted by the intern will be the property of NCDC and the intern would have no claim on its use in any manner.
- The intern’s findings from the study, research and analysis are not to be published.
- NCDC shall have no responsibility for any action or inaction, regarding the results of the intern’s business plan/project report/detailed report, or any action done by him/her during SIP.