Posted by Acubiz  |  Blog

Written by – Namruta Shervegar

The derived product from non-edible biomass is viewed as crucial for establishing a sustainable bio-based economy for the future. The nature of lignocellulose being inert makes it tremendously difficult for its breakdown to fuels & other compounds. For decades, the recalcitrant polysaccharides such as chitin and cellulose and their ezymatic conversion was rely on synergistic action of hydrolytic enzymes. Consortia of enzymes can be used in biorefinery for lignocellulose deconstruction but until recently their cost was considered as high. Lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases (LPMOs) these enzyme promise for further process improvements as these enzymes are able to boost up the activity of biomass-degrading enzyme consortia.

LPMO takes part in the process of lignocellulose deconstruction by catalyzing the cleavage of insoluble polysaccharide utilizing a mechanism which involves the involvement of molecular oxygen and electron donor. For more than a decade, LPMOs were annotated as a family of 61 glycoside hydrolase (GH61s) or family of 33-carbohydrate binding modules (CBM33s).These enzymes have an unsual surface exposed active site with the tightly attached Cu ion that catalyses the regioselectivity hydroxylation of crystalline cellulose, leading to glycosidic bond cleavage. LPMOs are the enzymes derived from bacterial AA10 and fungal AA9.LPMOs general core includes a distorted immunoglobin like beta sandwich fold consiting of two antiparallel beta strands connected by loops with a number of alpha insertions. This enzymes is copper dependent oxygenases. Oxidation of cellulose by LPMO is thought to produce either lactone at the reducing end of glucose that can spontaneously or enzymatically to aldonic acid or 4-keto aldose at the non reducing end that can futhur oxidized to a geminal diol.

It can be concluded that Lytic polysaccharide monooxygenses are the new upcoming enzymes derived from microorganism that have potential use in the field of biofuels as compared to the products gained by consortia of hydrolytic enzymes.

  • Aachmann et al, “ Lytic Polysaccharide monooxygensae” Encyclopedia of Inorganic and Bioinorganic Chemistry 15 march 2015
  • Vermaan et al,” Effects of lytic polysaccharide monooxygenase oxidation on cellulose structure and binding of oxidized cellulose oligomers to cellulases”, The journal of physical chemistry. 21 May 2015
  • Hemsworth et al, Recent insights into copper-containing lytic polysaccharide mono-oxygenases October 2013
  • Beeson et al “Cellulose Degradation by Polysaccharide Monooxygenases”Annual review of biochemistry 84: 923-946 June 2015



Cloning of organs to enhance health and longevity

Posted by Acubiz  |  Blog

Written by – Jain Virmal

Cloning is the most trendy term getting momentum in today’s time with irrespective of the field. With respond to science this has totally changed the working of medical minds to treat the infection or disease by answering to problem through “cloning”. Cloning of organ basically relays on altering the surface antigen to protect organ from undergoing necrosis due to immune response engaged by antibodies on encountering the transplant organ. Humoral immune response is the major system that raises immunity against foreign antigen. So in case of xenotransplant the organ isolated from pig was genetically altered to suppress the expression of -1,2-galactosyltransferase and express 1,2-fucosylosyltransferase. This increased the life of the organ in human recipient as antibody could not raise immune response because the epitope expressed on the organ was similar to that found on the original organ. This could be an effective way of gaining longevity to transplanted organs (1). Longevity can also be increased by means of engineering the animal for expression of hCD59 i.e. a glycosyl-phosphatidylinositol-anchored cell surface glycoprotein. It inhibits the formation of complement system that cause apoptosis. The organ expressing it was found to be highly tolerant to anti-porcine antibody and to human complement system (2). Expression of HLA-E molecules on grafting organ provides protection against human NK cells (3). Success rate of liver transplant can be increased by means of introducing gene encoding radical scavenger enzymes like dismutase that help the transplant organ to reperfusion there by making efficient blood vessel connection in turn enhance the health of the organ (4,5). Skeletal muscle cells and stem cells like bone marrow, embryonic and amniotic fluid cells are been found effective in repairing heart injury as well as generating artificial hearts which are called mini hearts (6).

These all possibilities are been made to make transplant healthier and to increase longevity. If it works out properly it would be boon to the humans over diseases and infections.


  • Jagdeece J. et al, Production of -1,3-Galactosyltransferase-Knockout Cloned Pigs Expressing Human -1,2-Fucosylosyltransferase. Biology Of Reproduction, 2003 (69). 437-445.
  • Fodor WL. et al, Expression of a Functional Human Complement Inhibitor in a Transgenic Pig as a Model for the Prevention of Xenogeneic Hyperacute Organ Rejection. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 1994 (91). 11153-11157.
  • Klymiuk N. et al, Genetic Modification of Pigs as Organ Donors for Xenotransplantation. Mol. Reprod. Dev. 2010 (77): 209–221.
  • Lehmann TG. et al, Gene Delivery of Cu/Zn-Superoxide Dismutase Improves Graft Function After Transplantation of Fatty Livers in the Rat. Hepatology. 2000 6(32).
  • Lehmann TG. et al, Delivery of Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase genes with a viral vector minimizes Iiver injury and Improves Survival after Liver Transplantation in the Aat. Transplantation. 2000 6(69). 1051-1057.
  • Atala A. et al, Engineering Organs. Current Opinion in Biotechnology. 2009 (20). 575–592.



Healthcare: A Tale of Two Worlds

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The nightmare began sometime in mid-September when my husband, who was on a business trip in USA, ended up in a hospital emergency room. What was presumed to be some food poison has now turned into a medical puzzle. As the situation became worse, I flew to the US, and soon after I reached there, he was rushed to the emergency ward for the third time in a span of two weeks.

My job involves analysis of various matters related to healthcare, which often requires comparison of the practices in developed markets with those in various emerging markets. This work exposure, however, was inadequate to understand some of the basic differences with respect to the medical approaches in the West and India.

Some of the striking differences I noticed are as below. It could be an obvious list for those who are familiar with both the worlds. On the other hand, I will not be surprised if someone totally disagrees with me as well.

Process Efficiency

The most striking experience for me was the process efficiency- particularly in the ER. The process is so well laid out that no one wasted a single minute in confusion or to figure out what has to be done for a patient. Professionalism was evident at all levels – from specialists and nurses to techs and even the reception desk clerks.

In my part of the world, public hospitals often lack this level of efficiency. On the other end of the spectrum, India has reputed private hospitals, which are driving health tourism industry in the country. These hospitals manage to get the crème of healthcare professionals by offering competent pay packets and state-of-the-art work environments.

Sadly, the quality of health care one can get in India depends upon the affordability of a person.

Respect for all Human Life

Respect for human life, disregarding the social status, age, race, or stage of illness of the patients, is evident. From the reception desk clerk at the ER to the highly qualified specialists do not show any preferences of differential treatment to patients.

During a friendly chat, one Indian American doctor mentioned that the treatment we are receiving in the ER is the same that even President Obama would receive. Or, a homeless man would get. The payment part is considered as another matter, and is not a measure of what care one would receive.

As per the law of the state, nobody coming to the hospital can be turned back without having treated – Something that is lacking in my part of the world.

It was a great feeling to watch this team literally practicing the philosophy of equality of healthcare in the ER.

Tests getting priority over listening to patient symptoms!

Another major difference in the approaches is the emphasis on tests. In India, probably since they do not have great facilities, a doctor is keen to get as much disease history as possible from the patient. Hence, each and every detail the patient shares is generally considered important. Doctors have the patience to listen, since that is their main resource for diagnosis.

Here, on the other hand, the doctors seemed to be in a rush to conduct tests, scans, or invasive procedures, based on which they can decide treatment strategy. Impatience was often evident as we tried to explain the symptoms. We were asked to hurry, since they have to see many other patients. Though a valid reason, I feel symptoms could have given valuable clues. For example, his mentioning of excessive night sweats immediately received attention of the Indian doctors we got in touch over phone for second opinion.

Finally, we prepared a disease summary report that detailed the entire symptoms in chronological order and gave a print out of the report with the doctors, hoping they would read it in their leisure time and note down if any symptoms ring a bell.


For a tourist travelling on basic travel insurance, the healthcare cost is the first thing to worry about, if he falls sick in USA. Americans pay the highest price for each diagnostic test, each pill, each IV fluid bag, and emergency care.

It is highly complex how costs of these tests are determined since the cost for the same test can differ from one patient to another, in the same hospital. There was no way to compare costs and choose one that we could afford.

While digging deep to understand the cost range, I came across with an article dealing with the same topic. The article indicates the range for an upper back MRI to be $614 to $1,800, based on a search using “Now I Know” tool of Harvard Pilgrim.

As an Indian, my brain understands out-of-pocket payments better. For some of us, who have the luxury of medical insurance through employer, healthcare cost is not a big concern. However, if it involves major issues and several expensive tests, we try to stay within the limits.

Doctors are also careful before recommending tests and medications. Though affordability decides the quality of healthcare, things are slowly changing in India – thanks to the NGOs assisting poor communities and innovative insurance packages being introduced by various companies addressing the needs of lower middle class population.


The doctors and nurses in the US seemed to be much more cautious than their counter parts in India. Treatments are not usually started until the diagnosis is conclusive. My husband spent valuable two weeks staying in a hotel, taking pain reliefs and an antibiotic while waiting for results of diagnostic tests. Did he lose some critical time during the early stages of some illness? I am not sure since our medical puzzle is still not solved.

Of course, US is a litigious society and doctors have to be extremely cautious.

In comparison, I remembered the experience of my friend in India, who had TB meningitis. After eliminating the chances of some suspected diseases, the doctors started the treatment for TB meningitis straight away, without waiting for test results. That saved my friend’s life, and the culture tests confirmed the disease three weeks later. I am not sure if that would have been possible, had he been in USA.

In India, we are used to doctors taking chances starting treatments for certain conditions based on their intuition. Often, their intuition turns out right. Probably the experience gained in third world countries is helpful.

The doctors in India definitely have an advantage over their counter parts in the US. They are treated like God and possibly they can get away with many things. However, this trend is changing in India.

We are packing our bags as my husband feels slightly better. We do not have any infrastructure or the financial resources required to continue the diagnosis and treatment in USA. Back home, hope the doctors will be able to move forward from the point where the USA team left off. Also hope that the puzzle will be solved sooner rather than later, definitely at lower costs.




Novel Halal Test keeps it Simple! But is Simple Adequate?

Posted by Acubiz  |  Blog

I was winding up a report on halal testing market, when I came across with a recent news update about a new halal testing product, which was introduced into the market, last month.

Simply named as “Halal Test” (or yet to be branded), and developed by France-based Capital Biotech, the test is claimed to be 99 percent accurate in detecting the presence of alcohol and porcine DNA. Moreover, it is just as easy as a pregnancy test!

A concerned Muslim consumer can simply decide if the food meets his requirements by dipping a test strip in a bottle of warm water mixed with a food sample. One line indicates no trace of pork while two lines means pork is present.

What attracted me most is the concept of this product. The company brilliantly addressed a huge market need with this simple, affordable, fast, and accurate product, which can be used by any Muslim consumer, with absolutely no training.

Moreover, two key components will be tested simultaneously! This is the only test in the market that can test both alcohol and porcine DNA in a single test strip!

No wonder the targeted consumers are excited! Capital Biotech received pre-orders for 10,000 testing kits within 24 hours after the product launch.

However, the company warns that no test can determine if a product is 100% halal, since halal certification includes many other components, including the slaughtering methods.

Of course, halal certification is an extremely involved process, the depth and complexity of which I realized while developing our recent report on halal testing . The regulatory landscape for halal testing is still evolving with countries such as Malaysia leading the efforts.

Currently, several halal testing products are available in the market, which are being used by food manufacturers and regulatory agencies in charge of halal certification. PCR based methods are becoming popular, as they can offer high sensitivity and specificity. However, those tests need expertise and are definitely not suitable for field tests by untrained consumers.

While I do not doubt the popularity this test would achieve, at least until other me-too products crowd the market, I am not sure if regulators or food manufacturers will be satisfied with it. I think PCR-based tests or other new tests under development by various groups in Malaysia based on various nanotech and biotech tools still have relevance – particularly after the recent incidence of the presence of porcine DNA in Cadbury chocolates in Malaysia.

The regulators have the responsibility to prove that a product is 100% halal before offering halal certification and a continued responsibility of ensuring its authenticity through frequent inspection and other monitoring methods. A false positive may turn out to be a disaster for a company in this case.




The dilemma of Science Graduates in Malaysia

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Many of us have dreamt of a career as a scientist during our school days. Most of us had to forget these dreams as we confronted the hard reality of a severe lack of job opportunities for fresh science graduates as scientists in science-based industries such as life sciences, pharmaceuticals, and healthcare.

Due to this, satisfying research careers in science were limited to a few lucky ones-those who got the limited opportunities in multi-nationals with deep pockets to sustain research. If you did not get a chance to be associated with some developed countries where science-based companies could get better financial support and hence were in a better position to offer research jobs, your dreams lay crushed by the roadside.

Things have definitely improved significantly during the past couple of decades. Developing countries are having greater focus on research and are offering commendable support to science-based industries lately, which in turn is creating a local demand for skilled research scientists. Some of the new entrants creating significant scientific R&D job opportunities lately include Korea, Singapore, China, and India. This growing demand is possibly helping these governments to control the brain drain of skilled scientists.

Unfortunately, Malaysia has been slow in this regard compared to some of its neighbouring countries. The country is yet to have a significant number of science-based companies involved in cutting edge biotechnology research – almost a decade after implementing its biotechnology policy with the ambition to become one of the key players in the region. No wonder, a lot of skilled scientists are seeking greener pastures elsewhere.

The science graduates in the country keen on developing scientific career are facing serious dilemma. While a few of them get career opportunities in other countries, many at home eventually adapt by moving to other streams such as sales or finance. This deepens the existing gap in the size of employable science graduates in the country.

I happened to meet a new staff, a fresh postgraduate in biotechnology with excellent academic achievements, in a local bank sometime back. He approached me when he realized that my company is into biotech consulting. Apparently, his career dream was to be a scientist working on drug discovery. That is not a surprise. Drug discovery seems to be one of the hottest areas to work in, as you design your biochemistry experiments during your Masters programme and reading up the exciting research updates in the field.

When he realised that getting such jobs was not easy, he decided to take up this job in the bank for temporary financial sustenance. He mentioned that he was planning to join for a PhD soon, if a suitable job does not come on his way.

A few months later, I came across a suitable vacancy at one of my client’s company and decided to check if the area will be of interest to him. However, I was surprised to hear the person who greeted me on the other side. He was a totally different person from the young chap I met sometimes back with dreams of making it big someday in the biotech field as a scientist. Gone were the dreams.

He indicated that his career seems to be going well in the bank and he will soon be promoted. He was also planning to join a part time course in finance to improve his prospects in bank industry. Intelligent, ambitious, and hardworking guy! I silently witnessed Malaysia’s biotech industry losing another bright candidate!

The growth in the number of jobs in biotechnology research is not matching with the number of qualified students entering the job market. Besides, the quality of available R&D jobs is often not matching with the ambitions of the smart ones.

The companies, on the other hand, face serious human resource challenges and point out the lack of employability of local graduates. Healthcare biotech companies need to allocate considerable budget to import skilled personnel – at least in the middle to senior scientist levels- for setting up R&D activities here. Such added operational costs reduce their competitiveness in the global market.

This is a vicious loop and pointing fingers will not help to solve the issue. What is needed is the creation of a critical mass of highly skilled scientists and technologists in selected biotechnology areas, chosen based on the inherent strength of Malaysia. Once these numbers reach a threshold level, the industry will become self-driven generating more innovative spin offs.

This can attract more creative talents in related fields to the country and the locations where such activities intensify will become the catalysts to drive the biotech industry in this country. The challenge here is to design and implement initiatives that can fast track our journey to reach this threshold level.

Fortunately, some initiatives have been started addressing these issues by the government. Of the various promising programmes addressing the human resource challenge in the biotech industry, the Agilent driven Bioanalytical Industry Development program (BIDP) supported by the Talent Corporation (TalentCorp) is particularly worth mentioning. It is a good example of a Public and Private Partnership (PPP) Program led by Agilent Technologies in partnership with Human Architecture Technologies (HAT) with the support of the National Institutes of Biotechnology Malaysia (NIBM).

Meticulously designed and implemented by HAT, this programme offers hands-on-training on various instruments and industry aspects to some of the most promising fresh graduates in Malaysia, if they are able to get industry sponsors based on their academic credentials.

For a fresh graduate, this is a golden opportunity to understand the industry structure, which can assist them in making important career choices. For biotech companies, on the other hand, the BIDP-trained staff adds much higher value compared to any fresh graduate that they might hire. Most importantly, it sets free the staff scientists in the company from the time consuming tasks of training new staff the basic stuff and skills need in laboratories. Malaysia needs more such programs to fast track its journey to reach the threshold level in human resource development.

Another option to address employability issues is to arrange good quality internships to undergraduate and postgraduate students. If implemented well, it can give students valuable exposure to the industry, which in turn can help them in crucial decision making processes related to career planning.

The key here is to have access to high quality of internships that are of value to both employers and interns. Through well managed internships students can significantly enhance their employability by developing skills essential in their field of choice.

The big question here is how do the students tap such opportunities in Malaysia. Employers may not see the benefits of internships in terms of access to new skills or as opportunities to develop supervisory skills of their existing staff.

Even in India, where the possibility to get good quality internship opportunities is higher, companies are often reluctant to take interns into their R&D. There are several genuine reasons justifying this trend, which include the increasing regulatory aspects restricting unqualified personal within R&D, secrecy agreements with clients in the case of CROs, and the lack of cooperation from staff scientists, who are struggling to balance their schedule between various deadlines.

Though challenging, it is possible to design a strategic initiative accommodating the benefits to both parties and addressing their concerns. In the long term, the industry will benefit from the highly skilled pool of talents created through such initiatives.




The Ailing Internship Model of Indian Pharma

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Catch young and groom for leadership…

So straightforward a strategy to develop the next generation high tech leaders! For some reason the pharmaceutical industry does not seem to get it right.

Many of the challenges of grooming the next generation of professionals are common to all knowledge industries. However, the pharma sector is beset with added struggles. The technology is extremely dynamic and the sector faces stringent regulatory measures as well as pressures.

The pharmaceutical industry encompasses a range of companies starting from research-intensive early drug discovery companies to big pharma that focus more on clinical trials and commercialization of drugs. The skill sets needed for each category of companies vary and often can be a unique mix. The availability of such skill sets locally at affordable prices becomes a major factor for the success of the companies in today’s global market.

Traditionally, academia has been the single source for such manpower. However, in today’s world, the role of academia in creating this critical mass is blurred, as the training is often not updated with the shifting needs of the industry.

Academic institutes primarily focus on high value education covering the cutting edge advancements. While it is extremely important, exposure to the realities of the industry alongside is equally important to develop right perspectives about the practical aspects of the industry.

Ideally, internships are expected to offer that perspective to the budding professionals of the industry. A high quality internship can offer the students with valuable insights about the industry, where most of them are likely to spend many years after completing their academic years.

To be fair to the academia, there has been an increased awareness and many Indian universities have included internship credit requirements to their graduation programmes.
And it is that time of the year once again, where summer internships are being intensely sought after by students. However, how many of them will ultimately receive a meaningful internship experience?

Expectations and realities

The economic future of a country depends upon the presence of a critical mass of knowledge workers in key fields essential for growth. Meaningful internships are one of the existing strategies to ensure that a critical mass of the new generation of knowledge workers is being developed in the country.

However, a widening and unhealthy gap between expectation and reality regarding the internship quality exists in India’s pharmaceutical industry. The mismatch of expectations is creating unsatisfied students as well as industry stakeholders. This is impacting the whole internship model negatively.

A meaningful internship needs to offer practical experiences for students to understand their strengths and develop strategies to make themselves employable.

Students often presume that a meaningful internship needs to offer hands on technical skill development opportunities. Changing this mindset is critical, as many valuable industry projects do not involve any fancy analytical instruments. A small generic company engaging an intern in the project planning stages of a new generic product development can be an excellent way to learn important practical aspects of project management even though the tasks may look mundane.

A pharmaceutical company, on the other hand, cannot expect any immediate returns on their investments on internship projects. Hence, time investment for planning a meaningful internship is considered to be a waste of time. This is particularly so in the case of summer interns as the duration of those internship programmes is too short to enable interns to add value by independently handling any meaningful tasks, post-training.

Even if the senior management understands the long term importance of these yearly exercises, conveying it to the managers and getting volunteers for mentoring interns can be challenging. Assisting an intern to navigate around the research labs and GMP-certified plants can be taxing during the initial days. Similarly, training interns from scratch on each and every task and instruments demand close supervision.

The scientific staffs often have tight project schedules. Hence, the enthusiasm of the mentor may be limited if the prospects of the intern being hired into his team is minimal. This is particularly so in the case of summer interns in their second or third year of undergraduate studies. It is not surprising that some mentors give insignificant tasks to interns and prefer to depend upon their regular staff for tasks that are key to achieve the project milestones.

I have come across with a final year biotechnology student, who was asked to make routine sales calls and arrange library space in a multinational consulting company, much to her disappointment.

Internship Allowances

This is a much debated topic and the gap between expectations and real life can be huge. Many pharmaceutical companies in India share the opinion that offering a chance to engage in their workspace on a regular basis, by itself, is a huge opportunity for a young student with no prior experience. And hence, most of them do not consider allowances.

Even in developed countries, the regulation does not make it mandatory to pay allowances to summer interns if internship is part of their curriculum. However, for long term interns with no particular academic requirements the minimum wage regulations are applicable.

blogThe expectations of students in India, on the other hand, vary significantly. It is most often based on which institutes or colleges they are graduating from. Students from premier institutes such as IITs feel that they have the option to bargain for a good quality internship that will also give them reasonable allowances. The campus placement centres in many of these institutes have become active lately to attract companies to offer internships and pre-placement offers (PPOs) to their final year students.

On the other end of the spectrum are the private universities. It may not be surprising if students are paying for internships. Sadly, such internships hardly make any meaning. Both the students and the companies do not take these namesake internships seriously. Students look at it as an exercise just to show some work experience in the CV, which may be useful for future placements. These short sighted programmes serve neither the industry nor the student in any meaningful way.

The Need for Shifting the Paradigm and its Cost

Some of the practices involved in the existing internship model are hardly beneficial for the industry and the country. A paradigm shift, hence, is essential with a long term vision to make the industry globally competitive.

It may have to start from scratch, beginning with how internships are being offered at present. It is sad that most of the internship opportunities are created and grabbed through family connections. That places many students at a disadvantage.

Moreover, those with strong family connections may not be the ones who are keen to develop skills to have a career in the field. The attitude of such interns can put off mentors, who may refuse to oblige for future programmes or may get detached from the key objective of the programme.

The role of campus placement centres in collaboration with industry associations can be invaluable in this scenario, as it offers the companies (and the prospective internship mentors) a chance to interact with more students instead of accepting someone who happens to be available.

During one of my recent visits to a top level technology institute in India, it was nice to watch the proactive roles placement offices are taking to attract valuable internship offers for their students. Particularly for final year undergraduate students, some of these programmes resulted in creating incredible opportunities by generating internship positions with potential for pre-placement offers (PPOs).

However, the efficiency and efficacy of a model needs to be assessed based on its reach. At present, out of the large pool of undergraduate students, only a small percentage of students become lucky to get a meaningful internship experience. Even in top technology institutes of repute, only a few top students benefit from these programmes at present. Many students still work it out through family connections. The first, second and third year students, in particular, are not offered much options as most of the campus initiatives target final year students.

Industry associations can take more active roles to encourage members to plan out meaningful internships. Satisfied interns can be the ambassadors of the firm in the academic institute, which can offer the companies a chance to become one of the most sought after firms by students. This in turn can improve the quality of their internship programmes. Their own scientific staff may become much more enthusiastic about mentoring interns.

It is also advisable to budget for internship allowances as it can attract better candidates. Even though it is not mandatory, and definitely the experience is extremely valuable for the students, financial incentives may help in terms of better commitment from the students, improving the success rates of the internship programmes in the company. The intangible benefits gained may justify the relatively small additional costs.

The attitude of students is an extensively discussed topic. We cannot expect a lot of maturity from students. However, the campus placement agencies may be able to address this effectively through seminars and other forms of coaching. Running an orientation programme will be ideal briefing the students about expected behaviour patterns in a work place. The companies may also have to spell out in detail their expectations on the first day itself.

A typical example is the importance of informing the mentor in advance, if the intern will be absent from work on a specific day. Some students find it hard to respect office hours as they are used to casual academic routines. Even if a company is casual in terms of office hours, interns need to be careful and should not take the privilege of flexible hours for granted.

The companies may need to conduct an induction programme for educating the young intern about various aspects of working in the company, particularly with respect to the safety procedures, regulatory restrictions, confidentiality, and work ethics. Mentor and senior management can encourage interns to interact with other staffs and also to observe project meetings.

Most often, if interns are offered valuable experience, it is likely that they will choose to repeat the internship in subsequent summers. For the company, that is invaluable, as they need not start from scratch with another new intern. Moreover, during the internships, the team may get comfortable with the interns and may opt for hiring them after graduation. Isn’t that the best way to “groom our own”?

High quality internships can also lead to further collaborative work in the same field with that specific firm that can give invaluable experience to the student, further cement the relationship between the intern and the company, bring a name, projects etc etc to the college and a head start to students in industry.

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