LAHORE - The federal government has removed as many as 30,000 interns from service recruited in June 2007 under the National Internship Programme (NIP) launched in 2007 by President Musharraf. The next badge of 10,000 interns which was likely to get internship in June 2008 has not so far received any communication from the government regarding their internship. The interns having master degree qualifications in science, arts and commerce of the year 2006 were employed under internship programme at monthly stipend of Rs 10,000. After training of one year they were expected to get employment in various government departments but they had been removed from service. This was a nightmare for most of the interns who gave up efforts to get jobs elsewhere during this period in the hope they will be absorbed. Thus, a programme aimed at eliminating unemployment among university graduates lost its effectiveness. The abolition of national internship programme is against the manifesto of the government and the 100 days plan of the coalition government to provide job opportunity to at least one educated person of a family. This is also against the past practice of late Prime Minister Zulfiquar Ali Bhutto who regularised the services of all interns in 1974. Perhaps the NIP has been rolled back as the Higher Education Commission (HEC) has introduced a similar internship programme namely Support to Scientific Talent from the year 2008. It provides the same remuneration and duration of period but it is restricted to the science graduates only. Not only this, the incumbent having 80 per cent and above marks are eligible for the HEC's internship. HEC spokesman Munwar H Naqvi said that the letters were being issued to the graduates holding 80 percent and above marks only under this procedure. He added that only one third of the university graduates in science could hardly get the internship while rest of them will be deprived of this facility. The eligible candidates have also to secure consent of the concerned institutions to the effect that these will be given assignments. The national internship programme (NIP) for the year 2008 was advertised in January this year and the applications were submitted by the candidates by last date of March 31. Similarly the Support to Scientific Talent programme was advertised in February and applications were submitted by March 31.