IIT Madras professors praise Afghan girl who bagged MTech amid Taliban's ban

IIT Madras professors praise Afghan girl who bagged MTech amid Taliban's ban

Behishta Khairudddin from Afghanistan applied in 2021 to IIT Madras when unfavourable political events began unfolding in Afghanistan. As soon as the Taliban took complete control of Afghanistan they imposed an indefinite ban on university education for women.

ANIUpdated: Sunday, May 28, 2023, 08:05 PM IST
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IIT Madras | File

Chennai:  Professor Preeti Aghalayam of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Madras praised Behishta Khairudddin, a student from Afghanistan who completed her MTech remotely from the institute amid the political uncertainty in Afghanistan.


Talking to ANI, Prof Preeti Aghalayam said, "Her eagerness and positive attitude towards learning made this possible. Her positive attitude was also one of the reasons she got selected in IIT Madras." The professor further said, "Actually she was selected during the COVID pandemic period but during that time everything was online.

Somehow that situation favoured both sides. In the second year, the rest of her classmates were on campus, she could not come to campus because of the situation in Afghanistan. That is when we created circumstances to do our work and projects and also help her. Despite being remote we were able to facilitate that".

"Her eagerness was all that we got her to focus on. That's all we did to keep us motivated. We kept on insisting on her to study hard. We had interactions through e-mail and online periodically. If her marks weren't good in one exam we encouraged her saying don't worry. I am glad she is able to share her stories with various people. I really hope all her dreams come true", Prof Preeti Aghalayam added.


In a statement released by IIT Madras citing Behishta Khairudddin's quote in which she said, "When the live sessions were over, I would go through recordings and try to understand the parts I may have missed. When I compare my two-year programme with my BTech degree, it's totally different from the education I got here. It felt like I was learning something of a high standard in my country. I want to thank IIT Madras, particularly the Office of Global Engagement, for helping me with the scholarship".
The institute in its statement said that Behishta waits to visit India and receive her degree in person during the 60th Convocation Day of IIT Madras.


Behishta Khairudddin from Afghanistan applied in 2021 to IIT Madras when unfavourable political events began unfolding in Afghanistan.
As soon as the Taliban took complete control of Afghanistan they imposed an indefinite ban on university education for women.


Even though Behishta had secured an ICCR (Indian Council for Cultural Relations) Scholarship, she could not avail of it. The Indian Government invalidated visas given to Afghan nationals as the Taliban had suspended international flights to Afghanistan. Then with the help of IIT Madras' Office of Global Engagement, a scholarship was quickly worked out for Behishta. 

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