IIT KGP creates online forum to reach out to stranded foreign students at institute

Kolkata: The IIT Kharagpur has created an online forum to help stranded foreign students at the institute share their problems faced during the nationwide lockdown imposed to contain the spread of novel coronavirus, a spokesperson of the institute said on Sunday.

The Office of International Relations (OIR) is reaching out to the foreign students and is also sharing academic information on the forum, he said.

The institute is presently hosting students and post- doctoral fellows from Afghanistan, Bhutan, Colombia, Ethiopia, France, Myanmar, Nepal, Nigeria, Russia, South Korea, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe, the spokesperson said.

The OIR is also helping the students get an extension of their visas and is processing their scholarships so that they don't face difficulties during the lockdown, he said.

"Several foreign students are getting financial aid under international programmes run by us and outreach bodies of the Centre. We have ensured that they receive their scholarships on time.

"We have assured them that they have nothing to worry and like other students of the institute, the IIT Kharagpur campus is their home away from home," Associate Dean of International Relations, Professor Anandaroop Bhattacharya said.

Tamim Boubou, studying MTech in Control System Engineering in the Department of Electrical Engineering, was planning to go home to Syria during the summer recess.

But he is now utilising his time attending online video lectures.

"The online video classes are interactive and helpful," he said.

The institute, through its official social media handle, is also networking with its alumni to reach out to current students, who got stranded in countries they had gone to for academic activities, the spokesperson said.

A few days back, a student who had gone to the US for an internship, had tweeted seeking help from Indian authorities after getting stranded there, he said.

The student's friends from the IIT Kharagpur helped her get connected to the IIT KGP Foundation, the alumni body of the institute in the US, which is now helping her, the spokesperson added.

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