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Afghans’ ISM stint starts

Indian School of Mines (ISM)-Dhanbad is playing host to a group of students from war-ravaged Afghanistan, courtesy a foundation course to make them ready for bachelor of engineering (BE) studies at the institute.

The six-month crash course, which started on Thursday, will teach the Afghans the basics of science and English language so that they can pursue the undergraduate engineering studies at ISM with ease from July this year.

Coordinator of the foundation course G. Uday Bhanu said it would be an intensive exercise, comprising two semesters of three months each. The students will be taught six days a week. Six classes of one-hour duration each will be held everyday.

“The course will be almost similar to the preparatory one for SC/ST students of BTech. Physics, chemistry, mathematics and English will be taught,” Bhanu added.

Registrar of the institute Colonel (retd) M.K. Singh said all the Afghans would be admitted in ISM for pursuing BE in mining after completion of the foundation course in June 2014.

The four-year BE course will start from the third week of July and held simultaneously with BTech studies pursued by the Indian students.

Singh elaborated that the Afghans would get BE degrees since they were not being admitted through JEE screening, but in deference to a commitment made by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh way back in 2010 to help the strife-torn country with mining expertise.

Accordingly, Afghanistan’s deputy minister of higher education Baray Siddiqui had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with ISM officials for launching the course for students from his country on May 12, 2013.

Forty-five students, out of the first batch of 51 Afghans, have already arrived at ISM. The remaining six will land in the coal town next week.

Special arrangements for their stay and food have been made. The Afghan students have been accommodated at C Block of Amber Hostel.

“As the foreign students come from a different socio political environment and their living style is somewhat different from our boys, we have made separate arrangements for their accommodation,” said Singh.

He further said the special BE course for Afghans would continue from now onwards, with a fresh set of students arriving every year. “The course will be regular feature at ISM from now on,” Singh added.

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