IIT-M to help Afghanistan develop online courses

Prelims level : Bilateral Relation Mains level : GS - II
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The Indian Institute of Technology – Madras, will assist Afghanistan’s higher education department to set up its own online courses platform.

The collaboration would allow the sharing of the Indian government’s Study Webs of Active Learning for Young Aspiring Minds (SWAYAM), which offers free online courses, with Afghan students and academicians.

The institute would also assist the educational institutions in Afghanistan to upload existing courses developed locally on the SWAYAM platform.

Assistance would be given to the country to develop its own online courses platform. The agreement would allow Afghans to access the National Digital Library of India (NDLI), virtual labs and tutorials developed by the IITs.


Ministry/Department : Ministry of Human Resource Development

SWAYAM: It stands for Study Webs of Active-Learning for Young Aspiring Minds.

Objective: To provide the best quality education to more than three crore students across the country

About the Scheme: 

  • SWAYAM is an online platform of the Ministry of HRD through which online programmes/courses will be offered to students in
  • US government is cooperating in this project
  • It is the Indian electronic e-education platform which proposes to offer courses from the high school stage to Post-Graduate stage in an interactive electronic
  • SWAYAM-MOOCs project is intended to address the needs of school level 9-12 to Under Graduate and Post Graduate students, covering all disciplines

Recent India’s Assistance to Afghanistan: 

  • India’s reconstruction and development assistance to Afghanistan has been over $2 billion
  • A hospital in Kabul
  • The country’s parliament building
  • A 218 km road from Zaranj to Delaram for better connectivity from the Iranian border
  • The 220kV DC transmission line from Pul-e-Khumri to Kabul
  • Salma dam in Herath, also called the Afghanistan-India Friendship Dam
  • Training Afghanistan’s policemen and civil servants
  • Scholarships, cultural exchanges and goodwill gestures like food supply after earthquakes
  • Bollywood movies and cricket are a big hit in Afghanistan
  • Afghans view Indians as their friends
  • More recently India has donated M-25 attack helicopters to Afghanistan which is seen as a policy shift as earlier India avoided any military support


  • Taliban is still strong and its anti-Indian nature
  • Strong interference of Pakistan in Afghan affairs
  • Increased interest of China due to OBOR initiative and Afghanistan’s mineral resources
  • Withdrawal of US forces
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