news Tuesday, March 10, 2015 - 05:30

Dhanya Rajendran| The News Minute| March 9, 2015| 1.50 pm IST

An Indian male student has claimed that a professor at the University of Leipzig in Germany denied him an internship because of the “the rape problem in India”.

A person claiming to be the student’s friend has uploaded screen shots on Quora, of two emails sent by professor Annette G. Beck-Sickinger of Biochemistry and Bio-organic Chemistry.

The portion of email posted on Quora says,

“Dear Sir,

Unfortunately I don’t accept any Indian male students for internships. We hear a lot about the rape problem in India which I cannot support.

I have many female students in my group, so I think this attitude is something I cannot support.”

In an exclusive response to The News Minute, Professor Annette Beck-Sickinger, did not deny the email exchange, but said it was taken out of context.

"Unfortunately this mail was a misunderstanding. Of course I have nothing against male Indians and I have accepted several Indian students in the past. However my lab is full and I currently cannot take any student.  This led to an unpleasant discussion with one of the Indian student.  I apologize if this caused any misunderstanding, but the e-Mail was taken out of the context, " she told TNM via email.

The Quora user further says that when the friend questioned this decision, the professor replied saying, it is ‘unbelievable that the Indian society is not able to solve this problem (of rape) for many years now”.

The full response reads,

“I fully agree that this is a generalization and may not apply to individuals. However, it is also unbelievable that the Indian society is not able to solve this problem for many years now. Reports reach Germany on a weekly base and especially these multi-rape crimes are threatening, but for me also demonstrate the attitude of a society towards women.

Also female tourist are kidnapped by groups of male and then abused.

Many female professors in Germany decided to no longer accept Indian male students for these reasons, and currently other European female association are joining. Of course we cannot change or influence the Indian society but only take our consequences in Europe.”

When asked what the full conversation was, the professor said, "The student just did not accept that I cannot take him, this obviously caused problems for him. I just can repeat that I have nothing against Indian, neither male nor female, that we had several in our institute. I currently accepted 5 students from Japan, Canada and the US, so my lab simply is full."

However, later she added, "Maybe to clarify my issue, I currently have two Indian master students in my lab and 5/30 students in my course in winter are male Indian students so I think I can clearly say that I do not have any problems with Indian."

The student and his friend have chosen to remain anonymous on Quora. 

In latest developments, another student has come forward claiming the professor had denied his Ph.D application citing rape. 

Read- German professor denied me opportunity in March 2014 citing rape in India claims student from Delhi.

Read: “India is not a country of rapists”, German ambassador to India writes to professor

Michael Steiner German Embassy

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