India may start visa process deadline for Afghan students in 3 months Pipa News

India may start visa process deadline for Afghan students in 3 months

Afghan students protest outside the Indian Embassy in Kabul on September 29 as they requested PM Modi to resume student visas for them. ,

Mumbai: In a development that signals hope for thousands of Afghan students stranded in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan, the visa process for citizens of the war-ravaged country could be started in 2-3 months by government officials in India, according to a consular official . The Consulate General of Afghanistan, in Mumbai, Rafi Kewalwal.

“We are working with the Indian government to prioritize visas for Afghan students who are in the middle of their studies. We do not have confirmation on visas yet, but the Indian authorities have promised us that there will be a deadline for the same within 2-3 months,” said Kelewal, who added that over 2,000 students are waiting for their visas. Huh. They have admissions in Indian universities.

More ICCR scholarships awarded as India seeks confidence and efficiency from Afghans

The consulate official’s statement comes amid External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar’s comments regarding the return of Afghan students to India at an event in Vadodara, blaming the delay in logistics issues arising out of the closure of the Indian embassy in Kabul in August 2021. went. The Taliban government took over Afghanistan. Responding to a question from an Afghan student in Gujarat, Jaishankar said that “a level of confidence and efficiency” would have to emerge for the visa resumption, though India had earlier announced an emergency e-visa scheme. , which it was for the most part. Granted to minority Hindu and Sikh Afghan citizens.

Despite uncertainty over scholarships and visas for Afghan students, the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), which comes under the Government of India and maintains the country’s cultural ties abroad, has awarded 950 scholarships to Afghan students for the academic year 2022-2023. are provided. But its recipients are undergraduate and masters students who are already in India and post graduate and Ph.D. respectively. “Around 750 students from Afghanistan have taken advantage of ICCR scholarships to take admission in India, which is incredible, but students who have returned to the country due to the Covid pandemic and are unable to come back since the Taliban regime lost their lives,” Kellewal said. Said further. Since India does not offer work visas or opportunities to international students, many are looking to greener pastures in Europe.

Asian countries come forward for Afghan students

Although Europe may seem aspirational for Afghan students, some have already given up on the ‘Indian dream’ to study in other Asian countries. She is one of thousands of female students in the Islamic Emirate who have been affected by the Taliban’s decrees on girls’ education. The eldest in her family, Kinaz (name changed) had taken provisional admission in India for Bachelor in Business Administration (BBA) course in July 2021 before the regime change, but has now moved to Bangladesh to pursue education. “I couldn’t wait long enough for an Indian visa, so a friend of mine who is already here asked me to apply,” said Kinaz, herself a student at the Asian University for Women in Chittagong. , admitted to an international institute and found it. This is the only way to escape from Afghanistan. “I came here two weeks ago and our classes have already started, in which we will be taught English and other pre-UG subjects, after which I can consider economics for graduation,” said Kinaz, whose Taliban There is no intention of going back to ruled Afghanistan. And will apply for scholarships in other countries.

Some have set their eyes on the West, but not at all on Europe or America. Sakibullah Saadi, a third year student at Savitribai Phule Pune University, chose Turkey as his study destination and arrived in the country two weeks ago along with some other Afghan nationals. Saadi, a recipient of the ICCR scholarship, decided to cancel it due to the growing uncertainty about his future. “I got a new scholarship from Yasar University in BBA because I had to cancel the one from India because they stopped responding to our pleas for visas,” Saadi said. “Although I am staying here with my friends and relatives at the moment, the rent in Turkey worries me,” Saadi said.

More protests by Afghan students against Indian authorities

Afghan hopefuls protested in front of the Indian Embassy in Kabul for the second time in two months, with appeals from EAM Jaishankar and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “Student visa is our human right”, “we want Indian visa, don’t neglect us,” said texts on placards brought by Afghan students, who have enrolled themselves in Indian institutions. “Facing the consequences of poor internet and deteriorating mental health, we are still paying fees for our studies in India. Unless we have concrete evidence to study from an Indian university, many times we don’t even pay fees, as claimed by Nurul Rahimzai, a civil engineering student at Punjab Technical University, who has been at the fore in the protests against it. are. denial of indian visa

In July 2022, a meeting was held between students and the Taliban government regarding visas for India and physical classes, in which the regime agreed to take up the issue with the Indian embassy through ‘relevant departments’.

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