Lack of online classes, denial of visas add to woes of Afghan students under Taliban regime

Chaitali DharamshiUpdated: Monday, May 16, 2022, 08:36 AM IST
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Amid Taliban rule, Afghan students say their pleas to go to India being ignored |

Thousands of Afghan students are studying in Indian universities on SII (Study in India) or ICCR (Indian Council for Cultural Relations) scholarships. These students have completed part of their degree programme online and are requesting that the Indian government give them visas to finish their studies in person.

These Afghan students now believe that the Covid-19 lockdown has been lifted, and they should be allowed to travel to India to attend their classes in person and complete their courses.

In August 2021, the Indian government announced a new type of electronic visa called "e-Emergency X-Misc Visa" to expedite Afghan visa applications, and all students applied for the electronic visa, with around 200 visas approved.

Students are pleading with the Indian government to issue visas to Afghan students in Indian universities who are desperate to continue and finish their studies. They've started an online petition to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for this, and over 500 pupils have already signed it.

The Free Press Journal learned that the colleges have to hold online classes and exams online for Afghan students this year.

However, students from Afghanistan are concerned. Many Indian colleges have still not provided an online class setup. According to Abdul Naib Sediqi, a fourth-semester BCA student, "Our university is not responding to our pleas. When we requested to hold classes and exams online, the college refused us to do so and advised us to contact ICCR for the matter."

Nizakat Hassani, a student from Pune University, said, "We Afghan students have suffered a lot, we request the Indian government to please issue visas."

"We students are sacrificing because of politics," said, a student from Afghanistan, Sulaiman Aslami. "We are requesting the Indian Government for a long time now," he added.

Students are stuck in Afghanistan since August 2021, as the Taliban took over the country.

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