Luxurious Living Of Foreign Students In Gujarat University's A-Block Contrasts Attack & Vandalism Incident

Luxurious Living Of Foreign Students In Gujarat University's A-Block Contrasts Attack & Vandalism Incident

The recent incident of an attack and vandalism perpetrated by a mob against foreign students has underscored issues of safety and discrimination faced by international scholars.

Melvyn ThomasUpdated: Monday, March 18, 2024, 12:03 PM IST
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The A-block of Gujarat University in Ahmedabad has garnered international attention following a recent attack and vandalism incident against foreign students. However, amidst the turmoil, a lesser-known reality surfaces - the lavish lifestyle enjoyed by these foreign students, starkly contrasting the conditions faced by their counterparts from within India. This sharp contrast highlights the different treatment and amenities granted to international students, raising concerns about educational equity and disparity.

The A-block of Gujarat University, nestled amidst the bustling city of Ahmedabad, has emerged as a focal point of discussion globally, resonating particularly in the Gulf countries and across India. The recent incident of an attack and vandalism perpetrated by a mob against foreign students has underscored issues of safety and discrimination faced by international scholars. However, delving deeper reveals a striking contrast in living standards and facilities provided to these students compared to their Indian peers.

Gujarat University has been accommodating approximately 100 foreign students hailing from diverse nations such as Afghanistan, Africa, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Uzbekistan, Syria, Nigeria, and more. These students, enrolled under various academic programmes ranging from Bachelor's to PhD studies, enjoy a lifestyle far removed from the typical hostel experience witnessed by domestic students.

Foreign students receive generous house allowance

One significant aspect setting apart the accommodations in A-block from the rest of the hostel premises is the level of luxury afforded to foreign students. While general students in the B,C, and D blocks of Gujarat University are charged a nominal hostel rent of Rs 2 per day, foreign students residing in A-block receive a generous house allowance of Rs 5,500 per month, in addition to other perks. Their hostel rooms are equipped with amenities surpassing the standard provisions in B, C, and D blocks, including separate kitchens, air conditioning privileges, and upgraded furnishings.

The disparity extends beyond mere accommodation arrangements. Financial support in the form of stipends, tuition fee coverage, and book allowances, provided by the Central Government through the Ministry of External Affairs, further accentuates the favorable treatment of foreign students. Monthly stipends ranging from Rs 18,000 to Rs 22,000, depending on the academic level, alleviate financial burdens, offering a comfortable lifestyle unparalleled for many domestic students.

A-block operates independently

The decision to allocate A-block exclusively for foreign students was taken about four years ago to cater to their specific needs and preferences. Managed by the International Student Advisory, the A-block operates independently, reflecting the university's commitment to internationalisation and fostering a conducive environment for global scholars.

While the recent attack has brought attention to the safety concerns faced by foreign students, it also unveils a broader issue of inequality within the educational system. The juxtaposition of the luxurious living conditions in A-block against the vulnerability exposed by the attack raises pertinent questions about fairness, inclusivity, and the treatment of diverse student populations.

As discussions surrounding the incident continue to unfold, stakeholders are prompted to reassess existing policies and practices to ensure the safety and well-being of all students, irrespective of their nationality or background. The A-block of Gujarat University stands not only as a symbol of international collaboration but also as a microcosm reflecting the complexities and challenges inherent in navigating cultural diversity within educational institutions.

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