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Afghan scholarship holders stranded amid uncertainty

Afghan students offered scholarships by the Indian government to study this year have been left stranded in Afghanistan as they can’t be granted visas due to closure of Indian embassy after the Taliban takeover.

A student with Indian scholarship said that over 1,800 students like him, half of whom from 2020 and half from 2021-2022, have not been able to take up their places in Indian universities and remain marooned in Afghanistan.

“I won an ICCR scholarship in 2020, but due to the problems of Covid-19 we were unable to continue our lessons in person. Despite all of the problems, such as electricity and internet, we completed the two semesters,” said Jamshid, a scholarship holder.

Based on the reports, nearly 2,000 Afghan students won ICCR scholarships for various universities in India. Some of the students have been continuing their lessons online, but others are in limbo.  

There are some students who came to visit their families in Afghanistan during holidays. They said their lack of access to visas affected their condition.  

Mansour Nasiri is PhD student who returned to Afghanistan for vacation. He said that the Indian government declared his previous visa invalid.  

“I came to Afghanistan to collect information when the change occurred, and now I am in Afghanistan. Our visas were declared invalid by India,” he added. “Unfortunately, there is nothing clear about the future of our education.”   

A spokesman for the Ministry of Higher Education, Ahmad Taqqi, said that they had not prevented the students from going abroad and that it was the responsibility of the countries that provided the scholarship to the students to facilitate their travel. 

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