Afghan students who have graduated from diverse colleges and universities in India, with support from ICCR, SII, and self-funding, are eager to apply for the 2023-2024 scholarship program under exceptional circumstances.
Afghan students in India have proactively communicated their hopes and concerns directly to the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) and the Ministry of External Affairs via the Afghanistan Embassy in Delhi. Their primary objective is to draw urgent attention to the challenges faced by Afghan students in India amidst the ongoing turmoil in Afghanistan.
They have appealed to the ICCR to prioritize Afghan nationals who are emotionally distressed and facing financial hardships. These eligible individuals are in desperate need of support.
“As we all know, the ICCR Scholarship Scheme is aimed at sponsoring all eligible nationalities based on humanitarian and inter-cultural exchange programs; Afghan nationals are prioritized in terms of their financial needs and uncertainty of the future; they expect a moral, ethical, and humanitarian right to be assisted in such special cases,” The Afghan students’ Representatives said.
Over the past decades, the Indian government has steadfastly supported the Afghan people, offering sponsored education and healthcare. This session, we have around 500-600 applicants, a manageable number even if they meet ICCR Scholarship criteria.
Despite their pleas, the Afghan students in India have yet to receive a favourable response from the ICCR in New Delhi regarding their request for consideration in the 2023-2024 session.
Yesterday, the ICCR unveiled a new initiative exclusively designed for Afghan nationals. The initiative encompasses 1,000 scholarships for both undergraduate and postgraduate programs. These scholarships can be accessed online via the e-Vidya Bharati (e-VB) portal and are specifically earmarked for the 2023-24 academic session, catering to individuals residing in Afghanistan.
After the Taliban’s resurgence in Afghanistan in August 2021, Afghan students in India hesitated to return to their homeland.
They expressed fears of potential retaliation and the lack of opportunities amid the country’s economic instability.
Meanwhile, they also worry about the lack of scholarships and work permits, leading to anxiety about potential police arrests due to expired visas.
The plea from around 500-600 stranded Afghan students in India is a heartfelt appeal for the Indian government to compassionately consider their circumstances and provide generous humanitarian support, recognizing their dire need during these challenging times.