India awarded 450 scholarships to Afghan students for the 2021-22 academic session

Ambassador of Afghanistan to India Farid Mamundzay on Friday thanked India for its tireless efforts in supporting many Afghan students across India.

He also expressed the hope that students stranded in Afghanistan will join their respective universities in the coming months.

In a tweet, Mamundzay said that he met the new Director General of Indian Council of Cultural Relations, Kumar Tuhin, and discussed with him the challenges faced by students from Afghanistan in India.

“I met the new DG ICCR Amb @ktuhinv and discussed the challenges faced by the Afghan students in India. Those students stranded in Afghanistan will hopefully join their respective Universities in the coming month,” he said.

Mamundzay noted that despite challenging conditions, India still awarded 450 scholarships to Afghan students for the 2021-22 academic session. He thanked the staff of ICCR, headquarters and particularly former ICCR DG, Dinesh Kumar Patnaik for his tireless efforts to support many Afghan students across India.

According to ICCR estimates, a little in excess of 2000 Afghan students are studying in India under its various schemes.

Earlier this month, Mamundzay had urged the Indian government to grant visas to 2,500 Afghan students so that they can come back and complete studies in India.

"It is important to bring these 2,500 students to India in order to resume their studies and hopefully contribute to rebuilding of Afghanistan in future," Mamundzay was reported to have said.

Afghan students studying in universities across India are faced with an uncertain future since the Taliban-takeover of the war ravaged country on August 15.

As of November, since the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan in August, India had issued 200 e-Emergency X-Miscellaneous Visas to Afghan nationals.

India had on August 17, introduced the ‘e-Emergency X-Miscellaneous visa’ for troubled residents who wanted to leave the country as a humanitarian gesture.

In light of the recent unrest in Afghanistan, New Delhi has also extended the visas of 4,557 Afghans who are now in India.

Following the Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan, India evacuated 565 people, including 438 Indians, under "Operation Devi Shakti."

The Ministry of External Affairs' special Afghanistan cell has been in contact with the remaining stranded Indians as well as members of the Afghan minority community.