According to official data till March this year, about 13 lakh Indian students are studying abroad

In a bid to streamline and expedite student visas to Indian nationals, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has had discussions with the US, Canada, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Czech Republic, Germany, and Poland.

This comes amid reports that many Indian students enrolled in foreign educational institutions were facing long delays in obtaining visas.

“Senior MEA officials dealing with Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, New Zealand, Poland, UK & USA had constructive discussions with corresponding heads of missions/ senior diplomats of these countries about streamlining student visas to Indian nationals,” Ministry of External Affairs Official Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi tweeted on Friday.

“They agreed to remain engaged on further easing & fast-tracking the process, since the flow of students has been mutually beneficial,” he said.

In a written reply to the Rajya Sabha in March this year, Minister of State (MoS) for External Affairs V Muraleedharan had said that there were approximately 13 lakh students studying abroad in foreign universities.

As per information received from the Bureau of Immigration (BoI), the number of Indian students, who departed India for higher education in the current year, was 1,33,135 so far while there were 4,44,553 students in 2021 and 2,59,655 in 2020, Muraleedharan's stated in his reply.

He also said that according to information received from the BoI, the top preferred countries for education in 2021 were the US, Canada, and the UK.