Uncertainty over scholarships of Afghan students in India after Taliban takeover

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Professor Dr Sabu Joseph, Director, Centre for Global Academics, Kerala University (Photo/ANI)
Professor Dr Sabu Joseph, Director, Centre for Global Academics, Kerala University (Photo/ANI)

Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India], August 18 (ANI): Amid the crisis in Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover, uncertainty looms over the future of Afghan students who came to India for higher education on scholarships by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR).

The International students from all over the world join UG, PG and PhD programmes courses through ICCR in Indian colleges. More than 1,000 scholarships are offered to Afghanistan on yearly basis by India as a goodwill gesture to promote education in Afghanistan.

In Kerala University alone, 15 Afghan students are pursuing various courses, while for next academic year 11 students were expected to join next month, according to Dr Sabu Joseph, Director, Centre for Global Academics, Kerala University. This also include officials associated with Afghanistan government who are keen on specialising on particular topics.

On Tuesday, while speaking to ANI, Dr Sabu Joseph, Director, Centre for Global Academics said they have around 15 students hailing from Afghanistan who took admission last year, under UG, PG and PhD programmes in the university.

"Next month 11 students who got selected for the scholarship were expected to come to Kerala but Taliban takeover has derailed everything," the University Director added.

"For the year 2021-2022, there are around 11 students who got ICCR scholarship. They include one PhD scholar, seven PG scholars and three for UG programme. Some of them are already in India. They have completed their UG programme and now have applied for PG," he said.

Joseph said that the programme will tentatively start from September 15 and admissions are in process. "Students who are in Afghanistan are concerned now as they are in terrible conditions even are in doubt that whether they will get the visa to come in India for joining the programme," he further stated.

Hakeem Jan Muffaker, one of the director of Urban Development & Land Ministry of Afghanistan government who is in Kerala since 2019 and has been pursuing PhD in political science, told ANI that the situation in his home country is not encouraging at all after Taliban takeover, when it comes to education and regarding upliftment of people.

"To be honest the situation there has deteriorated and it is heartbreaking to look at it. It was unpredictable for every Afghan living in the region. We sacrificed for two decades for democracy, governance, human rights, freedom of speech and so on," said Hakeem Jan Muffaker.

"Taliban is the brutal group supported by Pakistan, the backbone of Taliban. Every time, they are playing the negative role in Afghanistan. Pakistan wants Afghanistan to be a safe heaven for terrorist and unstable country. They have achieved the goal two times to gain military and political interests," he further said.

"I do not see a bright future for me. The Taliban has no belief in human rights, democracy or governance. They only believe in guns," He added.

Afghanistan government collapsed on Sunday with President Ashraf Ghani leaving the country. Taliban took control of Kabul and installed themselves in the presidential palace in Kabul.

Several countries evacuated their diplomatic personnel from the country. Panic gripped the Afghan capital and hundreds of people on Monday flocked to the Kabul airport in an attempt to leave Afghanistan. (ANI)

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