The Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) has requested the Home Ministry to decide on the demand of Afghan students for extension of their visa in the wake of the change of regime in their native country.
The ICCR, an autonomous body under the administrative control of the Ministry of External Affairs, offers 1,000 scholarships every year to Afghan nationals for pursuing undergraduate, postgraduate and Ph.D courses through Indian universities.
ICCR President and BJP Rajya Sabha member Vinay Sahasrabuddhe said, “Many Afghan students have requested us for extension of their visa in the wake of change of regime in their native country. We have referred their request to the Union Home Ministry, which is the nodal ministry to take call on this issue.”
He also pointed out that ICCR has no plans to stop or reduce the number of scholarships to Afghan students.
“As far as scholarships of Afghan students are concerned, we have neither any instructions nor any plans to stop them or cut them down,” Sahasrabuddhe said.
He mentioned that as per rule, ICCR cannot provide stipend to students who are attending virtual classes from their country.
“Those students who have got admission in Indian institutions but are unable to come here can continue attending classes virtually and reach out to their respective institutions for further details. And in case the students don’t attend classes physically in India, rules don’t permit us to give them a stipend as they are not incurring any expenditure,” he said.