Govt Giving 'Highest Priority' to Facilitate the Travel of Study Abroad Students: Foreign Secretary

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Cyril Zachariah
Updated on Aug 20, 2021 01:48 PM IST

Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla announces the government priority in facilitating international travel for Indian students who have received admission in universities and colleges abroad along with other essential travellers/workers who need to return to countries abroad.

Govt Giving 'Highest Priority' to Facilitate the Travel of Study Abroad Students: Foreign Secretary

After a deadly wave of the virus hit the world, especially India, countries have been hesitant in opening its border to travellers from the country. However, as the number of vaccinated individuals increases the world and as the COVID-19 cases slow down, more and more countries open up, allowing travellers, especially Indian students to enter their country and commence their studies.

As per a statement from Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla, after 'highest priority'is being administered to those who have secured admission for higher education abroad since students 'act as the bridges between India and the rest of the world'.

While speaking on the subject of Post Vaccine World Order: Dismantling Barriers to a Global Business and Travel at the All India Management Association, The Foreign Secretary added that Switzerland and 17 EU Member states have recognised AstraZenecas COVISHIELD vaccine, thus, lifting the travel bans to and from India. Subsequently, students and other essential travellers have been permitted entry.

Expressing care, collaboration and cooperation as the key elements as the response to the pandemic, Harsh Vardhan Shringla highlighted assigning the highest priority to facilitate the travel of Indian students who have received admission to universities and colleges abroad. In his statements, he promised to offer a holistic international education experience to Indian students.

He also revealed that India was able to use its position of not being included in the EUs green pass mechanism to seek terms of exemption from travel restrictions, especially for Indians vaccinated with Covaxin and COVISHIELD, while also accepting the vaccine certificates that have been issued through the Co-Win portal.

He also revealed that the efforts have led to 17 European Union member states and Switzerland recognising COVISHIELD while also lifting the travel bans from India, essentially allowing students and other essential travellers to enter the countries from India.

Also Read: UAE Emerges as Top Study Destination for Indian Students: Report

Among these countries, Estonia and Romania are accepting travellers vaccinated by any nationally recognised vaccines, while Germany and France continue to issue different categories of visas, including tourism, provided the travellers are vaccinated with COVISHIELD.

He further highlighted that many of the major countries such as the UK, Germany, Ireland, Belgium, Luxemburg and Netherlands have been easing travel restrictions for Indian students, where some of the countries are even processing the visas on a priority basis.

In terms of travel restrictions in the US and Canada, Shringla stated that the US is aware of all the issues pertaining to the mobility of Indian students, professionals and others who need to travel to the US, while, highlighting that the US is issuing student visas.

Also Read: Expectations Rise as the US Eases Travel Advisory for India

Pertaining to the travel restrictions imposed by Canada and Australia, especially on Indian students, the challenges and issues have been raised with the concerned authorities, emphasising the need and importance of allowing Indian students to return to the campuses.

Through his concluding statements, Harsh Vardhan Shringla assured students that they are aware of the challenges, delays and other issues faced by the Indian students, especially regarding Visa Appointments with a few countries, and that they are working with the respective countries, assuring appropriate responses soon.

Source: PTI

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