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India offers scholarship to Afghan students

ANI  |  New Delhi 

India offers around 1,000 scholarships every year to the Afghan students, which is sponsored by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR).

The ICCR scholarship scheme for Afghanistan was launched in 2005.

At present, the Afghan students are pursuing courses in international studies, economics, bachelors' degrees, B. Tech and many more programmes in various universities across India.

The ICCR provides 6,000 scholarships to foreign students from 30 countries, which are spread in more than 20 states and 120 educational institutions in India.

The ICCR, which has 25 active cultural centers across the globe, including in Afghanistan, was founded in 1950 by the India's first Education Minister Maulana Abul Kalam Azad with a vision to serve as a catalyst for cultural exchanges between New Delhi and other countries of the world.

At present, an estimated 5,000 Afghan students are studying in India.

"India's relation with Afghanistan is very old and very close. The developmental partnership that we are doing with Afghanistan, there is huge and intense people to people exchanges. As you see Afghans regularly come to India, many of them study here and we are giving thousands of scholarships. In addition to scholarships, we also offer self-financing programmes to those who study in India," said Satish C. Mehta, Director General, ICCR.

Gul Ahmad, who hails from Kandahar Province, is pursuing B. Tech in civil engineering from Jamia Milia Islamia University in New Delhi.

He praised the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) for providing scholarship to Afghan students in India.

"We are very happy as it is helping all the countries, especially the SAARC countries, in reference to education, finance and other programmes. It is very beneficial and advantageous for all the students," said Gul Ahmad, a third-year B. Tech student of civil engineering at Jamia Milia Islamia University.

Another Afghan student Ali Raza, who is enrolled in the Jamia Milia Islamia University, also echoed similar sentiments and said that he would return home with immense knowledge and experience.

"I will see myself as a confident, educated person and will go back home with immense experience from India, which is also a developing country. Afghanistan is a less developing country than India that's why I want to work on the economics of Afghanistan," he said.

A large number of girls from Afghanistan, who are studying in India, feel safe and enjoy the freedom to study.

The Afghan students go back with knowledge of Indian culture, history, ethos, and traditions. They are best admirers and friends and they are ambassadors to promote closer linkages between India and Afghanistan.

"Here, I can participate in many lectures. In Afghanistan, especially women, they are not allowed to go outside the homes, not allowed to pursue education. This is an opportunity for us especially for the Afghan women and they are coming and passing the scholarship and they are doing their bachelors, masters and P.hd in foreign countries," said Khalida Saleh, a student of Delhi University's Lady Shri Ram College.

India not only provides scholarship to Afghan students, but also helps in promoting Afghan culture in the country.

Recently, the ICCR hosted a musical evening by Rubab maestro Homayoun Sakhi and Tabla maestro Mirwais from Afghanistan in New Delhi.

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First Published: Sun, November 30 2014. 12:17 IST
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