New Delhi: India’s higher education regulators – University Grants Commission (UGC) and All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) – issued a joint advisory Friday urging Indian students not to enrol in any college or educational institution in Pakistan, failing which they won’t be eligible to find a job or pursue higher education in the country.
After warning students against studying in China, this is the second such advisory the two bodies have released since last month. While the warning against China came in the backdrop of the country not issuing visas to students already enrolled in Chinese universities, there seems to be no immediate trigger for the advisory against Pakistan, except for the already strained ties between the two neighbours.
Experts believe the exit of Imran Khan and Shehbaz Sharif taking over as Pakistan’s prime minister is not likely to change things.
Friday’s joint advisory, issued by AICTE Member Secretary and UGC Secretary, read, “All concerned are advised not to travel to Pakistan for pursuing Higher Education.”
“Any Indian national/Overseas Citizen of India who intends to take admission in any degree college/educational institution of Pakistan shall not be eligible for seeking employment or higher studies in India on the basis of such educational qualifications (in any subject) acquired in Pakistan,” the advisory read.
It further said that “migrants and their children who have acquired higher education degrees in Pakistan and have been awarded citizenship by India would be eligible for seeking employment in India after obtaining Security Clearance from MHA.”
In 2019, UGC issued an advisory against studying in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) institutes. While the number of Indian students studying in Pakistan is already miniscule, the latest advisory is likely to act as a further deterrent.
According to a media report in 2020, nearly 200 Indian students, majority of them from Jammu and Kashmir, were enrolled in Pakistani universities at that time. No latest data on the number of students is currently available.
(Edited by Monami Gogoi)