New Delhi [India], June 10 (ANI): With challenges faced by the Indian students who are unable to join or return to foreign countries to pursue their studies, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Thursday that it has been taking this issue up with the concerned governments on priority.
Addressing the weekly press briefing on Thursday, MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said the ministry has been working actively to protect the interests of Indians residing abroad.
"The MEA, in line with GoI policies and priorities, has been working actively to protect the interests of Indians residing abroad, be it for education, employment and other reasons," he said.
"We are aware of the challenges being faced by the Indian students who are unable to join or return to foreign countries to pursue their studies. We have been taking this issue up with the concerned governments on priority," he added.
Bagchi said that the Ministry has requested students facing difficulties to contact it regarding the matter.
Many students, who are to travel abroad for studies, are worried about visa cancellations. Covaxin, one of the vaccines being administered in the country against COVID-19, is not yet on WHO's emergency use listing and there is minimum 84 days waiting period for getting the second shot of Covishield.
The Health Ministry on Monday said it had written to states for providing relaxation to some specified categories including Olympic-bound athletes and students needing foreign travel for education, in getting the second dose of Covishield from the stipulated 12-16 week gap from the first dose.
The Health Ministry said it had got representation for such relaxations and had conveyed the SOPs (standard operating procedure) for administering the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine to the states.
It said the issue was discussed in Empowered Group 5 (EG-5) and appropriate recommendations have been received in this context.
"This special dispensation will be available to students who have to undertake foreign travel for the purposes of education, persons who have to take up jobs in foreign countries and athletes, sportspersons and accompanying staff of Indian contingent attending International Olympic Games be held in Tokyo," the ministry said. (ANI)