Thiruvananthapuram, Oct 28 (IANS): Medical students hailing from Kerala and other parts of the country have sought help from the Centre to prevail upon Azerbaijan authorities to clear them for travel so that they can resume their studies.
Neha Ann Saji, a student hailing from Kerala, has written a letter to Union Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan on behalf of all Indian students studying medicine at Azerbaijan Medical University, Baku, Azerbaijan.
"We have been stuck in India due to Covid-related travel restrictions imposed by the Azerbaijan government, thus we could not obtain visas for the past year. Currently, Azerbaijan accepts only citizens or permanent residence permit holders from 42 countries, and unfortunately, India is not among them," the letter reads.
It further states that a few months ago the Indian embassy in Baku, as well as the university, took up the issue and the University submitted a list of all their international students regardless of nationality to the government of Azerbaijan.
"However, recently students from Pakistan, Iran and Iraq (these countries are also not on the list of 42 countries) started receiving their visas. We enquired with our University regarding the delay in issuing visas for Indians and they asked us to follow up with our embassy in Baku, as other nationalities received visas due to the efforts put forth by their respective embassies.
"We, as instructed by the university, contacted our embassy and they informed us that they are trying their best, however, we have not yet received any confirmation about our visas," says her letter.
"More than 100 students from India study at the same university, though nearly 70 students are only facing this difficulty as the rest of the students have UAE residence permits and they can travel back.
"Our classes already began on September 29 and the university has given only a grace period of 10 days to reach back, after which we may have to freeze our course. They also informed us that there will be no online classes as it is a government decision. At this moment, we are extremely worried about our future," said the medical student.