Pakistani Degree Holders Will Not Qualify for Jobs or Further Studies in India: UGC-AICTE

New Delhi: India’s top education regulatory bodies said that Indian nationals or overseas Indian citizens with a degree from a Pakistani educational institution “shall not be eligible for seeking employment or higher studies in India”.

On Friday, the University Grants Commission and All India Council for Technical Education issued a joint “public notice” to Indian nationals to not pursue higher education in Pakistan.

“All concerned are advised not to travel to Pakistan for pursuing higher education. Any Indian national or Overseas Citizen of India who intends to take admission to any degree college or 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,” it stated.

An exception was made for Pakistani citizens who have been granted citizenship in India. “However, migrants and their children who have acquired higher education degree in Pakistan and have been awarded citizenship by India would be eligible for seeking employment in India after obtaining Security Clearance from MHA,” it said.

The Times of India had reported in September 2020 that there had been a list of over 350 students, mostly from Jammu and Kashmir, who had applied to cross over at Wagah border after Pakistan opened educational institutions after the COVID-19 lockdown. However, out of the 350 students, only around 200 crossed over to appear for their final examinations.

Earlier in 2019, UGC had cautioned Indian students against taking admission in educational institutions in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) stating that it “was an integral part of Union of India” and under illegal occupation of Pakistan.

The Indian Express quoted AICTE chairman Anil Sahasrabudhe as stating that the advisory was issued so that Indian students don’t land up with a degree without parity with Indian regulations.

“UGC and AICTE issue such public notices in the interest of Indian students who would like to pursue higher studies outside the country,” said UGC chairman Jagadesh Kumar.

“In the recent past, we have seen how our students had to face difficulties because they could not go back to the foreign countries to continue their studies,” Kumar added.

Last month, UGC issued an advisory to Indian students who were considering to pursue education in China, even though Beijing had still to remove the ban on visas to Indian nationals in place since November 2020. The regulators had cautioned that it does not recognise  “degree courses done only in online mode without prior approval”.

Featured image: The UGC office in New Delhi. Photo: PTI

This article was first published on The Wire.