The waves will continue to roll in, and this will become the new normal. How do we respond, from travel restrictions to mask requirements to lockdowns to opening up? How do we cope with the unpredictability?
To be honest, no one knows the solution at this time. The world is still trying to sort things out over two years later. Many of us find ourselves on the receiving end of things. Tonight, we’d want to speak about students, particularly Indian kids who wish to study overseas. They face many difficulties, ranging from travel limitations to vaccination regulations.
With viral mutations and surges, these are unpredictable times; governments continually change their laws to figure out the new normal. This has been a headache for tourists, particularly students wishing to study abroad. The first stumbling block was travel restrictions. They have been relaxed in the United States, Canada, and major European nations, although this only addresses half of the issue. It has been reported that students still have difficulty booking flights.
Consider Canada, where the government has failed to remove a prohibition on Indian passenger flights. This complicates matters for students traveling to Canada. Some of them have shown interest indirect flights to Canada. Then there’s the United States, where a presidential decree limits aviation travel from India. Consequently, passengers face turmoil, and Air India was forced to cancel flights to the United States last week. Several students who were set to go to America had their flights changed without warning. To accommodate students, the national airline has chosen to increase its flying frequency. Those who have sorted out their tickets and navigated the travel restrictions will need to ensure they have the appropriate vaccination. The United States has provided some assistance in this regard. Instead of evidence of immunization, US officials need kids to provide a negative swab test result.
What about the rest of the world?
They want pupils to get a WHO-approved vaccination, which means Covaxin users are trapped in limbo. Covaxin is an Indian-made shot. It is seeking World Health Organization clearance. Students who have taken Covaxin may be deemed unvaccinated until that occurs.
So, how about Covishield?
It is a vaccination that the World Health Organization has authorized. This vaccination has been authorized by 16 of the 27 European Union nations. Major student destinations such as France, Switzerland, and Germany are included. Covishield is manufactured in India with AstraZeneca. Despite WHO clearance, it has been excluded from the European Union’s green card.
The regulations are stricter in the United Kingdom. Even though vaccinated students would be required to undergo an obligatory quarantine once they arrive in the UK, India remains on the British government’s red list. That now entails paying more than $2000 for an 11-day stay at a government-approved hotel. As a result, an Indian student would have to pay almost 2 lakh rupees extra to pursue their goal of studying in the United Kingdom.
As of January of this year, almost one million Indian students have begun their studies in 85 countries other than India. This figure is projected to rise this year, but inconsistencies in-laws and regulations put these goals in danger.
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