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About 700 Indian students fear losing their academic year after getting admissions in various post-graduate courses in German universities due to the lack of availability of slots for visa interviews at the country’s consulate in Mumbai. The students have now started approaching Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on social media with the issue.
The students have to report at the particular university by October 1, when the new academic year begins, according to the Times of India. The problem is being felt only at Mumbai since there is a huge number of applicants, and no additional arrangements were done to ensure smooth functioning of the process.
“Everybody’s goal to pursue the course of their choice in German is at stake. Students have already paid fee for their admission in universities which had asked for the fee to be deposited,” Dishant Nayak, a student, told TOI. The publication also cited the cases of some other students like Samarth, who got admission into Hochschule Bremerhaven for a Masters course in process engineering and energy technology as far back as the end of June. Though he initiated the visa proceedings on June 29, he has not got a visa slot yet, the report added.
“We have friends across other consulates and they are doing quite fine. No one is facing a problem. It is the problem in Mumbai only,” Shreyas Gulhane, a student, told TOI.
Among the universities that the Indian students have got admission into are the Hof University of Applied Science, Tehcnische Hochschule insgolstadt, University of Freiburg, HTW Berlin, and Hamburg University of Applied Science.
The German Consulate General in Mumbai, meanwhile, posted a notice on their social media pages last week, warning students about false agencies claiming to help them in arranging visa interview slots. “We are dealing with a very high number of student visa applications at the moment, because of which we are forced to place students on waiting lists and are unable to advance appointments or arrange for special appointments. Be assured we are doing our utmost to fulfill applicants’ needs,” the post added.
The post received comments from worried students, highlighting their plight. “Sir my college starts on 1st october even after getting extension I am not able to get to the college.because I am not even getting appointment in october. [SIC],” a comment by Abhinav Paul Suman said.