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Focus: GS-II International Relations

Why in news?

  • The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement has decided that international students whose courses have gone completely online will have to return to their home countries.
  • At the same time, the directive reiterates that international students cannot take more than one class or three credits online.

Significance and what is being done

  • After China, India is the second largest country of origin for students in the US.
  • While universities are working to find a way out, putting in place hybrid options for international students, national governments are taking up the matter with the US government.
  • The current move to use international students to pressure universities to open up has risks, and Universities and even the states stand to lose sizeable revenue.
  • The other factor behind this decision is an outreach to a key pro-Trump lobby that wants to reduce immigration, including that of students, who, it argues, would stay on and ‘compete for American jobs.


  • This move could momentarily dim the attractiveness of the US as an education destination.
  • And it provides an opportunity for alternative destinations to emerge.
  • India should treat this as an opportunity and put in place a superior higher education system.
  • While it could attract foreign students — and that would be a plus — it would grant Indian students who aspire for world-class higher education their wish right at home, and raise standards across the board.

Click Here to read more about the U.S. Move on Student Visas

-Source: Economic Times

December 2023