India and Afghanistan have shared a very strong relationship for a long time due to cultural and historical connections. India has often provided significant aid to Afghanistan for development as well as rehabilitation. Relations between the two countries grew even stronger in 2001 with the signing of a strategic partnership agreement, and this has consequently led to alliances in a multitude of forms. India has been helping to improve education in Afghanistan.
For decades, Afghanistan has sought the aid of their fellow South Asian country, India, whilst they faced many challenges and turmoil (including the occupancy of Soviets and the Taliban regimes). Financing and supporting their troubled nation’s future citizens through a stabilized, structured education system has been assisted by generous supplements from India.
Past help from India towards Education in Afghanistan
Over the years, India has helped towards education in Afghanistan in several ways. Back in 2013, India provided many scholarships for Afghani students, at the time there were about 5000 students studying in India. In that same year, the two countries were in discussions as Afghanistan was requesting help with curriculum development, teaching capacity as well as the help of developing their medical education system.
In 2018, the two countries reiterated their strong ties, with India’s investments into Afghanistan crossing into the $2 billion marks over 16 years during that year. One of the ongoing projects at the time was the reconstruction and continual upgrading of Habibia High School. Part of that project also included training for the teaching staff at this school.
The Afghan National Agriculture Sciences and Technology University was also established and set up with financial and technical assistance from India. In a similar vein, an Information Technology firm, Aptech provided vital training in this field to youth in Afghanistan.
Another ongoing project was vocational training by a confederation of Indian Industries, which provided training and practical knowledge in fields like plumbing, carpentry, welding, masonry, etc.
Current Aid from India
Five Memorandums of Understanding were established in 2020 between India and Afghanistan to improve the struggling Education system. These pacts included the construction of new classrooms, construction of another Higher education building (apart from Habibia High School) as well as road construction within the existing Alberoni University. These MOUs span across four Afghan provinces, Nooristan, Farah, Badakhshan and Kapisa. This agreement was reached under the High Impact Community Development Projects (HICDP) of India (a program designed to not only assist their war-torn counterpart but also to strengthen their relationship).
Of the over 550 projects (education-related or otherwise) started by India in Afghanistan, nearly 400 have already been completed while the remaining are ongoing. Additionally, India is continuing to provide technical advisers for both educational and other public institutions within Afghanistan.
Further opportunities for Afghani Students
Since there is a variety of long-term and short-term scholarships provided as well as many education and work opportunities, students from Afghanistan can also look towards India itself for higher education. Sharda University is one such top-tier institution in India where international students from Afghanistan can find a vast number of highly relevant programs and degrees to choose from.