Telangana

US-bound students not allowed to board AI plane

An air travel that could have marked a new beginning in the academic careers of 19 city students ended in disappointment on the night of December 19 as Air India refused to board them on its flight that was scheduled to depart at 9 pm.

Reason? The US-bound students had taken admission in Silicon Valley and North Western Polytechnic, two universities in California which, according to Air India, are currently blacklisted going by a directive that came from “US authorities”.

Much like the Trivalley University case, the students could face deportation if they were sent to the US, authorities explained.

The airline authorities told The Hindu on Sunday that in earlier instances students who had travelled to the US to take admission in these universities had been deported by the immigration wing of the US. All the 19 students, of whom two were girls, were given a refund of their flight fare.

‘Trying to book tickets

in other airlines’

The students, however, said they would continue their efforts to resume travel as they had entry visas issued by the US Consulate in Hyderabad. “If the US Consulate after interviews issued us visas, we are entitled to our right to travel to the US. We are currently trying to book tickets in other airlines to fly to the US,” said a student who was to take part in his first orientation programme at the Californian University on January 4. RGIA sources, however, said that 26 students who were deported from the US, reached Hyderabad on Sunday.

Air India spokesperson in Hyderabad said that the directive had come from their central office. “We were informed of the prior deportations. By preventing them from flying, we spared them the torture of being sent back to India,” the spokesperson in Hyderabad told The Hindu .

Officials of another international carrier admitted on condition of anonymity that the students from these two universities were being deported. “Perhaps the universities are not recognised by the government anymore. We don’t have much information,” a source from an airline company said. Meanwhile, the students who were in touch with the university authorities in California said that the administrators repeatedly reassured them that both the “institutions have accreditation.” The students were also in touch with Indian students studying in the two universities on Sunday.

“All of them reassured us that the universities are functioning and safe for studies,” another student said.

Union directive?

International higher studies consultants in Hyderabad, however, said that it could be a Union directive which could have stopped the students’ travel plan.

“Indian emigration rules could detain people if they fear any danger to their future or career in any country they travel to,” an agent said.

For December 23, 24 and 25, more students have booked tickets to fly to California to take classes in these universities. When contacted, the US Consulate authorities refused to comment.



The two universities, into which these students are admitted, are blacklisted and, hence, they face deportation later, say AI authorities




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Printable version | Dec 2, 2021 4:31:52 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/usbound-students-not-allowed-to-board-ai-plane/article8012243.ece

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