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Nepali students to be stopped from travelling to five countries

Ministry of Education, Science and Technology of Nepal has stopped issuing the No Objection Letters to Nepali students to travel to the five countries for the higher study following a spike in the coronavirus cases caused by its new variant. 

The ministry issuing a public notice on Wednesday evening said it would stop issuing the No Objection Letters to Japan, Australia, China, South Korea and Bangladesh starting Thursday (April 22). “As the Covid-19 pandemic with a new variant of the coronavirus is affecting the world including Nepal, the ministry has decided to temporarily cease the issuance of the No Objection Letter,” reads the statement. The ministry said the issuance of the No Objection Letter for the five countries would be halted until further notice.

Japan and Australia are the most sought-after academic destinations for Nepali students as around three-fourths of the total students opting for study abroad travel to these two countries. Similarly, South Korea, Bangladesh and China attract sizable numbers of Nepali students.

The Nepali government had stopped the issuance of the No Objection Letters last year as well after the Covid-19 pandemic took the entire world under its grip.

The new coronavirus cases have spiked recently, which, the officials say, is caused by the UK mutant variant, known as B.1.1.7. As many as 2,220 new infections were reported in Nepal on Wednesday only. As a desperate measure to contain the spread of the infection, the Nepal government Wednesday closed the academic institutions from the major cities across the country while also banned the operation of cinema halls and party palaces that pull the crowd.

Despite the pandemic, as many as 34,000 students had received the No Objection Letters to study in around 80 countries across the world in the last fiscal year.