Ukraine-returned students to be accommodated in Indian private medical colleges: Lok Sabha committee recommends

The issue was taken up in the Monsoon Session of the Parliament, but after deliberations, NMC, along with MoHFW, had concluded that accommodating the students was not a viable solution
Ukraine returned medical students to be accommodated in Indian medical colleges? | (Pic: Edexlive)
Ukraine returned medical students to be accommodated in Indian medical colleges? | (Pic: Edexlive)

A ray of hope has presented itself for the Indian students from Ukraine medical universities who are stranded at home because of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war. The Committee on External Affairs (2021-2022), in its fifteenth report, to the Lok Sabha has recommended that these students should be accommodated in the Indian medical colleges to complete their training and education.

The recommendation now comes after the stranded students staged many protests and demanded to be accommodated in Indian colleges. The issue was taken up in the Monsoon Session of the Parliament, but after deliberations, the National Medical Commission (NMC) along with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) concluded that accommodating the students was not a viable solution.

The Committee on External Affairs submitted its recommendation to the Parliament on August 3, as mentioned in the committee's fifteenth report. The report was shared with EdexLive by Mr RB Gupta, President of the Parent's Association of Ukraine MBBS Students (PAUMS) on August 11.

"These students have been left in a quandary as they could not re-join their courses physically or complete their internship or training in India. The Committee have been informed that MEA (Ministry of External Affairs) had recommended to the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare to consider allowing Indian private medical institutions to enroll returnee students from Ukraine in their institutions on a one-time exemption basis. The Committee urges the Ministry to pursue the matter with the MoHFW vigorously as this step alone may solve the current crisis being faced by the students enrolled in Ukrainian universities and enable them to complete their courses," the report states.

RB Gupta informed, "When we staged a four-day hunger strike at the Ramlila Ground, we received a call from a Ministry official, who said that our issue was taken up by the Health Ministry. But no official came to visit us, nor were there any more updates. Meanwhile, many universities in Ukraine contacted the students."

The situation back in Ukraine varsities  
"Some universities stated that they were shifting their locations to other places because of the war. Some others stated that they could only offer online classes and students could choose to continue or take a transfer. Yet some others mentioned that they were offering both online and offline classes, but students could come only if their governments allowed and the universities could not guarantee the safety of the students who chose to attend physical classes," he added.

RB Gupta has shared the letters sent by these universities. Ivano-Frankivsk National Medical University and Danylo Halytsky Lviv National Medical University, are two of the universities which contacted the students. Informing about the authorities with whom these letters were shared, Gupta said, "First they were shared with the concerned government agencies on Twitter. Then we also sent copies of them to the Health Ministry and Prime Minister's Office (PMO) along with our demands."

"The Indian Embassy in Kyiv also contacted the Ministry of External Affairs in Delhi and informed that the situation in Ukraine was not safe for students' return. Taking this information into consideration, Minister of State for Education, Meenakshi Lekhi made a statement in the Lok Sabha that the Ukraine medical students could not be sent back. She made this statement on August 5," the PAUMS President stated.

Asked if the government has sent any official notice with regard to accommodating students, RB Gupta said, "As of now there is no official notice or update. We are planning to file our petition in the Supreme Court. The drafting is completed and we will be filing it soon."

Demands of students and parents
PAUMS has specified three demands in their petition. The Committee on External Affairs has recommended that students be accommodated in private medical colleges, but PAUMS wants them to be accommodated in government colleges, as the association is of the opinion that the fee is very high in private colleges.

"We all belong to the middle class and cannot afford the fee of private medical colleges. That is why we chose to send our children to Ukraine. It takes Rs 4-5 lakh to complete medical education along with food and accommodation. But here it takes Rs 28-35 lakh. So, we want the government to consider accommodating our children in government colleges. And if private colleges are the only option, then some concession should be offered with regard to the fees," RB Gupta said. 

PAUMS has also demanded that the government should consider the situation and also accommodate the students who have not qualified for NEET. "Out of the 20,000 stranded students, there are more than 1,000 students who have not appeared for the NEET exam. COVID-19 in 2020 and delayed exam in 2021 resulted in the students' inability to apply for NEET. And the war has affected everyone. So we request the government to accommodate these students also, as a one-time measure," the President said.

Related Stories

No stories found.