Published: 25th July 2022
Ukraine-returned medical students in Tamil Nadu share concerns about their academic future
With war raging in Ukraine, students fear that getting documents from their respective universities would only become tougher with time
It's been five months since the start of the Russia-Ukraine war and it's five months of mind-numbing uncertainty for the 2,000 Tamil Nadu medical students who were forced to flee Ukraine without completing their course.
There is no clarity yet from the National Medical Commission (NMC) on their transfer to other countries with a similar syllabus, and the Centre is yet to relent to the demand that they be accommodated in Indian medical colleges.
"It's been so many months. The NMC is yet to tell us which countries we should seek transfer to and what are the eligibility criteria for us to appear for the Foreign Medical Graduate Examination (FMGE) (an exam which allows foreign medical graduates to practice in India)," said Shri Ranjani, a fifth-year medical student of a medical college in Vinnytsia, Ukraine.
With war raging in Ukraine, students fear that getting documents from their respective universities would only become tougher with time. Also, higher fees in countries like Armenia, Georgia, and Russia, which offer medical education in a similar syllabus, add to their worries.
Students share their worries
For PV Vanavan future seems bleak. The Kancheepuram native was pursuing medicine at a university in Ukraine's Kharkiv, now war-torn. Vanavan's college, however, is ready to offer a transfer and mobility programme to its students and is asking them to select a medical college in either Georgia or Armenia. "The cost of living in Armenia, however, will be much higher than in Ukraine. So, there is no point in selecting it. If I enrol in Georgia, I don't have any clarity on whether I would be able to practice in India," he said.
Asad Karim, another MBBS student from Ukraine said Russian colleges were offering them admission. "But, the course fee is almost double that in Ukraine. I have already taken a loan and I don't know if the bank will agree to give me another." Ukrainian universities charge $4,800 dollars to $5,000 dollars a year for MBBS fees.
S Kalyani, an MBBS student of a medical university in Chernivtsi in Ukraine, said she had been attending online classes since her return in February. "I wrote my semester exam online and passed it too. But, we all know that MBBS is not something that is taught online. Studying MBBS was my dream but I didn't dream of this sort of education," she said.
It may be recalled that Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Bharti Pravin Pawar recently told Lok Sabha that no permission has been given by the NMC to transfer or accommodate any foreign medical students in any Indian medical institute or university.