Published: 25th June 2022
Indian medical students back from Ukraine protest, demand admission to Indian medical colleges
Medical students and their parents protested outside the National Medical Commission on Friday, June 24
Ukraine returned medical students and their parents have been protesting across India demanding that the government provide them admission to medical colleges in the country. Many Indian students had to flee the war-torn country ever since Russia escalated its invasion of the East-European country.
More than 100 MBBS students and their parents staged a protest in front of the National Medical Council (NMC) in Delhi on Friday, June 25, and urged them to provide students with admission to institutions in the country to prevent further academic loss. However, they were met with a rude response from the officials, said Sonia Lumba, a parent who was involved in the protest. “The officials asked us did you ask us and go that now you expect us to take you back,” said a student from Madhya Pradesh in a video shared by the Parent's Association of Ukraine MBBS Students on Facebook.
Students also said that they want accommodation only in India as seeking a transfer to universities in other European countries is not safe. “Our parents will not allow us to go there and they have already gone through enough mental trauma while we were coming back,” said Shalini Chauhan, who completed her third-year MBBS this month. Additionally, students said that seeking a transfer would prove to be expensive for them. “If I could afford a transfer then I would rather take admission in private colleges in India itself. We went to Ukraine because it is affordable but we couldn’t help the situation so we left from there,” said Trisha Sagar, a second-year MBBS student.
Officials from the NMC told students that they cannot accommodate these students in Indian medical colleges. Reports have also suggested that the medical colleges in the country do not have adequate infrastructural facilities and faculties to train medical students from outside, as stated by the NMC’s Undergraduate Medical Board (UGMEB). “If our own country is not accepting us then why will other countries accept us?” asked Shalini.
The NMC has actively been considering relief by allowing final year students who returned from Ukraine and China to complete their education from their parent universities online and then take the Foreign Medical Graduate Exam (FMGE) here, according to a report in The New Indian Express. However, parents say that this relief is only for sixth-year students. “What about students from first to fifth year?” asked Sonia.
The Supreme Court had on April 29, 2022 directed the NMC to frame necessary provisions for accommodating students who have returned from Ukraine. The decision is expected to be announced on June 29 but students continue to protest. “We only protested yesterday because until now decisions have not been taken in our favour and we can’t change the decision after it comes,” said Trisha.
The students said that if their demands are not accepted in the final decision, they will then head to the Supreme Court as the next step.