Published: 08th October 2022
Ukraine-returned students dejected; many head back, others wait for positive response from SC
The students inform that the universities have already started offline classes and provided the necessary documents for them to come back
As the Centre is not ready to accommodate Indian medical students who returned from Ukrainian universities in Indian medical colleges, many students have decided to move back to the war-torn country. The students inform that the universities have already started offline classes and provided the necessary documents for them to come back.
Harsh Goel, a student from Ivano-Frankivsk National Medical University (IFNMU), said, “About 10-15 students from each university have gone back to Ukraine.” He additionally informed that the universities were calling students back. “Though most universities are offering us both options, of taking online and offline classes, some universities like the Zaporizhzhia State Medical University (ZSMU) were providing only offline classes. This leaves the students with no option but to go back,” he said.
Harsh said that many universities have shifted their premises to the Western side of Ukraine, a part which is touted to be comparatively safer as it is away from the Russian border. “But the situation is not any better. Many of my friends from Ukraine have told me that it is not safe there. There are also rumours that Russia is planning attacks on the Western side. My parents are not allowing me to go back, at least not for this month,” he stated.
Transfer is still on the table
“As the situation stands, apart from the decision to go back, about four to five students have taken transfers to countries like Georgia, Uzbekistan and Russia and about 5,000-6,000 students are still taking online classes. Also, about 1,000-2,000 students who had taken admission in the first year, have changed their streams from MBBS to Dental and other courses so as to practice in India,” informed RB Gupta, President of the Parents' Association of Ukraine Medical Students (PAUMS).
According to Harsh, students have taken the step to go back due to the lack of a clear solution in sight. RB stated that the students who had decided to go back were opting for transit visas to countries like Moldova and Poland, and from there were, travelling to Ukraine, mostly by bus. “The war has ruined the children’s education,” he lamented.
The students and their parents have been demanding accommodation in Indian medical colleges for a long time now, but they have been denied this. The concerned people also filed petitions in the Supreme Court, but during the hearings, the Centre has stood firm on its decision of not accommodating them and has cited various reasons to justify the same.
The case is ongoing in the Supreme Court
In this scenario, the case is ongoing, and the next hearing is scheduled for October 11, Tuesday. The case is being heard by Justice Hemant Gupta, who is set to retire on October 16. “Justice Gupta has never left a case pending, so we are hoping for a final verdict on October 11. We hope that the decision will be in our favour. Even if accommodation is not given, at least some solution should be provided by the centre. There is no solution at present,” Harsh said.
“As of now, the centre has stated that they have allowed mobility and have validated the online classes for sixth-year students and implied that it should suffice,” RB Gupta said. But neither the parents nor the students find it sufficient.
“Mobility is not an option. Many universities are not even offering it and there are various other problems associated with it. And as for online classes, only theory classes are validated,” Harsh said. He added that the students needed clinical and practical classes as well, and for that accommodation was the best option.