Published: 05th September 2022
As Supreme Court will hear petitions of Ukraine-returned medical students today, here's a quick recap
While a few students are attending online classes, the majority of them are eager to attend classes directly
The medical students of Andhra Pradesh who were stranded in Ukraine and returned to their native places after facing several hurdles are worried about their future and career and are waiting with bated breath for the Central government's reply to the Supreme Court's notice to be given on September 5, as stated in a report by The New Indian Express.
The talk on Lok Sabha
The Supreme Court, on August 26, referring to a report prepared by the Committee on External Affairs and submitted to the Parliament on August 3, recommended that Indian students who had returned from the Ukraine war that broke out with Russia should be allowed to complete their medicals courses in the country and sought a response from the Center.
However, Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Bharati Pravin Pawar, told the Lok Sabha, that the possibility of absorbing Ukraine-returned medical students in local medical colleges can only be done after clearing qualifying exams. She also said that the students will have to comply with Screening Test Regulations 2002 or Foreign Medical Guarantee Licentiate Regulations 2021.
There are no such provisions in the Indian Medical Council Act 1956 and the National Medical Commission Act 2019 to accommodate or transfer medical students from any foreign medical institutes to Indian medical colleges, the union minister said.
On the other hand, Committee on External Affairs (2021-2022), in its fifteenth report to the Lok Sabha has recommended that Ukraine return medical students be accommodated in the Indian medical colleges to complete their education.
What about practical knowledge?
While a few students are attending online classes, the majority of them are eager to attend classes directly. As the new semester is about to start this month, the students are in great distress. A student from Guntur who is pursuing MBBS at Zaporizhzhia State Medical University told TNIE, "We can't go on attending only online classes, as we are not getting any practical knowledge, which is of vital importance. The way we were treated by the locals before returning, makes it difficult to even think about returning to Ukraine. I doubt the situation might be worse," she added.
About 20,000 students kick-started an online campaign to reach out to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for saving their careers.
Another third-year medical student at Kharkiv National Medical University opined that, "After this unexpected and traumatic situation I'm worried to go to any country for education, as I am not sure if the same situation can or cannot occur in another country. And we are in the third year, middle of the course, we can't even start anew. So the government should take a decision that benefits all the students," she added.
Over 770 medical students returned to Andhra Pradesh from Ukraine during the war.
Why do students opt for Ukraine?
Compared to Andhra Pradesh and other Indian states, medical education is less expensive in Ukraine. On average, each student spends between Rs 25 lakh to Rs 30 lakh to pursue a five-year MBBS course and a one-year house surgeon course in Ukraine. Moreover, the students get good accommodation and learning facilities in the universities and colleges in Ukraine. Consequently, several students, every year go to Ukraine to pursue MBBS.
The parents are equally worried about their children's future as six months have passed since their return, and the Central government didn't take any decision about their education.
Speaking to TNIE, the father of a third-year MBBS student studying at Kharkiv National Medical University said, "They suggested that the students should be accommodated in private medical colleges. We sent our children to Ukraine because medical education is less expensive there and most of us are from middle-class families and we can no way afford the education here. However, seeing our children struggle is very hard. At this point, I'm hoping that at least the government allocates seats here and we don't have to send her to any foreign country."
Parents' Association of Ukraine MBBS Students (PAUMS) has recently submitted their demands to higher officials and are hoping that the central government will take the decision in the students' favour.