Published: 16th September 2022
Ukraine-returned medical students unhappy with Centre's suggestions in SC, say their hopes are dying out
Now that the Centre has put its foot down on not allowing accommodation for these students in Indian medical colleges, it has put forth mobility as the best solution
The Ukraine-returned students are disappointed with the Centre’s suggestions presented at the Supreme Court in today’s hearing. “Our hopes are dying,” they collectively state. Now that the Centre has put its foot down on not allowing accommodation for these students in Indian medical colleges, the government has put forth mobility as the best solution.
However, the students who were opposed to this option from the beginning are now even more upset, they say. They explained that when the Centre refused accommodation and offered mobility, the court suggested that a portal be opened where the details of the universities available for mobility be provided on it. Students allege that in reply, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appearing for the Centre said that the students could find the details themselves.
“The Solicitor General said that we had gone to Ukraine as per our will and we could now find the information about universities in other countries as well,” stated Deepak Kumar, a student from the Ternopil National Medical University. “But how can we do that? Finding the countries which allow mobility, the universities which will accept students and settling the language issues mean taking up a Herculean ground research task,” said a worried Harsh Goel, who studies at the Ivano-Frankivsk National Medical University (IFNMU).
The students also allege that the list of 29 countries that the NMC (National Medical Commission) has brought out is a job done in a hurry. “France, US, Azerbaijan, Poland and Kyrgyzstan are some of the countries mentioned in the list. Poland has already refused mobility. There is a war going on in Azerbaijan and similar problems exist in most of the other countries as well,” Deepak said. Harsh added that only very few of the mentioned countries have agreed to accept Ukraine-returned students.
Another problem with mobility is that the Ukrainian universities are not providing it any more, the students say. They offered the programme from August 15-30, which has ended. “Now, out of the 21 Ukrainian varsities, only three have agreed to allow mobility. My own university denied it when I asked,” Harsh said.
The students informed that during the hearing, the Centre divided the students into three sections. “It advocated mobility for students belonging to first to third years, while for fourth to sixth year students, residency was suggested and online degrees have been validated for the final year students who had only two to three months left to obtain their degrees,” Harsh said, adding the there was no “valid solution” for the first to sixth year students.
The students also sought relief from the Centre under the Geneva Convention, 2019, as war victims. To this, “Please don't take it to that level. You went voluntarily. You are not on battlefield," Justice Gupta remarked during the hearing. The students were not pleased with this. “We went voluntarily but we did not know that a war would begin and we would be displaced. We have suffered. We are war victims in a way.”