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Their degrees in limbo, medical students from Ukraine on hunger strike in Delhi

These students returned to India in March and have been attending their classes online, even completing a semester remotely. However, with the war raging on, a section of students is trying to raise the pressure to be accommodated in Indian universities.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: July 26, 2022 1:52:23 am
MBBS students, who returned from Ukraine, with their Parents gathered at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Sunday, to urge the central government for making arrangements to help them complete their studies in state universities. (Express Photo by Amit Mehra/File)

Dozens of medical students who returned from Ukraine with the outbreak of war are in the middle of a hunger strike in the capital, demanding that they be allowed to complete their degrees in Indian universities.

These students returned to India in March and have been attending their classes online, even completing a semester remotely. However, with the war raging on, a section of students is trying to raise the pressure to be accommodated in Indian universities.

“I came back to India on March 4 and online classes started around two months after that and I completed my third year that way. Our next semester will begin online in September, which is just not enough in medical studies. Countries like Ghana and Nigeria have absorbed students who returned from Ukraine and we also want to be accommodated in India,” said Harsh Goel (21) from Muzaffarnagar, a student of Ivano Frankvisk National Medical University.

The protesting students are not looking at universities in other countries as an option.

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“The options that are around are Poland, Georgia, Hungary, Slovakia and Romania and these are considerably more expensive. The reason so many of us go to Ukraine is that it’s more affordable,” said Shubham Majumdar (25) from Gurgaon, and a student of Kharkiv National Medical University who has completed four years there.

The students returned to India in March and have been attending their classes online. (Express Photo)

Shubham said that during his online classes, he can sometimes hear sirens wailing while his teachers are teaching. “Online learning is only theoretical, in medicine, we have to have practical training. It’s been quite a few months now and I’m starting to feel helpless about my future. The lack of options has made it seem like my four years may go to waste,” he said.

On Friday, in reply to a question in the Lok Sabha, Minister of State for Health Bharati Pravin Pawar stated that the National Medical Council has not given permission to transfer or accommodate any foreign medical students in any Indian medical institute or university.
He stated that there are no provisions to admit students from Ukraine in the Indian Medical Council Act 1956 and the National Medical Commission Act, 2019, as well as the regulations to accommodate or transfer medical students from any foreign medical institutes to medical colleges in India.

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“There will just be a few thousand students who want to be accommodated, I feel like it should be done as a one-time exception because it is a situation arising because of war. The validity and recognition of transferring to a university in another country is also questionable. If there are no options for us, we’ll just have to continue learning online which isn’t valuable,” said Madhumalini S Nambiar (22) from Faridabad, and a student of Poltava State Medical university.

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First published on: 25-07-2022 at 06:59:36 pm

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