Indian students stare at uncertainty over completing MBBS in Ukraine

Left with no choice, Indian medicos risk return to Ukraine

October 27, 2022
Reshma Ravishanker

Notwithstanding the Ministry of External Affairs’ advisories over the worsening situation in war torn Ukraine, several Indian medicos either refuse to return or are heading back to Ukraine amid the crisis.

On October 10, the Embassy of India in Kyiv (Ukraine) issued an advisory stating that in view of the deteriorating situation in Ukraine, Indian nationals were advised against travelling to Ukraine and all Indians, including students were asked to leave the country by earliest available means.

However, several Indian medicos have chosen to return to Ukraine as the National Medical Commission (NMC) said that online education would be considered invalid.

One such student, a fifth-year medical graduate, Aman Singh, has headed back against his family’s wishes.

“The air space is closed. Just like when we fled the country, some borders have still not been sealed and Indian students are heading back in from the same direction. We are reaching Poland or Moldova and then covering the last mile by road. We had no choice but to do so,” he rued.

Singh said that in-person classes have commenced. “My family is concerned. Although food and basic essentials are available, power cuts are getting frequent. It is the start of cold weather, and we see winter challenges on the horizon. As of the war and bombing is concerned, there are no bunkers in all buildings. Whenever a siren is sounded, we rush to the building’s basement till normalcy returns.

“I only wish the NMC was more considerate and made alternative arrangements for us. I am also mindful of the fact that medicine cannot be taught online. A situation as dire as this needed a better solution,” he added.

Another student, Krishna said that he was planning a return to Ukraine in the weeks to come. “The NMC could have done a lot to help us. Since a lot of us have no choice, we are forced to head back. That if a student studies abroad, they are loaded with money is a myth. Many of us have sold off ancestral properties to make ends meet. Our careers are at stake.

He said that several of his batch mates even tried seeking admissions into degree colleges for BSc courses only to be turned down citing that their class 12 certificates were 4 years too old.

“When we come back to India to appear for exams to be eligible to practice here, the immigration stamp will be checked. If that doesn’t show we were in Ukraine, the degree will be deemed invalid. Even if we are not allowed online coaching completely, give us a two years mandatory internship to make up for it,” he sought.  

Also read: India has just 6.1 medical seats per 1 lakh population: StatsofIndia

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