Several medical students, some who have returned from war torn Ukraine and many others who have been unable to return to China ever since the Covid-19 outbreak stare at an uncertain future.
As per estimates by the union government, as many as 24,000 medical students from Ukraine and 18,000 from China have returned home and are stranded, unable to pursue in-person classes.
While those returning from Ukraine have been seeking that they be admitted into Indian universities as there is no certainty over the war coming to an end, those students from China who are in India for two years now hope to return to China and complete education.
In Kerala, students who were pursuing medical education in China staged a protest early this week seeking intervention of the Indian government while some also sought that their online education be considered valid in India.
Expressing displeasure, Bharath Reddy, a student who returned from China questioned, “When China can entertain business as usual, why not call back students? Accommodating 20,000 students who have already enrolled in colleges there is no tough task,” he said.
The National Medical Commission in February said in an official notice that medical courses pursued online will not be accepted and warned prospective applicants in the wake of Chinese universities calling for applications.
Meanwhile, Dr Roshan Gunjal, a student from Maharashtra who returned from Ukraine said that although the state conducted a survey, noting down details of students, their year of study among other details, no communication has been made so far. “Online classes have commenced for us. But they have told us that only this semester, we will have online classes. My university is in the western part, so as this is not a war affected zone, we hope to return” he said.
Returnees from China and Ukraine alike have asked that they be accommodated in their home states. Dr S Kumar, Secretary, Consortium of Deemed Universities in Karnataka said, “We have offered to provide bridge courses and later accommodate 150 students in each of our colleges. We are yet to hear back from the PMO in this regard. It is but natural that if accommodation is made for students who have returned from Ukraine, those who have been unable to go back to China will place a similar demand.”
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