New Delhi, 9 March 2022 – Nearly 20,000 Indian students, who have now returned home to India from the war-torn nation Ukraine now face an uncertain future in their education. Where parents of these students want the government to provide them with direct, free admissions into Indian medical colleges, authorities are worried that this might dilute the “entry standards” of medical colleges in India.
The ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine has left the students with no option but to flee back to India. Since returning to Ukraine to continue their medical studies seems highly unlikely, the students are hoping to get admission into Indian medical colleges. However, there is a proper procedure to get admitted into colleges in India and students cannot be given direct admissions.
Talking about the issue, Lt Gen (Retd) Dr Madhuri Kanitkar, Vice-Chancellor of the Maharashtra University of Health Sciences (MUHS) stated, “Medical students returning from war-hit Ukraine cannot automatically be offered admissions in Indian medical colleges, but authorities are exploring options to ensure that they can continue with their learning. We cannot immediately place these students in our colleges. There are students who have got into these (Indian) colleges on merit, and the entry standards there cannot be diluted. The students who are returning from Ukraine have opted for universities that have a different system of teaching and curriculum. However, till such time that these (Ukrainian) universities open up again, we are trying to explore options where the students can continue their learning and training.”
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Medical Students’ Crisis – Online Education Not an Option
Medicine is one such branch of education that cannot be taught online. As doctors, labs, patients, and equipment are needed to learn medicine fully, the authorities cannot use the online mode of education. This is why the government is trying to generate more ideas on the use of digital technology in medical education. It is also assessing the shortcomings of various universities offering medical courses and trying to bring out a beneficial solution for students who have returned home from Ukraine.
IMA and NMC Stand With Indian Students
The Indian Medical Association (IMA), a body of private doctors in India, has written a letter to Prime Minister – Narendra Modi – and requested that these students should be “adjusted as a one-time measure in [the] existing medical schools in the country.”
In a similar vein, the National Medical Commission (NMC) has also issued a circular to help the candidates who could not complete their one-year mandatory internship in their respective foreign countries due to the ongoing war. NMC has allowed these candidates to apply for the same in India. However, these students first need to clear the Foreign Medical Graduate Exam (FMGE).
Note: The NMC circular does not address the problem of the students who are yet to complete their courses.