New Delhi, 10 March 2022 – Indian students returning from Ukraine due to the war now face an uncertain educational future in India. The major problem these students face is that they want to get admission in Indian medical colleges, which most government authorities have declined, citing that it might decrease the entry standards of medical colleges in the country.
Now, to combat the loss of education that Ukraine-returned medical students are facing, governments of different states are planning to start online classes. However, it is quite difficult to provide online education as medical students require practical experience to learn, which is not possible in online classes.
In recent developments, the government of Maharashtra is looking into the logistics of offering online classes to the students. Similarly, Karnataka has also started brainstorming how to offer online education to students who have returned from Ukraine. Other state governments are also following suit and contemplating on how they can tackle the issue.
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NMC Relaxes Internship Rule, Foreign Medical Graduate Exam Still Required
The Ministry of Health and the National Medical Commission (NMC) has recently relaxed the internship criteria for Ukrainian students. Due to this, the students can now complete their internships in India.
Earlier, the Foreign Medical Graduate Licentiate Regulations Act made it mandatory for all foreign medical graduates to undergo a 54-month course and a 12 month-internship to get a permanent registration in India. No foreign medical graduate could practice medicine in India unless he/she fulfilled the given requirement.
Note: The students still need to appear for – and crack – the Foreign Medical Graduate exam to get a practitioner license.
Punjab Medical Association Against Admissions in Govt Colleges
The Punjab State Medical and Dental Teachers Association (PSMDTA) has decided to formally object to any move of the Centre (or the National Medical Commission) to accommodate Ukraine-returned students in government medical colleges in the state. The association believes that providing these students with direct admissions can affect the meritorious students who have already taken admission in government colleges of India.
PSMDTA’s President – Dr Diwan Singh Bhullar – noted, “At a meeting of the association, it was decided that students who have returned from Ukraine should not be given admission in government colleges. The Centre should chalk out a plan for them. But we will oppose any move to accommodate the students who have returned from Ukraine in government medical colleges, as by this move meritorious students already admitted in these institutes will get affected.’’
Maharashtra to Allow Students to Appear for NEET
Maharashtra government is contemplating to allow Ukraine-returned students to appear for the National Eligibility cum Entrance (NEET) exam. The proposal – which is still at the nascent stage – might allow those students who have taken admission to medical colleges in Ukraine in November 2021 or later to appear for the entrance exam.