Ukraine-returned medical students stage protest

"All we ask is to be admitted in Indian universities, government or private. Our futures have been jeopardized. We cannot go back to a war-torn country," a protester student said.
Visual from the spot in Bhubaneswar
Visual from the spot in BhubaneswarANI

BHUBANESWAR: A large number of medical students evacuated from war-torn Ukraine and their parents staged a protest in front of the Odisha assembly in Bhubaneswar on Wednesday, seeking admission to Indian medical universities in order to secure their future.

They have urged the government that the students be accommodated as a one-time measure to prevent an academic year's loss.

"All we ask is to be admitted in Indian universities, government or private. Our futures have been jeopardized. We cannot go back to a war-torn country," a protester student said.

He added, "Already four months have passed, but neither the National Medical Commission (NMC) nor the Government of India has provided any official notification issuing guidelines for our educational arrangements as promised after we returned via Operation Ganga. As all students are future doctors, online education is not a good option for them. Our demand is to accommodate all the students in Indian medical colleges. My parents have invested all the money for education, and my higher studies and future are at risk now."

Talad Jahaan, a fifth-year student from the Kharkiv National Medical University in Ukraine assured that all the Ukraine-returned medical students have qualified NEET, clarifying the misconception that the students have not cleared the examination mandatory to enter Indian medical colleges.

"All of us have qualified NEET. We just could not afford to study in private medical colleges in India. And we took admissions in reputed NMC-approved institutions in Ukraine. We did not enter just any college," she said.

She urged the authorities to make a decision before September, for the coming of the month will lead to the waste of their entire academic year.

"After September, we cannot be admitted to any other university. If India does not consider our pleas, our future will be ruined," she said.

Another Ukraine-returned medical student, Shanta Snigdha Mishra, said that they are ready to give the screening test required to earn accommodation in Indian medical colleges.

"We will qualify the Foreign Medical Graduate Examination. We can also show you the NEET qualification proofs we received from the NMC. In return, we just want a relaxation of some terms and norms to have a solution for accommodation in India," she said.

She further said, "Our University has provided a document saying you can temporarily practice in your country, but this is not the permanent solution. Our theory classes are not going on properly, and we don't know how to apply practical knowledge without theory. So it's a request to the government to please look into our demands and make a decision soon, maximum till the mid of August because there's no time left."

Earlier in March, the External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar in a written statement laid on the table of Rajya Sabha said that the government has been able to safely bring home 22,500 Indian citizens and 147 foreign nationals belonging to 18 countries from Ukraine since February 2022 in the wake of Russia-Ukraine war.

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