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Centre’s decision leaves Ukraine returnees worried

HYDERABAD: Medical students who enrolled in Ukraine universities but had to leave their institutions after the war broke out are worried about how they will be able to finish their degrees after the centre told the Supreme Court that they cannot be accommodated in medical colleges in India for lack of provisions under the law.

The Centre informed the top court on September 15 that the National Medical Commission (NMC) Act does not include a provision allowing Indian students enrolled in Ukrainian medical institutes to enrol in Indian universities. The court asked the government to help students who want to continue their education in other overseas universities.

Although several colleges have begun offering online courses to students, the government has not given permission for accepting the same. While some universities which are far from the war zone have offered to take back students, students are still concerned for their safety. Ankita Shahi, a fifth-year MBBS student at Ivano-Frankivsk National Medical University in Ivanov, Ukraine, said, "It is a pretty awful scenario.” She is currently enrolled in online classes offered by the university with many of her classmates and other students, but she has no idea if the government would recognise the online course.

She claimed that students who were enrolled in China but had to leave their studies due to the pandemic were permitted to finish their coursework via online classes, and wondered why Indian students studying in Ukrainian cannot receive the same concession. "Even if I return to Ukraine, there are security concerns and limitations. We cannot study in such a setting. The majority of students don't want to go back to Ukraine,” she said.

Dr Amani Madigala, a PG student at the same university, is almost done with her coursework and will be awarded her degree by November. She is, however, aware of the situation facing MBBS students. She claims it was difficult for them to continue their education at other foreign universities. "The course will begin in 1-2 months, and by December, one semester will already be over. There will also be a change in currency. Overall, a lot of students are confused,” she said.

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