CHENNAI: It’s been five months since the start of Russia-Ukraine war and it’s five months of mind-numbing uncertainty for the 2,000 TN medical students who were forced to flee Ukraine without completing course.
There is no clarity yet from the National Medical Commission (NMC) on their transfer to other countries with a similar syllabus, and the Centre is yet to relent to the demand that they be accommodated in Indian medical colleges.
“It’s been so many months. The NMC is yet to tell us which countries we should seek transfer to and what the eligibility criteria are for us to appear for the Foreign Medical Graduate Examination (FMGE) (a pass in which is mandatory to practice in India),” said Shri Ranjani, a fifth-year medical student of a medical college in Vinnytsia, Ukraine.
With the war raging in Ukraine, students fear that getting documents from their respective universities would only become tougher with time. Also, higher fees in countries like Armenia, Georgia, and Russia, which offer medical education in a similar syllabus, add to their worries.
For PV Vanavan, the future seems bleak. The Kancheepuram native was pursuing medicine at a university in Ukraine’s Kharkiv, now war-torn. Vanavan’s college, however, is ready to offer a transfer and mobility programme to its students and is asking them to select a medical college in either Georgia or Armenia.
“The cost of living in Armenia, however, will be much higher than in Ukraine. So, there is no point in selecting it. If I enrol in Georgia, I don’t have any clarity on whether I would be able to practice in India,” he said.
Asad Karim, another MBBS student from Ukraine, said Russian colleges were offering them admission. “But, the course fee is almost double that in Ukraine. I have already taken a loan and I don’t know if the bank will agree to give me another.” Ukrainian universities charge $4,800 to $5,000 a year for MBBS.
Though some students attend classes online, they know MBBS can’t be taught online.
Stand of Union govt
Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Bharti Pravin Pawar recently told Lok Sabha that no permission has been given by the NMC to transfer or accommodate any foreign medical students in any Indian medical institute or university