Medical students in Kerala who returned from war-torn Ukraine this month, have taken to protest demanding admission to medical colleges in India. On Sunday, students pursuing bachelor’s medical education in Ukraine and China gathered in front of the State Secretariat building in Thiruvanathapuram in a protest organised by the Foreign Medical Graduates’ Parents’ Association demanding government intervention in the continuation of their studies.
After disruption in their studies after the war between Russia and Ukraine broke out, Indian returnees from Ukraine are uncertain about their future as their continuation of studies has posed many challenges. It has been learnt that many students are attending online lectures hosted by their teachers from bunkers, but the assurance for prolonged conduction of classes looks abysmal. As many as 3,000 medical students from Kerala have been directly affected by the war.
On Saturday, A group of medical students from Ukraine addressed a press conference in Ernakulam putting their demands ahead of the authorities. Many students along with their parents reiterated their demand that students from Ukraine whose education is affected after evacuation in India be admitted to medical colleges in the country. “Though the university is offering us online classes, there is no assurance about what will happen next as our teachers are attending the online sessions from bunkers. We request the authorities here to admit us into medical colleges in the country as we will not be able to go back to Ukraine in the near future,” Anikha Thomas, A third-year student of Bogolomets National University in Kyiv said.
One of the students stated that if remedial measures are not taken before the annual exams which happen March-April, it will result in a loss of the academic year. Furthermore, students have also demanded admission to the precious government college seats since a high fee structure in private medical colleges will be a costly affair. “As we will not be able to meet the high fee structure in private medical colleges, we urge them to permit our children to complete the course paying the fee for government merit seats,” demanded a parent during the press conference.
Admission to Government colleges in India is a sought after dream for medical aspirants since the seat to applicants ratio is huge. Moreover, the national medical entrance examination NEET (National Eligibility cum Entrance Test) for undergraduate medical courses hence becomes a tough nut to crack. Owing to the shortage of medical seats in the country, aspirants divert to countries like Ukraine for cheaper medical education. People are arguing that to grant such a valuable position away which is often contested by thousands of others through a common entrance test is not a fair proposition.
Every year around 16 lakh students appear in NEET for 80-90 thousand seats in Indian medical colleges. Students drop years & study 16-18 hours everyday to crack NEET with decent score.— Shubhendu (@BBTheorist) March 20, 2022
And here are these guys wanting wild card entry into Indian medical schools. WOW! pic.twitter.com/aIkG4KpGhE
This should never happen. Firstly govt has already spent crores to bring them back…. Will they atleast pay that to start with ??they can go back or reappear for the entrance exam as all the other students in Bharat.. should be fair to all. Why even ask for entitlement ??— Mahadevkebhakt (@Righttospeak20) March 21, 2022
Education in a foreign country is often made possible for the middle class through education loans offered by the banks. Many students who went abroad for a six-year MBBS course offered by Ukrainian universities have already paid the entire fee for all six years. The Russian invasion has put Indian parents into a puzzle while they are worried about the money invested in their children’s education. The Kerala Ukraine Medical Students’ and Parents’ Association has been formed to collectively address the concerns of the students from the state.