Foreign students, especially medical students from India, are returning to Ukraine at the risk of falling into war. One of their sages is ambivalent. He returned to Ukraine last fall to complete his medical studies.
This 25-year-old young man said, we are being warned by sirens before missile or drone attack. The sirens sound at least four times a day.
A native of Kanauj, Uttar Pradesh, Rishi is a fifth year medical student. He is doing a postgraduate course in medicine and surgery at Lviv National Medical University, Ukraine. The young man went back to complete the course last October.
There is no way but to return
Around 23,000 Indians, including 18,000 students, were evacuated after a 22-year-old medical student died of gunshot wounds at the start of the war.
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But many of those students have returned to Ukraine, ignoring the government’s guidelines. They say that there is no other special way to work as a doctor.
Rishi Divedi has returned to Ukraine. Image collected
At least 1100 students like Rishi now live in Ukraine. Most are in western cities like Lviv, Uzhgorod and Ternopil. There is also a risk of Russian airstrikes in that region. But the cities are far from the eastern battlefield.
It is not only the Indian students who have returned to Ukraine. Some African students are also in Lviv. The rest still don’t know what to do.
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“We don’t know if we can finish our course or not,” said Shrishti Mozes, a fourth-year medical student living in Lviv. I can’t sleep when helicopters or warplanes fly overhead. Always afraid, now the attack has started.
Where Srishti lived before, there was often no electricity. So Srishti, a native of the northern Indian city of Dehradun, had to take a flat in an upscale area with regular electricity.
Five people were killed last week in a Russian attack in Lviv. Image collected
Why return to Ukraine?
Experts say most medical students who study abroad want to return home with a degree. But for that he needs to take permission from the National Medical Commission. That commission regulates medical education in India.
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When these students were forced to stop studying after the start of the war in Ukraine, India’s education minister said that everything will be done to make them doctors.
Indian Medical Association requested to admit these students in Indian colleges. The same request was made by the state governments.
The Ministry of External Affairs of India also requested, as a one-time measure, that the returning students be admitted to private medical colleges in India.
But the Indian Ministry of Health took a completely opposite decision. Last July, they informed that there is no rule to transfer from foreign medical colleges to Indian medical colleges.
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Again, many students who returned from Ukraine did not even want to take admission in medical colleges in India. It is a tough competition to get admission in India and the cost is also high.
The decision of the Ministry of Health forced it
Ternopil National Medical University student Vaishali Sethia returned to India from Ukraine via Hungary in March last year. He returned last November.
Vaishali Sethia returned to Ukraine last November. Image collected
Vaishali, a native of Ghaziabad, said that the National Medical Council has ordered that those who have been admitted to foreign universities after November 2021, must pass from those universities. Without this their degrees will not be accepted in India.
He said, everyone is asking why I am returning to Ukraine. But we had to return.
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India’s health ministry said last month that 3,964 Indian students who were studying at various universities in Ukraine at the start of the war have been shifted to universities outside Ukraine.
About 170 Indian students are studying at universities in Ukraine, moving to relatively safe places.
The Ministry of Health of India has also announced that students who have completed their medical course by June 2022 will be eligible to appear in the Foreign Medical Graduate Examination. After studying medicine abroad, one has to pass this exam to start practice in India.
Many do not understand what to do
Students who have already returned to Ukraine will have to stay. And those who haven’t gone yet, they don’t know what to do.
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Deepak Kumar, a resident of Bihar, wanted to go back to Ukraine and start his studies. But he could not go under the pressure of the family. He said, the family is objecting. Because they are worried about my safety.
Deepak Kumar and his mother. Image collected
Deepak could have got admission in a private medical college in India if he tried. But its cost is very high.
He said, we did not have enough money to study in Ukraine. My father had to sell some land to pay for my education.
Cost of reading is low
According to students, the cost of completing the entire medical course in Ukraine is less than half of the cost of a private medical college in India.
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Mrityunjay Kumar, father of Shashank, a student who has returned to Lviv, said that while private colleges in India charge more than 70 lakh rupees, in Ukraine they charge around 25 lakh rupees.
Rishi Dwivedi, who lives in Leviv, said that we were practiced until a month after our return. But now no one particularly bothers.
But their every day is spent in extreme uncertainty. Rishi said, we have told the guardians, if the war starts again and we have to escape, then we will make arrangements ourselves. I will find an escape route through the nearby border.
Source: BBC Bangla
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