29 countries identified to pursue medical education during the period of conflict
Mysore/Mysuru: Even as the Supreme Court (SC) has asked the Centre and the National Medical Commission (NMC) to work on solutions for the foreign-returned undergraduate medical students from war-torn Ukraine as it is crucial to churn out solutions at the earliest else their careers will be left in the lurch, many students have opted for the Academic Mobility Programme (AMP).
Students (170 as per the declaration by the Centre in SC) from the final year including a couple of them from Mysuru have opted for the AMP while the rest, mostly from the first, second, third and fourth-year students, are awaiting the Apex Court ruling on the AMP while they are taking online classes.
The NMC had recently agreed to recognise the AMP offered by Ukraine to allow these students to relocate to Universities in other countries and complete their studies. The NMC said that temporary relocation to Medical Universities will be allowed in 29 countries during the period of conflicts such as Poland, Austria, Czech Republic, France, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Moldova, Slovakia, Spain, Uzbekistan, the US, Italy, Belgium, Egypt, Belarus, Latvia, Kyrgyzstan, Greece, Romania, Sweden, Israel, Iran, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Germany, Turkey, Croatia and Hungary.
Parent Ukrainian University degree: However, the degree will be awarded by the parent Ukrainian University. In the upcoming semester, Ukrainian Universities are offering this programme to Indian students under which they can opt to study at another University for a few semesters under the ‘student exchange’ arrangement.
Many students from Karnataka have already left for the 29 listed countries while some are scheduled to leave in a day or two as their visas were delayed. Over 30 medical students returned to Mysuru in March 2022 and were attending their classes online, even completing their semesters remotely.
Academics in rented buildings
Zaporizhzhia State Medical University in Ukraine for instance has rented buildings in Uzbekistan for its students to continue their education and the establishment is taking care of the medical needs of the region’s local population in those buildings and at the same time helping the students gain practical knowledge on surgeries and treatment.
“My son opted for Poland to pursue the Academic Mobility Programme and he told us that the situation in Ukraine was better now with only the border areas of the country coming under intense Russian shelling and bombing,” a parent told Star of Mysore on condition of anonymity. He managed to get an early visa and left Mysuru in December and his friends too have opted for other countries, the parent added.
City doctors help
Aisiri, pursuing her fourth-year MBBS course at the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, will leave for Georgia in a day or two as her visa got delayed. Her mother Geetha told SOM that her daughter was fortunate to continuously take online classes and also obtain practical medical training in Mysuru.
“Dr. S.P. Yoganna of Suyog Hospital and Neuro-surgeon Janardhan took my daughter under their wings and provided space and a chance to work at their hospital and clinic so that her studies are not disrupted. We hope that she will pursue her education in Georgia without any issues,” Geetha said.
Free bridge course at JSS helps 511 students
In May 2022, the JSS Medical College, Mysuru, conducted a free bridge course for Indian medical students who returned from Ukraine and over 511 students opted for the same.
Dr. D. Sunil Kumar, Associate Professor of Community Medicine, JSS Medical College, told SOM that the bridge course was offered on humanitarian grounds based on the directives from Suttur Seer Sri Shivarathri Deshikendra Swamiji.
Interestingly, apart from Karnataka, students from Delhi, Mumbai, Gujarat and other places took the bridge course and of the 511 students, 321 were from Karnataka. Both theory and practical classes were conducted and clinical observation was provided along with skill training using skill lab and virtual case scenario.
All laboratory facilities were provided free of cost and the course was offered as purely transient academic support for students who are in distress.
Some students await Supreme Court ruling
Meanwhile, some undergraduate Ukraine-returned medical students have rejected the Academic Mobility Programme as many Universities in the 29 countries have refused to entertain their applications stating that due to numerous similar requests, they have decided not to accept any such applications in the first semester of 2022-23 academic year.
They have moved the Supreme Court and the Centre has told the Court that 15,783 students who returned from Ukraine were pursuing their studies online. “Only 640 students are in the conflict zone to complete their course while 170 have got admission in Ukraine’s partner Universities in other countries,” the Centre stated.
Students are awaiting the Supreme Court judgement that is likely to be delivered on the batch of petitions by the end of January this year. “The Centre has failed to provide any justification or explanation in the Court as to why we cannot be accommodated in Medical Colleges in India and merely stated that regulations in India do not permit the migration of students from foreign Universities in India. This is unfair and we hope that our pleas will be honoured,” a student from Mysuru said.
City student gives up medicine after Ukraine mess, takes up design
Priyanka Guru Mallesh, who was pursuing her MBBS second year at Bukovinian State Medical University (BSMU), has given up medicine now and has joined Jain University, Bengaluru, to pursue her interest in design.
“We did not send her to any of the 29 countries for the Academic Mobility Programme as most of them are hostile and we did not want to take the risk after our bitter experience in Ukraine and the uncertainties associated with it. We wanted Priyanka to pursue medicine but fate willed otherwise. I am glad that she came back safely to India. Her two years were wasted along with Rs. 17 lakh. But she is happy now,” Priyanka’s father Guru Mallesh, a builder, told Star of Mysore.
Priyanka is interested in design and she will pursue a career in product design. “She took up her design course four months back and she is happy there. We are also relieved as she can pursue her passion. Moreover, she is very much interested in art and has good design skills,” he added.