Ukraine return Indian students are in a panic as universities plan to resume offline classes and exams.

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Indian students enrolled in the medical colleges in Ukraine face a new challenge: they must resume offline sessions and tests six months after they had to stop their studies and return home due to Russian forces attacking Ukraine. Some universities in Kyiv, the capital of war-torn Ukraine, have informed students that offline sessions will resume in September and that the required “Krok” examination will be given in offline format in October.

Students studying medicine, dentistry, and pharmacy must take the KROK-1 examination during their third year of study, according to Ukrainian regulations. Students must take the KROK-2 state licensure exam for certification as a doctor or pharmacist after completing their final year.
Ashna Pandit, 20, a student at the Taras Shevchenko National Medical University in Kyiv, has been taking lessons online for the past six months while facing an unclear future. She was astonished to receive a note from her school. “We are prepared to conduct offline lessons, which will begin on September 1. Your security is assured, “the notification read

Residents of Noida Ashna and her identical brother Ansh, fourth-year medical students, are currently in a panic over what to do next. “It’s terrifying to think about going back to Ukraine while the conflict is still going on. When I spoke with university officials, they claimed that, for the time being at least, the situation in Kiev is normal. The university has yet to specify if they will provide online courses for students who cannot travel to campus.

“The medical council in India does not recognise online medical courses, even if they permit some of us to take them. It is terrifying. Earlier, the institution had promised us that they were setting up a travel programme for us in Georgia or Poland, but that hasn’t happened “She spoke to PTI. Even if students do not return to Ukraine for lessons, according to Ashna, they will still need to travel there for the Krok exam, which is required to advance to the fourth year. An undergraduate at Kiev’s Bogomolets National Medical University shares similar worries.

“We’ve been asked to come back on campus by the university. What to do is a mystery to me. I am in my final year and just have a few months left to finish my course. A part of me wants to go ahead and take the chance, but another part is unsure whether it will be safe to remain there in the future “The Gurgaon resident spoke, declining to give his name. Approximately 20,000 Indian medical students were evacuated in March as a result of the war’s escalation, according to sources. The students have been holding demonstrations to call for temporary admission to Indian medical schools.

Last month, the Center informed the Lok Sabha that neither the National Medical Commission Act, 2019 nor the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 contains any provisions for the admission or transfer of medical students from any foreign medical institutions to Indian medical colleges. Gavesh Sharma, a 23-year-old from Churu in Rajasthan, claimed that his family would not permit him to take the chance. “We’re being called by the university. Some students have already begun to organise their trips and locate alternate routes, but my family does not want me to take any chances. I shall thus watch to observe how things develop.

I have to write the Krok exam too but I will take it next year if I cannot appear this year. A year will be lost but at least life will be safe,” he said.

At Taras Shevchenko National University, Sharma also studies. He said that the university had previously sent a reminder to pay fees for the following semester. The regulatory board was ordered by the Supreme Court on April 29 to create a plan within two months to allow MBBS students affected by the war and the epidemic to continue their clinical training in Indian medical colleges. In March, the NMC issued a circular allowing returning international medical students to finish the final portion of their internship in India, provided they had passed the FMGE (Screening Test), which is required for Indian students with foreign medical degrees in order to practise medicine in India.

This assistance was provided for students who were unable to complete their internships due to uncontrollable circumstances like war, COVID, etc. A public interest lawsuit was submitted to the Supreme Court in March asking for guidelines on the entrance and continuation of their education in India. The petition asked the Center for instructions on how to set up a medical subject equivalency orientation programme for such students. Additionally, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) had advised Prime Minister Narendra Modi to temporarily accommodate these students in Indian medical schools.

In a letter to Modi on March 4, the IMA had said such students should be permitted to go to Indian medical colleges for the remainder of their MBBS courses through an “appropriate disbursed distribution”, but it should not be seen as an increase in the annual intake capacity.

Mayank Tewari

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