Demanding admission in Indian colleges, Ukraine-returned medical students sit on hunger strike

They said nearly 12,000 students, barring those in the final year, each institute needed to admit only around 20 students as there 600 medical colleges.

Demanding admission in Indian colleges, Ukraine-returned medical students sit on hunger strike Ukraine-returned Indian students
Press Trust of India | Jun 27, 2022 - 8:09 a.m. IST
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New Delhi: Medical students, who were evacuated from war-torn Ukraine, sat on a hunger strike at Jantar Mantar on Sunday demanding admission in the country's medical colleges as a one-time measure. They said there are approximately 12,000 students, barring those in the final year, and as there are at least 600 medical colleges in the country, each institution needed to accommodate only around 20 students.

Around 350 people participated in the protest. Of these, 35 students from Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan sat on a hunger strike from 10 am to 5 pm, Parents' Association of Ukraine Medical Students (PAUMS) president R B Gupta said.

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"We also held a march at Jantar Mantar. We want the government's help in accommodating our children. My child was studying second-year in Ivano (Ukrainian city). We are only requesting the government that these children be accommodated as a one-time measure," he said. PAUMS has also written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in this regard.

"There are 15,000-16,000 (approx.) medical students out of which around 3,000 are of final year for whom the NMC (National Medical Commission) has permitted to complete their internship in India, which is a breath of relief. Now, this leaves us with 12,000 approx. students to be given admission... There are around 606 medical colleges in India, which means each college will have to accommodate only 20-21 students…," the letter read.

"This is an unprecedented war situation which needs extraordinary thinking, steps and solution. We are hopeful that a lenient view shall be taken while taking a decision in regard to accommodate all Ukraine-returned MBBS students and our request may be well taken and acted accordingly. We will be highly obliged," it added.

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Thousands of students from India studying in various medical colleges across Ukraine had to abandon their courses and return home after Russian forces launched an offensive against the eastern European country. In April, too, parents of MBBS students had staged a protest at Jantar Mantar demanding the government's intervention in accommodating their children in medical colleges.

In March, a Public Interest Litigation was filed in the Supreme Court seeking directions on the issue of admission and continuation of their studies in India. The plea also sought directions to the Centre to provide a medical subject equivalency orientation programme for such students.

The Indian Medical Association has also recommended to Prime Minister Narendra Modi that such students be accommodated in Indian medical colleges as a one-time measure. 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.

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