Mumbai: The Maharashtra University of Health Sciences (MUHS) on Wednesday released a notification inviting details of medical students who have returned from war-torn Ukraine in the past one week. While the notification does not state the reason behind this move, it has invited flak from many who feel this is an attempt by MUHS at accommodating students from Ukraine.
A student pursuing MBBS at a private medical institute in Nashik said, “Recently, the National Medical Commission (NMC) released a statement saying that at present there is no provision to accommodation Ukraine returnee MBBS students in India, their evacuation is the priority. Why is MUHS jumping the gun and asking students to send details for eligibility purposes, how is that allowed?”
Due to the ongoing war in Ukraine, Indians stuck in various Ukrainian cities are being evacuated through neighbors countries and maximum evacuees have been students pursuing undergraduate medical studies. The first of the evacuees were flown out of Bucharest in Romania and the flight landed in Mumbai on Saturday, February 26.
While the move by MUHS is being appreciated, parents have questioned whether this is within the powers of the university, and why similar provisions were not extended for medical students pursuing MBBS from other countries.
“The university is going out of its way to accommodate students from Ukraine, but what about students who have returned from China two years ago? The Chinese government has not allowed these students back on campus since 2020, will MUHS accommodate these students too?” asked Brijesh Sutaria, parent and activist fighting for the rights of medical aspirants.
For almost two years, Indian medical students enrolled in courses in China have not been able to return to their campuses amid travel restrictions. Students have kicked off semester after semester online and are worried their degree will not be accepted as it has been conducted online since March 2020.
Students of Chinese universities returned to India in 2020 amid a raging pandemic in China as their universities imposed lockdowns. Several left their belongings behind hoping to return to the campuses soon. However, nearly two years on, the chances of their return to campuses remain uncertain as China continues to impose a travel ban for international students.
“The circumstances are not the same but the problem that students back from Ukraine are facing is similar to ours. We need to get back to our colleges for physical/practical classes which is not possible in both our cases. Will the MUHS consider our case as well?” asked one of the students.