Consider Allowing Returned Medical Professionals from Ukraine to Attend School in India, Requests Parliamentary Panel to Health Ministry

New Delhi: In the midst of all the commotion and uncertainty surrounding the future of the medical students from Ukraine who have returned, a Lok Sabha Committee recently voiced its concern for those students and suggested that the Indian medical institutes accept them.

The committee addressed the problem of thousands of Indian students who are studying medicine and other courses in China and Ukraine but are unable to return to these nations when it submitted its report on August 3.

In its fifteenth report on “Welfare of Indian Diaspora: Policies/Schemes,” the panel led by P P Chaudhury advised the MEA to pursue the issue with the health ministry actively in the hopes that doing so would end the current problem being experienced by students enrolled in Ukrainian universities.

The report addressed the issue of returned medics from Ukraine who were forced to stop their studies short due to the war-torn environment and said, “These students have been left in a quandary as they could not physically re-join their courses or complete their internship or training in India.”

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare was advised by MEA to consider allowing Indian private medical colleges to accept returning Ukrainian students, the committee has been informed.

For the thousands of medical professionals who have returned from the Ukraine but are still unsure of their future, this is undoubtedly a comfort. After rescuing the medical students trapped in the war-torn Ukraine, Medical Dialogues had earlier reported that the Union Health Minister was considering the students’ alternatives so they may finish their medical study in India.

Continued protests by returned MBBS doctors from Ukraine calling for acceptance into Indian medical colleges may be found here.

Although the Supreme Court ordered NMC to create a policy to assist FMGs who were unable to complete their practical training, the issues with the repatriated medics from Ukraine did not go away. After returning from the war-torn Ukraine, some 18,000 of these MBBS students are now pursuing their medical education online, which NMC does not recognise.

In the meantime, the NMC made a decision to develop a plan and offered relaxation to medical graduates who completed their MBBS degree from a foreign medical college without undergoing physical clinical training, which was a huge comfort for the Ukraine returning medicos.

In accordance with the plan, Indian students in their final year of an MBBS programme who had to leave their school overseas due to the Covid or the Russia-Ukraine war but had finished their studies and received a certificate of completion of the programme will be allowed to take the FMGE.

Such foreign medical graduates must complete CRMI for two years after passing the FMGE exam. Even though this addressed a significant issue for foreign medical graduates, students pursuing their studies in medicine online remain uncertain of their future.

In the midst of all of this, the Lok Sabha Committee has requested the Union Health Ministry to take into account granting the Ukraine-returned medicos a one-time exemption basis to enrol in Indian Medical Colleges.

According to the MEA, the Indian Embassy in Beijing is compiling a list of Indian students studying at Chinese colleges so that the Chinese government may decide whether or not to allow them to return home.

According to the report, “the committee have urged the MEA to get in touch with the embassies of other countries so that coordinated efforts are made to facilitate the return of such students to China for resumption of their in-person classes.” This is because China has nearly five lakhs foreign students from various countries.

The group proposed creating a document to act as a guiding principle for a deeper and wider relationship with the community and criticised the government for lacking a “clear-cut” policy on engaging with the Indian diaspora.

The committee on External Affairs Ministry also voiced its disappointment that the government does not currently own a reliable database of the Indian diaspora and suggested that Indian missions abroad take a more aggressive approach to forging deeper ties with the group.

The Indian diaspora, which includes more than 18 million PIOs (persons of Indian origin) and 13 million NRIs, is one of the largest foreign groups in the world, and the government must engage with it, the panel stated in its 15th report, which was presented to Parliament on Wednesday.

The P P Chaudhary-led panel expressed surprise that the government had not yet created a “clear-cut strategy” on India’s diaspora despite the presence of a sizable diaspora that is vital to the socioeconomic advancement of their native nation.

The committee called for the (foreign affairs) ministry to publish a policy document on its diaspora as a guiding principle for “deeper and wider involvement with the diaspora population.”

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