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Pradeep Pattanayak

Hundreds of students from Odisha pursuing medicine in Ukraine who are back home following the outbreak of war in in that country leaving their studies half way are currently uncertain about their career. 

The happiness of union with their families following their safe evacuation from the war-zone has now been replaced with despair. They are now worried, thinking about what the future has in store for them. 

The plight of Arijit Biswal, a resident of Saanta Sahi in Kendrapara town drives home the point.  

Biswal was studying MBBS in Ukraine. Just one year was left in his six-year courses to be completed when the war broke out, dashing his hopes of becoming a doctor to ground.  

“I am under severe mental stress. I have already completed five years and only one year is left for the course to be completed. It doesn’t seem like the situation in Ukraine will become conducive again in near future for resumption of our studies. In such a situation, it would be a great help if the State or Central government comes out with a plan for us,” said Biswal. 

Biswal’s parents are also experiencing the same trauma as that of their son. “We can no longer see his agony. At the same time, we are also not sure how his career would pan out in the present situation,” said Biswal’s mother, Rajashree. 

Meanwhile, the students are seeing a light at the end of the tunnel with the Indian Medical Association (IMA) and the National Medical Commission (NMC) having come to their rescue. 

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to allow those hundreds of medical students who have returned from war-torn Ukraine to India leaving their study half way to complete their courses in medical colleges in India. 

The IMA has written a litter to the PM in this regard. 

War is a life time crisis. The situation has forced the students to fly to India, leaving their courses incomplete. Keeping the career of these Ukraine-returned students in mind, they should be given an opportunity to complete their courses, the IMA observed.  

If required, the National Medical Commission may come up with a new rule, the association suggested. 

“Like a student leaves a school and gets admission into a different institution producing School Leaving Certificate, these Ukraine-returned should also  be given similar facility. For this, if a new rule is required, it should be formulated,” opined secretary, IMA, Bhubaneswar chapter, Dr Pratyush Kumar Ray.   

Meanwhile, Rajya Sabha MP from Odisha Prasanna Acharya has also written to Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya, urging the latter to find out an alternative solution for the Ukraine-returned medical students. 

Experts who are closely keeping a tab on the Ukraine-Russia war are of the opinion that the situation does not seem to change for the better in near future, particularly for the medical students who have returned to India from Ukraine following Russia’s invasion. 

They have suggested that the Central government, State government, National Medical Commission (NMC) and medical college authorities should put their brains together and find a solution out. 

“A decision should be taken to accommodate the Ukraine-returned students in government and private medical institutions in India so that they can complete their courses. A system should also be in place, making the students to follow the fee structures of the colleges they seek to study in,” said health expert, Dr Basant Pati. 

Meanwhile, the NMC has allowed the foreign medical students who have to leave their internship halfway due to either Covid-19 or war between Ukraine and Russia to complete their apprenticeship in India. 

The National Medical Commission (NMC) announced this on Saturday. 

Issuing a notice, the NMC has said, “It has been observed that there are also some foreign medical graduates (FMG) with incomplete internship due to such compelling situations like Covid-19 and the war. Considering the agony and stress faced by these foreign medical graduates, their application to complete the remaining part of their internship in India is considered eligible."

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