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Pradeep Pattanayak

The ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine has put paid to hopes of hundreds of Odisha students who had enrolled themselves in medical universities in Ukraine. 

For Adnan Manjur, a resident of Satya Nagar area in Bhubaneswar, things were normal till the war broke out. He was pursuing medicine at Vinnytsia Medical University in Ukraine. Now he is at his home, thinking what would happen to his career. 

Arundhati Das, a Ukraine-returnee who is a resident of Kalinga Vihar area in Bhubaneswar, is also uncertain about her future. She had to fly back home leaving her medical study half way. She was a third year student at Kharkiv National Medical University. 

Adnan and Manjur are not the only students who are staring at a bleak prospect of their career. There are hundreds of students like them whose dreams to become a doctor have been left asunder. 

Both Adnan and Manjur said they are passing through a difficult phase of life as they are not sure about their career. 

Of the Indian students who have enrolled in medical universities abroad, over 30,000 had enrolled in Ukraine-based universities alone. The percentage of Odisha students is considerable among them. 

Now, the question arises why so many Indian students were attracted to these universities in Ukraine. 

Experts say, in India, the demand for medical seats always outnumber the actual number of seats available. While there is facility for only 1 lakh students out of those who qualify for NEET, the number of applicants is a whooping over 30 lakh. Similarly, barring a few government institutions, others charge exorbitantly for medical education in India. Whereas, a student can study the same course in Ukraine spending one fourth of the total expenses he would otherwise have to bear in India.  Another reason for students opting for Ukrainian universities is that the medical degrees from Ukraine universities are accepted throughout the world. 

These are the reasons why Indian students and their parents prefer Ukrainian universities over their Indian counterparts. 

“The availability of medical seats in Odisha is discouraging. So our students always go to Ukrainian universities. Cost apart, the standard of education in Ukraine is also good,” said Alok Lal, director, Consultancy Services. 

When asked, Dr Basant Pati said the disruption in the studies of the students has been a matter of concern for all. Government, medical college authorities should take a decision on the criteria these Ukraine-returned students could be accommodated here.

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