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Ukraine-Returned Medical Students Reject Govt’s Proposed Academic Mobility Programme

Ukraine-Returned Medical Students Reject Govt’s Proposed Academic Mobility Programme

In a counter affidavit filed before the Supreme Court, they have said that the suggestion offered by the Health Ministry and National Medical Commission is based on non-exercise of any homework and non-examination of actual facts and reality

Medical Students
Medical Students

Undergraduate medical students, who have returned from Ukraine leaving their courses incomplete due to ongoing war, have rejected the Union Health Ministry’s offer to opt for the “Academic Mobility Programme”.

In a counter affidavit filed before the Supreme Court, they have said that the suggestion offered by the Health Ministry and National Medical Commission is based on non-exercise of any homework and non-examination of actual facts and reality.

“I say that even if the Petitioner medical students consider opting for ‘Academic Mobility Programme” at their respective Ukrainian medical Universities, the said universities have refused to entertain their applications stating that due to numerous similar requests, the University has decided not to accept any such applications for the academic mobility in the first semester of 2022-23 academic year,” Archita, the main petitioner and student said in a written submission to the court.

She added that the medical students have been told to abstain from sending such requests, leading to the Academic Mobility Program being irrelevant, fruitless and infructuous.

“Only 4 to 5 universities were offering such mobility programs, however, since the academic year has started from September 1, 2022, the said option has also closed for the Petitioner medical students,” Advocate Vineet Bhagat, the lawyer for the petition, said.

He added that whatever suggestions that the Union of India, National Medical Commission and Ministry of Health & Family Welfare have made, they are unreasonable, arbitrary, fanciful, misleading and misconceived.

Earlier, the Ministry, in its affidavit filed before the court on September 15, 2022, had said that Indian medical laws don’t have any provision under which students who have returned from Ukraine can be accommodated in medical colleges.

It further submitted that the NMC has no objection if these students pursue their remaining studies in other foreign countries under the Academic Mobility Programme with the approval of parent universities of Ukraine.  

According to Archita, the Health Ministry’s reply has failed to provide any justification or explanation as to why the Petitioner medical students cannot be accommodated in Medical Colleges in India and merely stated that Regulations in India do not permit the migration of students from foreign universities in India.

She also accused the Health Ministry of misleading the court by stating that the curriculum of Ukraine medical colleges is not equivalent to the curriculum of medical colleges in India and hence, the countries offering the “Academic Mobility Program” does not include India.

“It is submitted that medical colleges in India require 54 months study period for Undergraduate Medical students in India compared to 72 months study period in Ukraine, therefore the courses undertaken by them in Ukraine Universities/Colleges are not only equivalent but superior to the course in India and, therefore, the Petitioner medical students are invariably competent to be accommodated in medical colleges in India,” Archita said.

In the previous hearing on September 16, 2022, the apex court had directed the government to clarify specifically the procedure to opt for the “Academic Mobility Programme” and complete information with respect to the name of universities, fee structure, etc by preferably creating a web portal. The next tentative date for the hearing is September 23, 2022.

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