MBBS students enrolled in Chinese varsities look for mid-year transfer to other countries
With little hopes of returning to their campuses anytime soon, Indian medical students enrolled in China are now looking at mid-course transfers to institutes in India and other countries.
“If the National Medical Commission (NMC) will allow us to take a transfer to another country, then our problems will be solved. We don’t have any hope to go back to China,” a third-year medical student, on the condition of anonymity, said.
NMC is the apex body administering medical education in India. Students are writing to the commission to allow them a mid-course transfer to medical colleges outside India. However, NMC has not approved such transfers.
Dr Aruna Vanikar, president of undergraduate courses, NMC, was unavailable for a comment.
For almost 20 months, Indian medical students enrolled for courses in China have not been able to return to their campuses amid travel restrictions. Students have kicked off a new semester online at the beginning of the month.
They had returned to India last year amid a raging pandemic as their universities imposed lockdowns. Many left their belongings behind hoping to return to campuses soon. However, more than a year on, the chances of their return remain uncertain as China continues to impose a travel ban for international students. Only those from South Korea and the United States of America have been allowed to return so far.
In June, the external affairs ministry had issued a notice in favour of students in international universities, who are stuck in India due to the pandemic. The notice had asked such students to write to its overseas Indian affairs (OIA) office about difficulties in reaching their university.
“Indian students studying abroad who are stuck in India owing to Covid-19 pandemic restrictions and mobility issues can send their coordinates, that is, email id and mobile number to OIA-2 division at emails: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com,” said the notice on the official website.
Thereafter, affected students had urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene in the matter and facilitate the students’ return through an open letter. However, there’s been no response yet.
Meanwhile, mental stress and anxiety continues to grow among students attending lectures online.
“The MBBS course requires students to gain practical experience. For almost two years, we’ve been bereft of that. It’s starting to bother my confidence,” said a fourth-year MBBS student of Jianghan University, Wuhan, who identified herself as Neha.