Crisis in Ukraine: Opposition pushes government to make sure students finish school
Raising concerns about the future of students who have returned from war-stricken Ukraine, MPs on Monday called on the government to ensure facilities for students to complete their courses without imposing a financial burden on them. The government assured MPs that it would “consider making the necessary arrangements”.
At the Rajya Sabha, President M Venkaiah Naidu said the government would make a statement on the situation in Ukraine as well as developments regarding Indian students.
Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, while answering a question posed by Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi, said the government will consider what measures can be taken for students who have been brought back from Ukraine under of the Ganga operation, so that they can complete their studies. .
Calling the Operation Ganga mission proof of the “collective wisdom of 130 million Indians”, Pradhan said in the Lok Sabha: “When we bring them in, you rest assured that the government will think about the possibility of taking provisions, all that is necessary, to enable them to become doctors in the future… Now it is time to get them out of the shock. We are all involved in this.
During zero hour in the Lok Sabha, Congress MPs Abdul Khaleque and Kodikkunnil Suresh, and Mr Sreenivasann Reddy of the YSRCP called on the government to engage with the country’s private universities to help students. “They must be housed in medical colleges in India at a reasonable price,” Reddy said.
Khaleque was of the opinion that children should not be “burdened financially” to complete their courses.
Emphasizing that the students “survived a war” and that the “sudden cessation of studies and uncertain future are compounded by the impending debt trap for families who have taken out loans”, Suresh said their loans for studies had to be cancelled.
“Students who have suffered emotional trauma need to receive specialist care,” he said. “In detecting the shortcomings of the coordination and evacuation mission, the government should appoint a student welfare wing in every Indian embassy and consular office in foreign countries which will operate round the clock, and a main control room to be set up in External Affairs Department headquarters as a policy response mechanism for such an eventuality.
Several members also raised the issue in Rajya Sabha. Kanakamedala Ravindra Kumar from the TDP said the future of the students was at stake. “The war between Russia and Ukraine is not expected to end in the near future. Therefore, I urge the government to take the necessary steps after consulting with stakeholders including the NMC to absorb all students,” he said.
The KC Venugopal of Congress agreed. He said: “What is going to be done to the students is a big concern in the country now. The education of these students is now at a standstill. What it is going to do, the government must clarify because it must provide relief in this regard,” he said.
Amar Patnaik of the BJD said the government should increase the number of seats in all private and public medical schools by 2-5%. It would also be necessary to “deal with the fifth year which has the clinical component in an ingenious method so that their education is not compromised”.
V Vijayasai Reddy of YSRCP “When an ongoing medical college in India is closed, we have a proper procedure whereby students are appropriately dispersed to other medical colleges in India. A special transfer procedure, along the same lines, can also be formulated for medical students temporarily returning from Ukraine.
Nadimul Haque, of the Trinamool Congress, said the Russian-Ukrainian conflict has exposed the inefficiency plaguing India’s medical education system in India. He said medical education in India is unaffordable and competitive which has forced aspirants from low and middle income families to pursue medical education in countries where it is cheaper and less competitive.