Latest Update (April 29, 2022) - Arindam Bagchi, Spokesperson External Affairs Ministry, has expressed that China should allow Indian students to benefit from mechanisms put in place by the country for the return of foreign students. He expressed concerns about the plights of Indian students, especially as China allows other foreign students to return.
Indian international students enrolled in Chinese universities have not been able to return to the country since the Covid-19 restrictions were first put in place in 2020.
India had raised the matter with Wang Yi, Chinese Foreign Minister, on his New Delhi visit. No update has been received as of yet.
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Recently, on April 21, China allowed Sri-Lankan students to return for their in-person learning.
It is speculated that the delay in allowing students back is due to the standoff between Indian and Chinese troops at LAC. In wake of the standoff which commenced in early 2020 bilateral relations are at an all-time low. In June 2020, a clash at Galwan Valley resulted in the killing of 20 Indian soldiers and four Chinese troops.
Troops have been withdrawn from the North and South banks of Pangong Lake and Gogra since, and many several diplomatic and military talks have been held. Yet, the two nations have not been able to agree on disengagement and de-escalation on friction points along LAC and in Ladakh.
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Mr. Bagchi refused immediate resumption in issuing tourist visas to Chinese citizens. He reasoned that the situation in Chinese cities like Shanghai, and other are still grave. Moreover, China has suspended the issuance of most visas to Indians since 2020.
As per the data issued by the Chinese Education Ministry, at the end of 2018, 492,185 international students were studying in China from 196 countries, out of which South Koreans were 50,000, Thai and Pakistani students were 28,000 each, and Indians were 23,198 in numbers.
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Source: Hindustan Times
Latest Update (March 9, 2022) -Indian medical students in China are under extreme stress and have been seekinghelp from the Indian government as their degrees dwindle among possibilities of cancellation.
Chinese medical programs require students to complete a 12-month mandatory internship, which Indian students have not been able to complete due to Covid-19 restrictions in place for the last 2 years. If the students are unable to return to China by June of 2022, their degrees may face cancellation.
Out of panic, students are trying to catch the Indian governments attention through social media platforms now. One of the students stated that they are collaborating with both university authorities and the government to find a solution.They have sought an extension on the course if they are unable to return by June.
The students think government intervention can help as they have seen Indian students in Ukraine to have benefitted from it. The Health Ministry has shifted the responsibility to the Ministry of External Affairs.
Another student, Piyush, stated that they have written to varying authorities to seek help, however, the response has been rather lukewarm than positive. It is the batch of 2013 that faces the most danger as their course nears completion and this inability of mandatory internship completion shall render their studies futile as their certificates get canceled.
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Sanjay Bhutani, Medical Technology Association of India (Director), stated that the National Medical Commission (NMC) stepped in for Ukraine-returnIndian MBBS students, to save them and their future from the uncertainty caused by the war, and have allowed them to complete their internships in India.
Dr. Rimy Dey, Indian Medical Association Junior Doctors Network (Committee Head), stated that Ukraine-like situations highlight the problems faced by Indian medical students abroad. She also stated that effective solutions, such as student exchange programmes/off-campus or online classes continuation must be sought for medical students, and that government, competent authorities, association of medical students and teachers must join to find a strong, stable and lasting solution for the benefit of the students.
China has a stipulated period of 8-10 years in which students must complete their MBBS courses. Southeast University, China, Guizhou Medical University, etc. require that students complete their degree within 10 years.
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Source: The Hindu
The adverse predicament of the students of Rajasthan enrolled in MBBS courses in China has led them to knock on the door of the central government. They have been attending their classes virtually and are staring at an uncertain future. The academic progress of the students has been hindered due to the closed borders of China and the cancellation of student visas.
Over 20,000 students are currently enrolled in medical universities in China.The Covid-19 pandemic and the closure of Chinese international borders hadforced these studentsto return to Indiaat the beginning of January 2020. Since then, they are left stuck in India while attending online classes as an alternative for physical training.
Besides that, they are unsure whether their degree will be approved by the National Medical Commission (NMC), an Indian body that regulates medical education in India.
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Students have nowrequested help from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Chinese embassy to offer immediate help since China has still not allowed international students to return and attend physical classes at Chinese medical universities.
The worried students are appealing to the Chinese Ambassador to India to resume their visas to study in China. They have not been able to apply for Chinese visassince March 2020, which has led to the loss of practical training in the medical field.
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There are students from low-income groups who have taken education loans to create their careers. These students are paying full tuition fees but are gaining no clinical knowledge which is aprerequisite for the study of medicine. They are also fully vaccinatedand ready to be quarantined but want to return to China at any cost.
The students feel that their MBBS programwill be incomplete without real-life international experience and exposure.
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Source: The Times of India