Says China has imposed strict travel restrictions amid Covid
New Delhi, Feb. 11 (Delhi Crown): The Indian Government has cautioned students in India planning to take admissions in medical colleges in China, amid strict restrictions imposed by the Chinese authorities for the past one-and-a-half years in the wake of Covid pandemic which originated from China in December 2019.
Over the past few years, China has emerged as one of the favourite destinations for Indian students planning to pursue medical courses, as the fee structure in Chinese medical universities is cheaper than most private colleges in India.
Warning the medical students, India’s National Medical Commission (NMC) said that it does not recognise or approve medical courses done only by online mode, as suggested by Chinese medical universities/colleges.
Thousands of Indian students have not been able to return to their medical universities in China due to travel ban imposed by Beijing. Though, Indian students studying in other countries have managed to travel to and for between their place of study and home in India.
“Any prospective students need to be aware that the Government of China has imposed struct travel restrictions in the wake of Covid-19 and suspended all visas since November 202,” said a note issued by NMC.
It added – “A large number of international students, including students have not been able to return to China to continue their studies due to these restrictions. Thus far, there has been no relaxation in the restrictions. Further the Chinese authorities have conveyed earlier that (medical) courses will be conducted online.”
The NMC directive also said that students must refer to FMGE Regulations before applying or planning to seek admission in any institutions in China/Foreign institutions.
“In view of the above, students are advised to exercise due diligence in choosing where to pursue medical education from,” concluded the NMC’s note.
Indian students move Delhi High Court
Meanwhile, in a related development, as many as 150 Indian students studying in Chinese medical colleges have moved the Delhi High Court against travel restrictions, as a result of which they haven’t been able to return to their respective universities in China for nearly two years now.
The students sought a direction to the Ministry of External Affairs to consult with Chinese authorities and find a way for them to travel.
The petition was heard by a Division Bench of Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh, which issued notices to the Centre as well as the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare directing them to file their responses by March 21.
The plea stated that thousands of Indian students returned to India, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, unlike Indian students studying in foreign universities in other countries, students studying in China could not return, given the continuous travel restrictions imposed by both countries, putting their careers at stake.
They said that the career of over 18,000 medical students, studying in various medical colleges across China, is at stake. Over the years China has been a popular destination for students pursuing medical career as the fee charged by medical colleges there is much less than those in India.
The students’ plea said – “The Petitioners herein, time and again, informed the authorities of their unique situation which is jeopardizing their careers. However, no positive response was received… In the present extra-ordinary circumstances, the Petitioners herein are neither being allowed to attain physical training/internships/clerkships in India by the NMC nor any clarifications being provided by the authorities regarding the approval to the online theory classes attended by them from their medical University situated in China.”
The petition also sought a direction to the National Medical Commission (NMC) to recognise the online classes attended by the petitioners at their Universities in China, and allow their physical training/internship/clerkship after getting necessary permissions.