Around 10,000 students from Kerala, studying medicine and allied courses in China, are facing an uncertain future as the Chinese government is not allowing them back in the country to resume their studies
Around 10,000 students from Kerala, studying medicine and allied courses in China, are facing an uncertain future as the Chinese government is not allowing them back in the country to resume their studies. After the Covid pandemic struck Wuhan and other parts of China, several students had come back home and the first reported Covid case in India was a medical student in Wuhan who had come to her hometown Thrissur on vacation.
Susan Ann Varghese of Thiruvananthapuram, a final year medical student in China, told IANS that she "cannot go back as the Chinese government is not allowing the Indian students to return and the universities which had taken initiative to send us back home are not responding".
Students have paid the final year fee of Rs 3.25 lakh and the classes are being conducted online. However, the National Medical Commission will not recognise medical courses conducted online and this will create major problems for the students as delayed classes will lead to the course being left incomplete.
Madhavan Nair, of Kozhikode in Kerala, whose son Rohan Nair is also a final year medical student in China, told IANS: "We have been left in the lurch there is no progress on the classes of my son. We have taken huge loans to send him to China and I don't know if his course will be recognised at the end. Someone should take the initiative and get him and other students to their universities."
As the issue is international, the state government cannot do much.
Kerala Health Minister K.K. Shailaja told IANS: "As this is an inter-country issue, Central government can intervene more. We are trying to bring the issue to the Central government's notice".
With most of the students hailing from the middle and lower middle-class families, any delay in completion of courses will throw their family budget off the rails and parents and students are anxious as they look for a solution to this vexed issue.
"We are helpless, we have brought the matter to the notice of the Union government through our MPs and are expecting the government to immediately act on the matter and to help us out of this situation," Rajan Mathew, a businessman from Kottayam, whose son Ranjith is a final year medical student in China, told IANS.