Though Chinese universities are providing online courses for international students, Indian students worry that since these courses wouldn’t be recognised in India, as stated by the National Medical Commission, complications might arise for them in securing medical jobs in the country.
Indian students, mainly from the medical field, studying in universities across China have taken Twitter by storm as they have been flooding hashtags such as #TakeIndianStudentsBackToChina, #TakeUsBackToChina, #PMSaveIndianStudentsOfChina, etc. to raise their situation of not being able to enter China due to denial of visas to them. Many of them had returned to India in early 2020, and have not been able to travel back to China since then.
Though Chinese universities are providing online courses for international students, Indian students worry that since these courses wouldn’t be recognised in India, as stated by the National Medical Commission, complications might arise for them in securing medical jobs in the country. Free Press Journal spoke to some students who are facing a hard time due to the restrictions imposed by the Chinese government.
“Currently, students of South Korea, Pakistan, and many more countries have been allowed for visas for enabling their return but no such notification has been provided for Indian students. Their officials mediated the situation with the External Ministry of China and hence it is now possible for them to obtain a visa. We want that our Ministry of External Affairs would also mediate a conversation for us with Chinese officials,” asserted Satvik Somya, who is pursuing an MBBS from Harbin University in China and is currently in his third year of the course.
Satvik and many others have been pleading for a resolution for weeks now and have tagged the concerned authorities on various social media platforms.
“We have to wake up at 5 AM to start attending classes by 5:30 (because of the different time zones). Our practical classes have been conducted online but I along with my peers feel that it is not adequate to understand our course,” added the Himachal native who also claimed that his family is also extremely tense about the situation.
“If things don’t get resolved I will continue my studies in some other country to at least gain the practical and theoretical experience,” said an optimistic Satvik.
Akshra Singh, another medical student from Rajasthan pursuing her MBBS from Harbin University, claimed that “Chinese authorities have the same automated response that they attach great importance to international students” and said that they haven’t received any notification from the Indian authorities as well. “MBBS requires clinical knowledge and practicum. How are we supposed to study anatomy radiology surgery pathology online?,” asked a worried Akshra whose visa which was valid for a year, has expired now. When asked about having backup options for her career, Akshra said, “I don’t have a backup plan because I have invested a lot into the stream itself and the mere thought of changing the stream shakes us.”
As required by the National Medical Commission, Foreign Medical Graduation Exam (FMGE) is required to be given by students who completed their medical examinations abroad and students like Bhumika Sharma are preparing for it but worry that the continuation of online classes will be a hindrance of their ability to give exams.
“We don’t know if we transfer to other countries it would be considered valid or not and it’s a risk further if NMC denies us to give FMGE exams if they say it’s not applicable for us,” said Bhumika who is in her fourth year of MBBS from Ningbo University.
Bhumika claimed that there are “around 23,000 students from India pursuing MBBS from Chinese universities” and still students from the country have not received permission to enter unlike students from Pakistan, Mongolia, Korea, etc. Sharma unlike other students has opted for suspension of her classes till she gets back to the East Asian country which is a choice her university provides.
Twitter is still abuzz since 11 AM with the tweets coming to the notice of not only the students but other individuals too. “The Indian Embassy in Beijing is constantly raising the issue of students with the Chinese ministries, but China does not have a comment on this issue. #TakeIndianStudentsBackToChina #PMSaveIndianStudentsOfChina #TakeUsBackToChina,” tweeted China International Student Union.
A letter by the organization was also addressed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China back in July 2021 regarding the same issue.
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