HYDERABAD: Hundreds of medical students hailing from Telangana and Andhra Pradesh who returned to India from Chinese universities after the Covid-19 pandemic broke out two years ago are desperately seeking immediate government action for their return to China.
After 25 months of imposing Covid-19 restrictions, the Chinese government is yet to open the border to Indian students, at a time when educational institutions across the world reopened for offline classes months ago.
Last month, the Chinese foreign ministry informed that they would work on early return of Indian students to China in a coordinated manner, leaving the stranded students with no clarity on the matter. Around 28,000 Indian students enrolled with Chinese universities are said to have been stranded, of which close to 7,000 students are estimated to be from the two Telugu states.
The universities had asked them to wait until further notice on return to China, the students informed. Roopa Valladas, a native of Hyderabad and a student of the Medical College of Soochow University, said the stranded students from across the country were uniting on various platforms and running online campaigns, besides signing an online petition to pressurise both the Indian and Chinese governments.
The long wait was starting to have an impact on their mental health, she complained.
In the last two years, there were only online classes and no practical sessions, with some students nearing graduation. No medical practice puts them in danger of having their degrees cancelled. In another cause of worry, the Indian National Medical Council (NMC) recently clarified that students cannot take the FMGE (Foreign Medical Graduation Exam) if classes continue in online mode.
Little did K. Naveen Kumar, a third year MBBS student with Xuzhou Medical University, know that his winter holiday vacation in India would last for two long years, when he arrived in India in January 2020, weeks before the Covid-19 pandemic struck. A majority of students, however, had returned to India after fears of Covid-19 spread emerged later in February....