The University Grants Commission has issued a public notice requesting students to practice “due diligence” while choosing to study medicine in China as the country was yet to ease travel restrictions. Many students were yet to attend practical classes since the commencement of the pandemic.
The UGC has further informed through a veiled notice that it does not recognize “degree courses done only in online mode without prior approval.” The advisory was released on the same day the Indian external affairs minister S. Jaishankar voiced his concern for the return of the Indian students to china for education purposes. He also expects China to adapt a “non-discriminatory approach” towards Indian students.
According to the Indian embassy, more than 20,000 students were enrolled in medical colleges in China. These students have not been able to flow back to China ever since the pandemic began and China decided to shut down all its universities. Students fear that their degrees will become redundant in the absence of practical classes.
The national Medical Council (NMC) had earlier clarified that students would not be eligible to appear for the Foreign Medical Graduates Examination (FMGE), an examination conducted for students to be eligible to practice medicine in India if classes were held online.
Jaishankar, the external affairs minister reassured the reporters that he in a meeting with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, they, had discussed the status of the Indian students and the concerns these students have over their careers.
The UGC was forced to issue this notice in the wake of several Chinese universities advertising their online medical courses for the upcoming academic session. “In this context, any prospective student needs to be aware that the Government of People’s Republic of China has imposed strict travel restrictions in the wake of COVID-19 and suspended all visas since November 2020. As a result, a large number of Indian 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,” read the UGC notification.
The notice further stated that AICTE and UGC would not recognize any degree that was being conducted in an online mode that any Chinese university was offering without prior approval. “Students are advised to exercise due diligence in choosing where to pursue higher education to avoid further problems in employment or higher studies,” the notice stated.
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