India’s top medical education regulator National Medical Commission (NMC) has advised the students to exercise due diligence in choosing the destination for their medical education. The word of caution by NMC comes specially in context of medical education in China after India’s External Affairs Ministry was alerted that some Chinese medical universities were inviting applications for admission to MBBS programmes for the current and upcoming academic years despite China continuing to ban the entry of foreign students in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.
In the context of admission notices from Chinese universities, the NMC said in a notice issued on Tuesday, “any prospective student needs to be aware that the Chinese Government has imposed strict travel restrictions in the wake of Covid-19 and suspended all visas since November 2020”.
The NMC notice is an important reminder for thousands of Indian medical students studying in China who are stranded in India because of the travel restrictions imposed by China for the last two years, jeopardising their careers.
China has given no reason so far for the return of Indian students even though it has promised to facilitate the return of students from certain countries including Pakistan. Initially,
China used to give COVID-19 as a reason but experts say now China has started dealing with this issue bilaterally as evident in recent announcements made for Singapore, Mongolia, Pakistan, Indonesia and Malaysia.
It is also important to note that many students were forced to complete their medical degrees online paying full fee, getting inferior quality of education devoid of practical knowledge which by law, will not be valid in India. In such a situation, it is in the fitness of the things that NMC has made the students aware about the extant regulations before applying to Chinese or any foreign institution.
The Chinese foreign ministry has been saying for the last one year that it attaches great importance to this issue and it was considering the return of thousands of international students stranded abroad to China in a “coordinated manner” but again declined to elaborate when it was planning to do so.