Video Editor: Sandeep Suman
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The world is fighting a pandemic and the country where it was first detected states that international students studying in China would not be allowed in because of rising COVID-19 cases.
Over 21,000 students across India are studying medicine at various universities across China. Back in August, China had restricted entry of all international students, while visas had been suspended later in the year. Since then, we have been stuck at home, trying to study a subject like medicine completely online.
Along with me, many other students face the same problem.
"“I came here for a vacation before the pandemic started and I am stuck here since. Despite things getting back to normal, there is no news from the university about our return. When we ask about the return, they are also not sure about it.”" - Student, 5th Year MBBS
We have been attending online classes for over 10 months now. This mode is not entirely efficacious, considering how medical education can’t be taught online. Being in the final semester, most of our subjects are clinical, for which we require intense clinical exposure and practice.
In the name of online classes, our teachers are uploading PPTs and reading from them in pre-recorded videos. On one hand, we have no access to practical learning while on the other, universities are failing to impart even theoretical knowledge.
Despite all of this, the universities are demanding a full course fee which is in lakhs.
"“My friend suggested me to opt for Indian medical online platforms, which of course have subscriptions for different time periods and I had to pay for it. I have to pay my fees also to the university for nothing.”" - Student, 4th Year MBBS
This has become difficult for the parents to pay for.
"“The fees are a huge amount, ie 6 lakh Indian rupees. How can it be equivalent to the offline classes?”" - Father of a 4th Year MBBS Student
Through multiple channels, we have been trying to talk to various authorities both in India and China so that our visa suspension can be lifted, but there has been no solution to our problem.
The Indian Embassy in Beijing also tried to get the travel ban lifted for students at least, but the Chinese authorities have not addressed the issue as of yet.
Indian Embassy in China Reiterates COVID Restrictions
In a press release dated 8 January 2021, the Embassy of India in Beijing has said there has been ‘no positive response’ regarding the resumption of studies in China.
“In fact, with reports of resurgence of COVID-19 cases in China, authorities have further reinforced epidemic controls and restrictions on travel and entry into China. The suspension of visas of Indian nationals issued before 2 November 2020 is an instance of these enhanced controls. Chinese authorities have also denied permission for operation of any chartered flights between India and China, citing their strict control measures,” it further says.
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