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Bengal offers seats for all students back from Ukraine

Help at hand: Mamata Banerjee at a meeting with students back from Ukraine, in Kolkata on March 16, 2022.

Help at hand: Mamata Banerjee at a meeting with students back from Ukraine, in Kolkata on March 16, 2022. | Photo Credit: AFP

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday stated that her government has tried to accommodate all the 422 Ukraine returnee students, who had to leave their courses mid-way and return to India due to the Ukraine-Russia conflict.

 “We had written to the Centre two months ago but there has been no response. The Centre can be irresponsible but how can we be irresponsible?” the Chief Minister asked journalists at the State Secretariat.

Ms. Banerjee said that after her meeting with the students on March 16, senior officials of the State government had devised a plan to accommodate each category of students.

Of the 422 students, 412 were medical students, 409 MBBS and three dental. The others included six engineering students and one veterinary student. There were three labourers too in the returnee group, who too have been rehabilitated.

The biggest challenge was accommodating the MBBS students, the Chief Minister said.

“ For the 43 fifth year and 92 fourth-year students (total 135 students), they will be allowed to undergo ‘Observing seat’ at different medical colleges in a distributed manner, which is 15-20 students per college. In the case of 93 third-year and 79 second-year students (total 172 students ), they will be allowed to attend ‘practical classes’ at the different government colleges," the Chief Minister said. There were 78 first-year MBBS students who returned from Ukraine, out of which a total 69 students, who are NEET-qualified for the year 2021 have been allowed to appear for counselling at private medical colleges in the State, she added.

" Colleges have been requested to offer concession in fees charged for these students," Ms. Banerjee said.

“Colleges have been requested to offer concession in fees charged for these students”Mamata BanerjeeWest Bengal Chief Minister

There were also three labourers who returned along with the students after the war broke out and two of them have been provided employment by the State government.

“All the six engineering students have been offered seats in private engineering colleges under the JIS group. For the dental students, one student who has completed his studies will be allowed to do his internship at the Government Dental College in Kolkata, while the remaining two students in the second year will be allowed to do observership and take practical classes at government dental colleges,” a press statement by the State government said.

The Chief Minister added that it was not possible for these students to spend a huge amount again for their education in another foreign country. “It is the humane face of a humane government,” she said, describing her government’s efforts.

According to Ms. Banerjee, on March 16, she had written a letter to the Prime Minister on the Ukraine returnee students.  “I request you for your kind urgent intervention. I also request you that students who have returned to other states are facing similar problems. The steps that may be taken by NMC ( National Medical Council) should be implemented for other states as well,” the Chief Minister had pointed out in her letter.

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Printable version | Jun 22, 2022 7:38:28 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/wb-govt-accommodated-all-ukraine-returnee-students-labourers-says-mamata/article65363932.ece