SC seeks government response on Ukraine-returned medical students

Petitions seek to allow nearly 20,000 students to complete their education in India

August 27, 2022 12:35 am | Updated 10:29 am IST - NEW DELHI

A view of Supreme Court of India in New Delhi. File

A view of Supreme Court of India in New Delhi. File | Photo Credit: The Hindu

The Supreme Court on Friday asked for the government's response to a series of petitions to allow nearly 20,000 Ukraine-returned Indian medical students to complete their education in India. The students had to flee Ukraine in the face of Russian attacks.

The students are banking on a report submitted by the Lok Sabha Committee on External Affairs on August 3 in which the government had said it would consider accommodating them in private medical colleges in India as a one-time measure.

But a Bench led by Justice Hemant Gupta asked whether there would be enough seats available for 20,000 students. The court also orally remarked that these students had chosen to leave India for Ukraine.,

However, lawyers appearing for the students contended that the students had left to study medicine in Ukraine as they could not afford the fees of private medical colleges in India.

They said it was not right to say the students were not meritorious. The students had cleared the NEET.

"We are not going into the merit of the students. The fact is you chose Ukraine, chose not to be in India. It was a voluntary act," the Bench said.

The lawyers said the students were thrown into an extraordinary situation for not fault of theirs. The chances of their return to Ukraine to continue their studies were uncertain. They had invested their money and lives to study medicine.

The court has listed the case again on September 5.

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