With Indian Embassy in Kyiv releasing its second advisory in a row, cautioning Indian students and nationals against travelling in Ukraine due to the ‘deteriorating security situation and escalation of hostilities', students who were set to travel to Ukraine have changed their plans.
"In view of the deteriorating security situation and recent escalation of hostilities across Ukraine, Indian nationals are advised against travelling to Ukraine. Indian citizens, including students, are advised to leave Ukraine at the earliest by available means," said the public notification released by the Indian Embassy in Kyiv amid Russia’s announcement that it has continued to hit Ukrainian energy and military over the last 24 hours.
Indian students who were supposed to be on their way to Ukraine in the next few days have put brakes on their plans. Sarthak Vaishisht from Rajasthan’s Alwar city, who missed his initial flight to Poland via which he was planning to enter Ukraine, had decided to take another flight with a group of students this week which he won’t be able to follow through on.
“There is some change of plans after reading the advisory. We will probably go to Ukraine after Diwali while considering all the factors in place,” said Sarthak, who along with his 9-member group pondered over travelling to the war-torn country. “Even before the advisory, questions were raised about our travel at the airport. We tell the officials about the importance of attending offline classes for the validity of our degrees,” added Sarthak.
National Medical Commission (NMC), the Indian regulatory body which oversees medical education and professionals, in its reply to the questions posed by Indian medical students from China and Ukraine had said that ones studying medicine in foreign countries should have a minimum duration of undergraduate degree as 54 months for the same to be valid, while also having online classes only for theory and not for practicals or clinical training.
Jaineel Jani, who studies at Dnipro State Medical Academy, is already in Ukraine and sees the recent advisory as just another warning which has no effect in real life. “We have been reading these advisories for a long time but at the end of the delay we are the ones dealing with losing out on time and money with regard to our courses,” said Jani, who is currently living in a new hostel and attending classes online for the time being, with an option to attend practicals at the University.
While the current advisory asks citizens to avoid travelling to the East European country directly, the older guideline requested them to follow guidelines. “In view of the current escalation of hostilities in Ukraine, Indian nationals are advised to avoid all non-essential travel to and within Ukraine. They must strictly follow the safety and security guidelines issued by the Ukrainian Government and local authorities,” said the earlier advisory released by the Indian Embassy in Kyiv on October 10.
The consecutive advisories have led to students seeking transfers in different countries as returning to Ukraine is not a viable option for them. “I am thinking of moving to a different country for the continuation of my studies as returning to Ukraine would be rather dangerous with Indian Embassy’s notifications addressing the same,” said Mahima Shrivastava, a medical student from Bukovinian University in Chernivtsi, a city divided along the borders of Romania and Ukraine.
While advisories are playing a part in convincing Indians to avoid their plans to travel to Ukraine, some are having to leave the war-hit nation for entirely different reasons. Students, who have paid their fees late or after a certain deadline, are being asked by Ukrainian universities to return to India and renew their visas after which they have been advised to come back again. Many students are already on their way to countries like Moldova, Hungary, etc, from where they will board their flights back to India.