State Medical Education Minister Amit Deshmukh on Thursday inaugurated the e-learning content prepared by Maharashtra University of Health Sciences (MUHS) for medical students who have returned from Ukraine due to the war against Russia, in presence of Vice-Chancellor of the University Lt. Gen. Madhuri Kanitkar (Retd), Finance and Accounts Officer Shri. N.V. Dr Kalaskar, Director of Student Welfare Manoj Kumar More, Controller of Examinations Ajit Pathak, and other dignitaries. Mr Deshmukh also launched the MUHS mobile application for all university students and faculty.
Mr Amit Deshmukh, who is also the pro-chancellor of the University, while speaking at the event said that the University in collaboration with Elsevier has launched useful content in a short period so that students studying medicine in Ukraine can take advantage of this online course.
"MUHS aims to extend further facilities like foster care to medical students who had to return home from Ukraine. The digital content is just the beginning," stated Lt. Gen. Madhuri Kanitkar, the University's vice-chancellor, during the opening ceremony. “Proceedings are underway to create the necessary infrastructure for the University to start its medical postgraduate course at the premises soon,” said Lt.Gen.Madhuri Kanitkar who added that discussions are being held with the concerned college heads to ensure that a practical bedside clinic in the form of workshops is provided.
Students in Maharashtra, who returned from Ukraine, are in two minds about the e-learning content prepared by MUHS. While some back the idea behind it, others fail to see how the content is going to be different from what they are already being taught in their online lectures conducted by universities in Ukraine.
Prathamesh Chaudhary, a student hailing from the Bukovinian State Medical University in Mumbai, said that though he wasn’t aware of the initiative at first, the course interests him. “I am interested to see how this 3-month digital content benefits us. Due to the war in Ukraine, our lectures have taken a hit as our professors are preoccupied with the prevailing situation in the county and the e-learning content might fill the gaps to some extent,” said Prathamesh.
While some like Piyush Ingle don’t expect the e-learning course to make much difference. “The e-learning content is available online but we are currently going through digital learning with universities in Ukraine, so I am not sure how this initiative will help me for the time being. I would rather want us to take admissions in universities here,” said Piyush, who hails from Parbhani and would like to be part of future programmes by MUHS which revolves around practical learning.
Consultants who have been in contact with students in Ukrainian universities in Maharashtra say that as more students apply for the e-learning course, there will be a consensus. “We will have to see how students perceive the current content made by MUHS. It will probably get clearer in the next 2 to 3 days. Since students are already attending the online lectures, it is difficult to determine when they will be able to access content on the portal,” said Dr Audhoot Nirgude, from the MD House consultancy agency’s branch in Maharashtra, who added that many students expected admissions in the universities in India.
On the digital content prepared by MUHS, Dr Swapnil Thorne, the Public Relation officer of MUHS said that content commonly found in Health Sciences universally has been included in the portal.
“Subjects such as Anatomy, Biochemistry, Physiology, etc, have been focused upon through this content. The basic purpose is to help students continue learning and understanding their courses without the uncertainty of online lectures from Ukrainian universities as not everyone can attend them,” said Dr. Swapnil who added that students can avail the content whenever they get the time.
“According to the figures with us, around 2000 medical students in Maharashtra, who returned from Ukraine, have registered for the content. We are also looking into more practical-based approaches for the students as time goes by,” Dr. Swapnil added.