At a time when the Centre boasts of bringing back 22,000 students from war-torn Ukraine, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao announced in the state assembly on Tuesday (March 15) that his government will bear the education expenses of Telangana students who had gone to Ukraine to study medicine.
Rao told the House that 740 students from Telangana, who were studying medicine in Ukraine, have returned since the war started.
Rao told his chief secretary to communicate with the Union government on the Telangana government’s decision to support the educational needs of students who returned from Ukraine.
Earlier in the day, Union External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar told Parliament that over 22,000 Indian citizens have returned home safely from Ukraine despite several challenges.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine had triggered a massive exodus of residents and immigrants, who looked for alternate routes to escape the conflict zone.
Caught in the crossfire were thousands of Indian students who went to study in the country and later found it difficult to get back home with Ukraine shutting down its airspace following Russia’s attack on February 24.
To ensure a safe evacuation of these stranded students, the Indian government had initiated ‘Operation Ganga’ to bring them home through alternate routes via Romania, Poland, Hungary and the Slovak Republic.
Union minister Pralhad Joshi kicked a storm when he said that “90 per cent of Indians who study medicine abroad fail to clear qualifying exams in India”. Joshi further said that 60 per cent of Indian students who go abroad land up in China, Russia and Ukraine because of low fee and cost of living.
The father of Naveen Shekharappa Gyanagowdar, who died in Russian attack in Ukraine’s Kharkiv city on March 1, responded to Union Minister Pralhad Joshi’s comment. “The donation is very high for those wanting to study medicine here (in India). Intelligent students will go abroad to study, and they spend a lesser amount when compared to Karnataka. Here, a student will have to pay in crores to get a medical seat under quota,” the father said.