Indian Students rushing abroad for Medical Studies, Know Where & Why

Around 90 per cent of the 18,095 Indian students stranded there are medicos.

Insight Bureau: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has brought into focus the full scenario of India’s medical education system. Around 90 per cent of the 18,095 Indian students stranded there are medicos.

Not only in Ukraine, but also in different countries all over the world, Indian students are everywhere pursuing their study careers in various fields. But here the thing is why students prefer to study abroad instead of studying in their own country!

According to recent reports, China currently has 23,000 Indian students studying there. Russia is at the 3rd spot with 16,500 students after Ukraine (18,095). Philippines with 15,000 Indian students, Kyrgyzstan with 10,000, and Georgia with 7,500 Indian students, occupy the 4th to 6th spots.

Bangladesh and Kazakhstan have surprisingly has 5,200 in each Indians studying medicine there. Poland has 4000 Indian medicos with Armenia has 3,000 Indian students pursuing medical studies there.

There are currently, 88,120 MBBS seats and 27,498 BDS seats available in India, according to data shared by the health ministry. In comparison, 1.6 million candidates had registered for the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) last year.

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The total cost in India is also high compared to other countries. There is a tough competition for a seat in the government and private medical colleges in India. The average annual fees for a medical course in government colleges in India is Rs 2 lakh and in private colleges it is Rs 10-15 lakh where a six year course in Ukraine reportedly costs between Rs 15-17 lakh, which is far less than India. The tuition fees are marginally higher than government colleges in India but the competition to get in is much less, which is possibly a biggest reason.

On February 26, 2022, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had urged India’s private sector to work for strengthening the medical education system. “Today, our children are going to the small countries of the world to study, especially for medical education. There is also the problem of language, yet they are going. Billions of rupees are going out of the country.”

The number of undergraduate seats have increased by 72 per cent since 2014. The total number of medical colleges has also increased to 596 from 387 in 2021-2022, as per data shared by the Parliament.

This means, for a four and a half year course, students need to shell out Rs 14 million in government colleges and Rs 60-70 lakh in private institutes.

Not only is securing a seat in a medical school comparatively less competitive in countries such as Ukraine, Russia, China and the Philippines, it is also cheaper compare to India.

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