New Delhi : “Let the buyer beware”- This indeed should be the guiding principal for aspirants looking at MBBS from universities abroad. With agents roaming across the country offering Medical courses from across the world, it is finally upto the students to verify what they are getting into.
Recently, 52 out of the 62 medical students who after painstaking efforts had worked out a medical admission for themselves at one of the medical colleges in Georgia were made to do an about-turn homewards after facing humiliating treatment at the hands of the immigration authorities at the Tbilisi International airport.
According to the deported students, they were made to squat on the airport for hours without water and permission to use the toilet, before being deported back to their home country via Sharjah. To add insult to injury, the Air Arabia authorities were instructed that they should be handed over their passports only after landing on home soil . The problem cited for deportation was supposedly their visas.
What emerged as a glaring insult to those who were sent back was that 20 odd students of the two batches that reached Georgia were allowed to cross the immigration and proceed to the medical college to pursue the course, which commenced 5 months ago.
According to two sisters who were part of those kept back from entering the country, and who preferred anonymity, 10 of the dark complexioned and short students were randomly selected by the immigration and allowed to cross the line to enter. Such was the selection process undertaken by the immigration officers at the airport on who was to enter the country they alleged.
Anguished by the attitude of the Georgian authorities, the students who were returned, knocked the doors of the Ministry External Affairs(MEA) on their return. According to the irate students and their parents the External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj in her reply to their tweet has acknowledged being in the know of the case. She revealed that the ministry had taken up the matter with the Georgian authorities already.
The students are believed to have already paid Rs. 5 lakh as fee apart from the Rs. 1,25,00 Commission to the agent who helped complete the admission process. Students claim that despite valid visas & passports, and admission documents, entry into the country remained an impossibility.
What is most worrisome about this deportation is the fact that back home, registration for this year’s NEET exam to be held on May 6, has also closed, as the date for submission of applications is already over. This leaves the deported in a state of uncertainty.
STUDENTS -BEWARE OF AGENTS
While students are continuously suffering, agents are still roaming scot-free even after the entire debacle due to lack of regulations. The student’s attempts to get in touch with the agent who sent them proved futile as calls indeed fell to deaf ears. However, later the agent did make unconvincing efforts to assure them admission to another medical college in Armenia, even as he continued to make persistent efforts towards refund of fee from Georgia’s New Vision University.
It is important that students planning MBBS abroad, themselves first check with the Medical council of India guidelines for the purpose of MBBS recognition .
Advisory for Indian Students wishing to study in. Georgia
Embassy of India
FOR INDIAN STUDENTS WISHING TO STUDY IN ARMENIA AND GEORGIA
- Armenia & Georgia offer higher education in medical, technical and humanitarian sciences.
- Indian Students seeking admission in the Yerevan State Medical University (YSMU), Armenia or Tbilisi State Medical University (TSMU), are informed that the Medical Council of India (MCI) recognizes ONLY the MBBS degree. On completion of degree course at YSMU or TSMU, Indian students are required to clear the screening test conducted by MCI and to receive the certificate for medical practice in India as MBBS doctors. Therefore, recognition of medical degrees awarded by YSMU and TSMU is no more relevant.
- It is mandatory that all the Certificates and mark sheets issued in India are to be apostilled at Ministry of External Affairs (CPV Division Patiala House), New Delhi for seeking admission.
- For clarification on eligibility certificate, please contact the Medical Council of India [Shri A.P. Baluni, Section Officer, Tel: 2536 7321; email: firstname.lastname@example.org].
- YSMU in Armenia and TSMU in Georgia are only universities which are controlled by respective Governments. There are some privately owned medical universities in both these countries whose credentials are not known.
- Indian Students are also hereby informed that the National Polytechnic and Architecture University of Armenia offers B.E., M.E. degrees & Ph.D. which are not recognized in India presently. However, an Inter-government agreement on mutual recognition of post graduate degrees & diploma with Armenia is under consideration.
- Both Armenia and Georgia are cold countries. The temperature from mid November till mid-March dips below zero (-1 to -15 degree Celsius). The students are advised to equip themselves with sufficient woolen clothing and winter shoes.
Before leaving India
- Armenia & Georgia are NOT part of Europe & NOT members of the European Union.
- Browse through the websites of YSMU & TSMU attentively.
- It is in the interest of aspiring students who wish to study in these universities to do thorough survey & satisfy themselves about the credibility of courses offered by these universities and also about their agents involved, if any. Some of the self-styled agencies of these Universities are advertising through their own website (s) and/or through electronic and print media and offering admission in these universities. These advertisements do not often present correct picture and in most of the cases, they are exaggerated. Please thoroughly crosscheck the authenticity of information circulated by them.
- Get full and accurate details of actual costs involved such as Tuition Fee/Boarding/Lodging/Other Expenses. Also cross check and verify what the agent quotes. Both in Armenia and Georgia, in addition to tuition fee, a minimum US$ 300-400 per month is required to meet expenditure on accommodation, food, cell phone and other personal needs.
- Students must check in advance the availability hostel facilities at the University where they are seeking admission. Presently, TSMU in Georgia doesn’t run its own hostels for students while in YSMU in Armenia offers hostels to new entrants. If deficit arises, senior (foreign) students are normally advised to move out of hostel and to arrange accommodation for self outside the campus. Students are also expected to make their own arrangements for food, if they wish. Some small eateries are available around hostels.
- Some Indian restaurants are available in Yerevan and Tbilisi which are owned by local Indian businessmen at affordable rates.
- Any student during the stay in Armenia/Georgia requires treatment for any complicated ailment/major surgery and etc, he/she is advised to go to India or elsewhere.
On arrival in Armenia/Georgia
- Both Armenia and Georgia are fairly safe, secured and friendly towards Indian nationals. There is a great deal of goodwill for India. However, caution is very essential for foreigners particularly students while spending late night hours in public places and mingling with strangers.
- All Indian nationals including students coming to Armenia and Georgia for long term stay are advised to register themselves with the Indian Embassy in Yerevan immediately upon arrival.
- Always keep a list of important telephone numbers and copies of your passport, visa endorsement and residence permit, and University ID Card with you in person. Police authorities on streets may demand these documents any time for verification.
- Passport and original testimonials are the property of the concerned student and should not be given to agents or any other authorities for safe custody. It is the personal responsibility of individual concerned to keep the passports and testimonials safely.
- Ensure that visa formalities are arranged by respective authorities in the university well in advance to avoid last minute hassles. Before exiting Armenia or Georgia for short term vacation or leave, ensure that the visa is sufficiently validated to re-enter these countries.
On completion of course
- Once the course is completed, all the degrees, certificates awarded by Universities in Armenia and Georgia are required to be apostilled with the Ministries of Education of these countries. This requirement is mandatory before their submission to Indian organizations such as MCI and other State Medical Councils etc. for registration purposes.
- India, Armenia and Georgia are signatories to the “Hague Convention” on Apostille. If the certificates and degrees are issued in these countries are apostlled, then there is no need for further attestation by the Embassy of India in Yerevan.For more information, please click on the following link: