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Sunday, June 26, 2022

Bharatiya student Naveen killed in shelling in Ukraine’s Kharkiv

Naveen Shekharappa Gyanagoudar, a medical student from Karnataka, died in Ukraine’s Kharkiv city on Tuesday morning when he went outside his bunker and came under shelling.

Naveen’s roommate and classmate Srikanth, who is still stuck in Kharkiv, told India Today that they were staying in a bunker in Kharkiv, a city in Eastern Ukraine which is seeing some of the heaviest fighting after Russia invaded Ukraine for its special military operation.

According to Srikanth, Naveen left the bunker and went to buy some supplies. “There is a curfew here till 6 am. After 6 am, he went outside to buy some supplies when we were sleeping,” Srikanth said, adding that Naveen did not inform them before leaving. The store from where Naveen went was just 50 metres from the bunker, said Srikanth.

Naveen was studying at Kharkiv National Medical University and hails from Haveri district. His distraught father explained why his son, a bright student who got 97% in his PUC (Class 12), had to go abroad for studies. He put it down to exorbitant cost of medical education in Bharat along with (ever-increasing) caste-based reservations.

But it would be wrong to think that more regulation, fee control or creating more private colleges are the answer to the problems in our higher education. The issue is much more complex than that.

Noted commentator Dr. Amit Thadani provided some more insight on the topic – “Medical education today in India is a mess due to horribly wrong policies. Bonds upto 10 yrs in some states, over 70% reservation, high private fees, iron clad control on private sector by politicians who run the colleges. Pls solve this to stop kids from going to other countries.”

In another two tweetshe asked – 1.) “why medical education in most private colleges is so expensive that they go overseas. Why deemed university DY Patil charges MBBS students over 25 lakh/year while MUHS affiliated KJ Somaiya charges only 10 lakh. Wrong policies, political patronage.” 2.) “There are plenty of seats going vacant, because the cost is much higher here. Why? Because 1. Most private medical colleges are run by politicians who capture huge land parcels 2. Elitist requirements such as 5-20 acres within city limits.”

60% of Bharatiya nationals evacuated from Ukraine

Russia shelled Ukraine’s second largest city Kharkiv on Tuesday damaging various installations over there. The Russian troops also surrounded Ukraine capital city Kyiv on Tuesday and asked civilians to leave the city on the urgent note.

“All civilians in the city can freely leave the Ukrainian capital along the Kyiv-Vasylkiv highway. This direction is open and safe,” Russian defence ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said.

Bharat’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said, “With profound sorrow we confirm that an Indian student lost his life in shelling in Kharkiv this morning. The Ministry is in touch with his family. We convey our deepest condolences to the family.”

Bharat’s foreign secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla is calling on Ambassadors of Russia and Ukraine to reiterate Bharat’s demand for urgent safe passage for the Bharatiya nationals who are still in Kharkiv and cities in other conflict zones.

According to Shringla, an estimated 20,000 Bharatiya students were present in Ukraine when the first advisory was issued and 12,000 of them have since left the country. Of the remaining 40% (8000 students), roughly half remain in conflict zones in Kharkiv, Sumy and the other half have either reached the western borders of Ukraine or are heading towards the western part of Ukraine, which is considered to be a safer place.

“All of our nationals have left Kyiv. The information with us is that we have no more nationals left in Kyiv, nobody has contacted us from Kyiv since,” Shringla said.

MEA has asked students to move towards Western Ukraine but not directly reach the borders – they should first reach the nearby towns and take shelter, and wait for embassy officials to evacuate them in an orderly fashion. 4 central ministers have been dispatched to countries neighbouring Ukraine to to supervise the evacuation.

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