Hyderabad: Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on Tuesday declared that the state government will bear all the costs of education for over 700 medical students from Telangana who returned from war-hit Ukraine.
“The Telangana Government will bear all the costs of whatever they need to study in the country,” he said while addressing the state Assembly.
“It is today’s reality that more than 25,000 children ( Indian students) are in Ukraine. Among them, 740 students who went to study medicine are from Telangana. They went because it was expensive here, and they didn’t have the means to pay for it. We brought the kids back. But the question of how they will continue their studies remains,” he said, adding that they will not discontinue their studies.
The Central government recently evacuated 18,000-plus Indians from Ukraine. Most of them were students who had gone to study medicine, the cost of which is cheaper in the former Soviet republic.
The Russian invasion in February came as a huge shock to the students, who found themselves stranded without adequate food, water and in some cases, even shelter. A student from neighbouring Karnataka, Naveen Shekharappa Gyanagowdar, died in Russian shelling in Kharkiv.
Back home, a debate started on whether students need to go abroad.
While some argued that only students who fail to clear the medical entrance exams in India go abroad, others argued that India does not have enough medical seats to accommodate all deserving candidates.
The controversy sharpened after Union Minister Pralhad Joshi’s comment that students study abroad “after failing to qualify” in competitive exams in India.
His announcement came while he was replying to the debate on the Appropriation Bill.
He said over 20,000 Indian students were stranded in Ukraine. They had gone there to study medicine as there were no opportunities for them in India.
“To study MBBS in India, it was costing them over Rs 1 crore and since they could not afford this they went to Ukraine where they had to pay Rs 20-25 lakh,” he said.
In another major announcement, KCR declared that 7,000 field assistants working for Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) will be taken back. The field assistants were removed after they went on strike. The CM advised them not to go on strike again.
He also announced that 4,000 employees working for Society for Elimination of Rural Poverty (SERP) will be given salaries at par with the government employees.
KCR announced that Government Order (GO) 111 will be revoked after receiving the report of the experts’ committee.
He said the GO, which imposes certain restrictions on constructions on around 1.32 lakh acres in catchment areas of Osman Sagar and Himayat Sagar reservoirs in Hyderabad, has become redundant as the water from the two reservoirs is no longer being used for drinking purposes. He pointed out that water is being pumped from projects on Krishna and Godavari rivers to meet the drinking water needs of the city and surroundings.
KCR said the government will take all necessary steps to ensure that there is no haphazard development in 1.32 lakh acres with the revocation of GO 111.
The GO was issued in 1996 for the protection of two reservoirs.