Pune: As many as 52 students who travelled to Georgia, Europe to pursue medical education were denied entry into the country and deported back to India without giving any valid reasons from Tbilisi International Airport on Monday.
Taken aback due to the sudden move by the Georgian authorities, students complained to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), New Delhi.
The future of these students, however, lies in limbo as they won’t be able to give the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), as dates of filling application forms are over and the exam is on May 6. Therefore, they will have to wait for another year to get admissions in Indian medical colleges, resulting in a year’s loss.
Irked parents and anxious students have been continuously communicating with officials at MEA. Meanwhile, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, while replying to the students’ queries stated, “I am aware of this case. Indian embassy has taken this up with the Georgian authorities. We are pursuing this matter and have asked for the further update on this.”
Meanwhile, the students faced a harrowing time at the airport and despite having valid visas, admission documents, passports and other documents, they were deported back from the airport by the immigration officers. According to the sources, about 60 to 62 students had applied for medical education in Georgia this year. Around 52 students who were deported included 24 to 26 students from Maharashtra.
Despite possessing e-visa, college invitation letter and other necessary documents, they were denied entry into the country right at the airport itself.
“On Monday morning a batch of 29 students reached Georgia, out of which four students were randomly selected by the immigration and allowed to go forward, while rest were handed over a return ticket to Sharjah. Similarly, in the evening batch of 20 students, 16 students were allowed to proceed and remaining four students were sent back,” Prashant Kamalakar, Pune-based career counsellor told Sakal Times.
A student in her letter addressed to Indian immigration wrote, “The immigration officers present there did not ask any questions nor did they check any documents with me. I had a valid visa and all necessary documents. When asked why were we not allowed, they did not give any reason and deported us back to India.”
On condition of anonymity, a parent from Satara, breaking down over the telephone told Sakal Times, “Our children were clueless as to why they were restricted at the airport and sent back. The college had conducted an entrance test followed by which my son received an admission letter and invitation letter.
Their medical course began from January 2018, and were pursuing through online coaching given by the institutes there. Now, he is worried about what will happen next?”
“It took three to four months to receive the visa certificates after thorough interviews and document verification. A total of Rs 8 lakh inclusive of tickets, visa, admission fees, tuition and mess fees has been spent for the first year already. Many concerned parents have expressed their tension over education loans that they have already taken. We don’t know how and when will everything be sorted. We are worried about their future and our only concern is that children should be able to go to Georgia and continue their education,” added the parent.
The parent added that after several pursuances with the MEA officers, they have receiving only one reply that there is some problem prevailing in the country against Indian nationals which is being looked at by Indian government.
Students in a fix
- Students are in a bewildered condition, unaware and worried about their future.
- “These students will now not be able to take NEET, as dates of filling application form is over and the exam is a month ahead. It is very unfair. The government has to immediately act upon so as it relieve these students and allow them to proceed with their higher education,” said Prashant Kamalakar, Pune-based career counsellor.
- Some students had taken education loans to pursue higher education, while some emptied their savings for it and are worried what will happen next.