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Prime Minister Modi amid Ukraine crisis

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New Delhi: At a time when large numbers of Indian students, many studying medicine, are stranded in Ukraine following the Russian attack, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said during an inauguration webinar on Saturday February 26 that Indian students went to “small countries of study, especially in the field of medical education”.

Speaking after opening the webinar on Union budget announcements on the health sector, Modi suggested that state governments come up with land allocation plans for medical education so that India can supply a large number of doctors and paramedics to meet even a global demand.

Modi made no direct mention of the situation of Indian students in Ukraine. Reports are pouring in of students stranded in the attacked country, demanding attention and evacuation.

He said Indian students going abroad to study, especially in medical education, lead to hundreds of billions of rupees leaving the country.

“Today our children go to small countries to study, especially in the field of medical education. Language is a problem there. They are still going there… Can’t our private sector enter this field in a big way? Can’t our state governments develop good land allocation policies on this,” he asked.

India can benefit a lot from its demographic dividend in this area, he said, adding that Indian doctors have raised the country’s prestige across the world over the past decades through their work.

In the webinar, Modi also highlighted his government’s efforts to provide quality health and welfare services to people through its holistic health system approach.

The government has been working in the spirit of “one India, one health” so that people in remote areas also have access to quality health care, he said, adding that quality health infrastructure should only not be limited to just big cities, he said.

Modi said work on 1.5 lakh health and wellness centers is progressing at a steady pace, with more than 85,000 centers offering facilities for routine check-ups, vaccinations and testing so far.

Praising Indian healthcare professionals for the country’s massive COVID-19 vaccination programme, he said it had established “the efficiency and mission-driven nature of India’s healthcare system”.

“Platforms like CoWin have established India’s reputation in the world when it comes to digital health solutions,” he added.

Affirming that the Union budget builds on the health sector reform and transformation efforts that have been undertaken over the past seven years, Modi also elaborated on the factors that underline the efforts to make the sector holistic and inclusive health.

(With PTI inputs)

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