Knowing All about Hunan

Feature: Chinese university a bridge for Sino-India relationship

Updated:2022-05-27 10:25:30

When doctor Dwarkanath S. Kotnis worked in China from 1938 to 1942, the country was struggling against a worldwide "pandemic" called fascism.

Eight decades later, as the world today is combating another crisis brought by COVID-19, the spirit of that great internationalist still lingers on in a medical university in Yinchuan, capital city of northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.

A native of India's Mumbai, Kotnis served as a military doctor during the Chinese People's War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression. Renowned for his dedication, Kotnis has been regarded as a revolutionary hero in China and a model for bilateral friendship and collaboration. He died in a village in north China's Taihang Mountains in 1942, at the age of only 32.

Approximately 900 km away from the Taihang Mountains sits Ningxia Medical University, where more than 300 Indian students graduated over the past decade.

As one of the 45 universities in China authorized to teach foreign students clinical medicine in English, Ningxia Medical University has enrolled over 600 overseas students since setting up a school of international education, a WHO-recognized medical school, back in 2012.

Most of the students are from South Asia and Africa, and hold an MBBS (bachelor of medicine and bachelor of surgery). A few of them have obtained master's and even doctoral degrees, according to Shan Bin, head of the school.

"After the graduates went back to their own countries, more than 65 percent became registered doctors working in local hospitals," Shan said.

With the COVID-19 flare-ups, some of the graduates have thrown themselves onto the battlefield against the virus. As the epidemic raged in India in 2020, at least three graduates from the school were honored by the government or local authorities in India for their services. One died on the front lines treating patients.

Keval Bala Maram, 26, from southern India, has been studying and practicing medical surgery for eight years in China, first in Zhengzhou, Henan Province and now in Yinchuan.

"I'm still learning, because I still have a long way to go to become a very good surgeon. I still have to learn a lot here from my teachers and my mentors," said Maram.

Ankita, from New Delhi, has been here for six years, pursuing a bachelor's degree in clinical medicine.

"Here study is good, I really like to be in the hospital because I can learn as much as I can, as much as they can teach me. They're really willing to teach. So I really enjoy being in hospital more than anywhere else," said the 25-year-old about her experience studying in Yinchuan.

The school provides students with a cosmopolitan atmosphere while helping them learn as much as they can about China.

"We aim to cultivate more talented individuals in developing ties between the people of China and other countries," said Shan.