Chennai, July 23 (PTI): Russian universities have begun discussions with Indian varsities and health care providers for possible tie-ups towards exchange of faculty and students, taking up joint research activities, among others, in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.

They would hold a virtual education fair on August 1,aimed at creating awareness on engineering and medical programmes to attract students from India, according to Consul Genral of The Russian Federation in South India, Oleg N Avdeev.

The standard of higher education in Russia is considered one of the most advanced in the world and the cost is comparatively cheaper as it is 'highly subsidised' by the government of the Russian Federation, he said in a release.

As part of eyeing a larger share of Indian students opting to study in Russia, the number of seats was increased to 5,000 from the earlier 3,000 since the last academic year.

Currently, there are 15,000 students studying at medical colleges and various other institutions in Russia, he said.

The Russian Centre of Science and Culture, in association with Study Abroad Educational Consultants, has initiated talks with Indian medical colleges, including city-based Dr MGR Medical University,for clinical training of their students in India, exchange of faculty and students and taking up joint research work, the release said.

Some Russian varsities have already begun admitting Indian students in undergraduate and graduate programmes in medicine and engineering, it said, adding the classes would be conducted online as long as travel restrictions were in place.

The Indian students would be required to get their COVID-19 vaccinations ahead of their travel to Russia,once the curbs are lifted.

Vladimir V Shkarin, Rector, Volgograd State Medical University, Volgograd, Aleksey S Sozinov, Rector, Kazan State Medical University, Kazan, Victoria V Panova, Vice President for International Relations Far Eastern Federal University, Vladivostok, and Gennadii A Rogalev, Director of The Russian Centre Of Science and Culture were present on the occasion.

Study Abroad Educational Consultants Managing Director Ravichandran C said there are over 100 government medical universities in Russia, recognised by the National Medical Commissioner (formerly Medical Council of India).

Study Abroad, in association with the Russian Center of Science and Culture, has also organised a series of webinars scheduled in August for students to interact with varsity officials and obtain information on admission procedures, the release added.

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