MOIA to create data bank of Indians abroad

MOIA to create data bank of Indians abroad

The project, first of its kind, was taken up after the Ministry realised that there was no statistics available with the government to keep track of its citizens abroad to ensure their well-being and safety in view of the recent violent attacks on Indian students in Australia.

Starting initially with the students, the data bank, will have all the details about them, such as the name of the city where they are residing, name of the college/university they are studying at and place of their work.

"The data bank project is a very very ambitious project. It is being created to keep a track and ensure well-being of our students in foreign countries," Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi said.

Ravi, who became the Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Minister for the second successive term, said his Ministry is in consultation with the Home Ministry on the logistics of the project besides being in talks with the Ministry of External Affairs for its successful implementation.

He said the data bank is being created as part of efforts to institutionalise mechanism for safety and well-being of the Indian students studying abroad.

"The project is aimed at knowing how many students are going abroad in a year, where they are going and which are the institutions they are studying, among others," Ravi said.

At present, the government does not have any proper data bank about students who go out of the country to pursue higher education.

"Now, only the source is the airports. We will make a campaign for the students to registrar with us through e-mails also," Ravi said.

The Ministry is also planning various measures to get the information about the travellers, including distributing an additional form at the emigration counter to gather details about their visits.

"We are trying to get it through the airport immigration where we can supply a form. The boys who go out can fill up the form," Ravi said.

The Minister said he has spoken to Australian authorities to give details about the Indian students studying in that country.

"I also talked to the Australia's secretary of Education. They agreed to supply the details of visa issued to Indian students to our High Commission," he said. Over 97,000 Indian students are currently studying in various Australian universities and institutions.

On the attacks on the Indian students in Australia, he said India has asked the Australian authorities to amend existing laws pertaining to universities so that there could be institutionalised mechanism to ensure safety of foreign students.

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