Vayalar Ravi takes charge as Minister of Overseas Affairs

72-year-old Ravi, who retained the Ministry in his new stint in the Cabinet, would also like to see the agreements on social security and labour arrived between European countries Denmark, Luxembourg and the Netherlands and Gulf countries like Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

The Minister said he is meeting his officials to chalk out an institutional mechanism to deal with attacks on Indian students abroad. His announcement came in the backdrop of recent attacks on Indian students in Australia.

"We will be getting a report from the Australian High Commissioner. My immediate task is to set up an institutional mechanism to deal with such incidents," Ravi told reporters.

He also said he will be meeting Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee to pursue his pet project of establishing a mechanism to deal with people returning from Gulf countries after losing their jobs due to global recession.

"We need an immediate and long term plan. I am pursuing the matter. Let us see whether we can get a component in the budget in this regard," Ravi said.

Ravi said the previous government could not sign MoUs with some countries as the elections were announced.

"We have arrived at an agreements with Denmark, Luxembourg and the Netherlands on social security and with Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain on labour security. We could not sign it as the elections were declared," he said.

Asked whether he was happy with continuing with the ministry, he said, "Yes I am. As a political leader, I have an opportunity to work for the welfare of Indians abroad."

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