Aussie minister meets Krishna

Aussie minister meets Krishna

Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith is greeted by a student during his visit to St Stephen's College in New Delhi on Wednesday. PTI

During the meeting, Krishna is said to have conveyed India’s concern over the safety of its students and asked for more effective steps to ensure the security of Indians there.

Smith, who is on a three-day official visit, which is also termed a damage control mission, has already acknowledged that some of the attacks were racist in nature. He also assured India that the premier criminal research agency in his country has been roped in to study the issue and suggest remedial measures.

“I acknowledge absolutely that this issue has caused considerable damage to Australia’s reputation among the Indian people. We have to work very hard to address that. We have to be open, transparent and upfront about that,” Smith told reporters here.
The visiting minister also met Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal and Home Minister P Chidambaram here on Wednesday.

List of agents

With regard to the desire expressed by the Australian side to develop a set of principles for the regulation of education agents recruiting Indian students to study abroad, Sibal requested the Australian side to provide to the Indian side a list of education agents signed up by Australian institutions.

The Australian Institute of Criminology has been entrusted with the task of studying the issue in depth and ensure whether the government’s response to the attacks has been apt, Smith said.

“Our police authority in Australia does not keep statistics on the basis of nationality. It has been difficult to do an exhaustive statistical analysis of the assaults. The institute will do the study to get a better understanding of the issue,” he said.

“I want to give the message that we have zero tolerance to any such attack. We want to bring the culprits to justice,” he said.

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