Govt issues guidelines for students

Modi asks MEA, Oz officials to meet parents

Govt issues guidelines for students

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) issued the guidelines just a few hours after Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi called on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and expressed concern over the continued alleged racist assault on  Indian students in Australia. He also met Australian High Commissioner in New Delhi, John McCarthy, later.

Amid fresh reports of an assault on a 22-year-old Indian student in Adelaide, New Delhi once again expressed hope that the Australian government would take measures to stop such attacks.

“I think it is a terrible thing that the attacks are continuing. And, frankly we would hope that everybody who is in a position to do something about it, primarily the Australian government, will succeed in the efforts to stop this,” Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon said. He, however, ruled out the government imposing any blanket ban on Indian students going to study in Australia in the wake of the recent attacks.

The MEA’s guidelines for the students wishing to go to Australia consist of three categories— ‘Before Leaving, After You Arrive and Living Safely’.

Under the Living Safely category, New Delhi has advised the Indian students in Australia against carrying more cash than required, especially when travelling alone or late at night. It also asked the students to avoid flaunting expensive items, such as mobile phones, i-Pods or laptops, and to always carry some identification and emergency contacts numbers.

The guideline asked the students to register with the Indian High Commission in Canberra or consulates in Melbourne and Sydney and to contact the missions in case of any problem.

“If you have a genuine problem, do not hesitate to approach the police or other authorities; making a complaint will not affect your visa status,” said the MEA guideline.
Meanwhile, the Australian high commissioner on Friday claimed the situation was now improving and that the incidents of attacks were now less in number. McCarthy was speaking to reporters after meeting Modi. “I explained to him (Modi) that it appeared to me that the issues in Sydney had considerably quietened down, thanks to the efforts of the Indian Consul General in Sydney and the efforts of the police in Sydney,” said McCarthy. He added: “We are also not resigning at all from pursuing the necessity to diminish crimes against everybody in Australia in this instance, of course, specifically those from India.”

‘Send delegations’

Modi said he had requested the prime minister to send delegations of officials from the MEA to the cities that send the maximum number of students to Australia. He said the delegations should meet the parents of the students studying in Australia and reassure them of the safety of their wards. He also requested McCarthy to send similar teams of the Australian high commission in Delhi to other cities.

DH News Service

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