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HindustanTimes Fri,19 Dec 2014

'Uranium safe in Indian hands'

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Amritsar, January 20, 2013
First Published: 20:26 IST(20/1/2013) | Last Updated: 00:29 IST(21/1/2013)

The leader of the opposition in the Australian Senate, Eric Abetz, has a lot of trust in India when he says with conviction that India is a responsible nation and will never use uranium imported from his country for wrong purposes.

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"India is a mature democracy and can be trusted to ensure that uranium is not wrongly used," said the senator of the opposition Liberal party from Tasmania in an informal interaction with the media here on Sunday.

Abetz said that his party had welcomed the decision of the current Australian government to sell uranium to India. This decision is bound to bring the two nations closer to each other, he added.

"Initially the government opposed the sale as there are many leaders of the ruling Labour Party who have never been in favour of selling uranium to any country, lest it be used for military purposes. However, we are happy now that a decision has been taken in favour of India," he said.

Pointing out that India and Australia had a lot in common, including the craze for cricket, the Aussie senator felt that there were still a number of sectors in which the two nations were yet to join hands. A lot of progress can be made in the service sector and also the manufacturing and textiles sector, he added.

Turing to Indian students in his country, he said that after China, the largest number of foreign students were from India. Among Indians, the maximum number of students are of Punjabi origin, he said.

Replying to a question, Abetz said that there were some unfortunate incidents involving Indian students a few years back. Of the five incidents that were recorded, four related to intra-Indian disputes, while one was a case of robbery, he said, pointing out that of late there had been no such incidents.

Abetz is in India on an invitation by the India-Australia Strategic Alliance, a group comprising citizens of both the countries. He is the patron of the group. The chairman of the group, Dr Jagwinder Singh Virk, who also belongs to the Liberal Party, is accompanying the senator. Local members of this group, Jaspal Singh Sandhu and Gurjit Singh Aujala, interacted with Abetz during his stay here.

Virk said that entrepreneurs from both the countries were members of this group. The primary task of the group is to promote business interests between the two nations and help Indian businessmen interested in setting up shop in Australia and, likewise, assist Australians keen on setting up ventures in India. The group also consists of technocrats who provide technical know-how and help in research and development (R&D) to entrepreneurs.

Abetz also paid obeisance at the Golden Temple, where he was honoured with a 'siropa' by the SGPC at its information office.

Aussie technology for bulletproof jackets
India-Australia Strategic Alliance president Sanjay Sharma is setting up a bulletproof jacket manufacturing facility in Bahadurgarh near Delhi. He will be making silicon carbide-plated bulletproof jackets, which will be lighter in weight as compared to the traditional jackets being used by the Indian army and other security agencies. His facility in Australia currently makes these jackets for the Australian army.

"The silicon jackets are just 5-7 kg in weight as compared to the 12-kg weight of the traditional bulletproof jackets. These will be more comfortable, easy to wear and more protective. Currently, only Israel, Germany, USA and Australia use the silicon-plated jackets," said Sharma, hoping that his venture would be a success in India and get recognition from the government here.

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