External Affairs Minister S M Krishna on Saturday told members of the Indian community in Melbourne that Australian leadership has assured him of providing adequate security to Indian students and said he was satisfied with Canberra's response.
Krishna, who met with the Indian community members, including some of the students who were subjected to racial attacks, said Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and his counterpart Stephen Smith had yesterday assured him that the well-being and security of Indians will be taken care of.
"We appreciate the fact that they have stepped up police patrolling in the problematic areas and have taken several other measures to deal with the safety issue," he said.
"I have underlined that these things should be kept in place as long as they are needed. The two task force that have been set up is examining the various issues related to the well-being of international students in Australia, including those from India," Krishna said.
The Minister said a specially designated student welfare officers will be available in Indian High Commission and Consulates in Australia who will focus on issues related to Indian students.
"The officers will also be available every Friday for Indian students. The students and community members can discuss any issues with them," he said.
Twenty-three Indians were subjected to racial attack in various cities in Australia in the past three months. Krishna said he will take up all the issues related to the safety and security of Indians with the Australian governmentand that he was aware of several inter-connected issues.
"While we do appreciate that Australia has several first-grade universities and vocational institutes of good statndards unfortunately there are also a number of dubious educational institutions which seems to be wooing unsuspecting students into taking large loans to finance higher fees for their education," Krishna, who is in Australia on a five-day visit, said.
Around 95,000 Indian students pursue their higher education in Australia.
He was bombarded with a number of questions by a large gathering who questioned him with regard to police handling of students as well as inadequate information available to aspiring students wishing to migrate to Australia.