Australia Planning Legislation to Curb Attacks on Indians

To curb attacks on Indian students, the Australian government is considering enactment of a new legislation, said a member of Australian delegation which is on visit to India.

“The legislative review process will start next month and should be com-pleted by the end of the year. We are in talks with the ministry of overseas Indian affairs in India for their inputs into the process as well,” Colin Walters, CEO, of Australian Education International under the Australian government said.

Walter, along with other member of delegation, is in India to meet government officials, students and parents in the wake of a series of attacks on Indian students in Australia recently.

Walters said that the new legislation will, above all, attempt to enhance the quality assurance mechanism of higher education in Australia for overseas students. As for meeting the standards expected of Australian higher education, there is already a law that lays down guidelines for accreditation of universities and other higher education providers.

“The Indian government too is looking at introducing legislation that will regulate educational agents who operate in India. We will also look into the norms being followed by the educational service providers on our part,” Walters said.

In the meantime, the Victoria Police is thinking of establishing a joint group with Indian students to handle the issue of violent incidences against Indian students.

“It is very important for the Indian students to report such incidents. While some incidents do have racial overtones, many of them are opportunistic robbery assaults. Indian students are over-represented on many campuses and because they are serious and hard-working they often do jobs such as driving taxis, at convenience stores and petrol stations – which require them to be out late. We are looking into all these factors and the police have made many arrests and pressed charges recently. We have been investigating all reported incidents of crime and are very active in some suburbs which have big multi-cultural immigrant populations,” Paul Evans, assistant commisioner of the Victoria Police said.

The government of Victoria is also looking into new legislation to tackle the growing incidents of violence against Indian students.

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