India asks US to address plight of TVU students

India on Tuesday asked the US to take steps to address the plight of hundreds of Indian students of California-based Tri-Valley University, which was shut down after a major visa scam.

Washington: India on Tuesday asked the US to
take steps to address the plight of hundreds of Indian
students of California-based Tri-Valley University, which was
shut down after a major visa scam.

Indian Ambassador to the US Meera Shankar met US
Secretary of State Hillary and provided details of the
students to her.

"Following the telephonic conversation between the
External Affairs Minister of India and the US Secretary of
State on February 13, the Indian Ambassador today conveyed to
the Secretary of State details on the issue of the Indian
students at Tri-Valley University," Indian Embassy spokesman
Virander Paul said in a statement.

Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao along with
Shankar are expected to meet Clinton at the Foggy Bottom
headquarters of the State Department later today.

The two Indian diplomats are likely to follow up on
fate of Tri-Valley University students during the meeting with
Clinton, which was primarily scheduled as a preparatory
meeting for Clinton`s visit to India in April.

According to a federal complaint filed in a California
court in January, the TVU had helped foreign nationals
illegally acquire immigration status. The university is said
to have 1,555 students. As many as 95 per cent of these
students are Indian nationals, the complaint said.

Investigations by US Immigration and Customs
Enforcement (ICE) have found that while students were admitted
to various residential and on-line courses of the university
and on paper lived in California, but in reality they
"illegally" worked in various parts of the country as far
as Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Texas.

ICE has called it as a "Sham University", a charge
denied by the TVU.

According to available information, 18 students in
California were radio-tagged by ICE as part of their
investigation against Tri-Valley University. Radio-tags on two
students were removed last week.

Rao would meet Clinton to primarily discuss the second
India-US Strategic Dialogue scheduled in April, the latter`s
spokesman said yesterday.

"The Secretary (of State) will meet with the Indian
Foreign Secretary (Nirupama) Rao," State Department spokesman,
P J Crowley told reporters.

"Primarily, they will focus on preparation for the
upcoming Strategic Dialogue in New Delhi, but she`ll have the
opportunity to meet with Under Secretary (of State for
Political Affairs) Bill Burns," Crowley said.

The US Secretary of State is scheduled to visit New
Delhi in early April for the second India-US Strategic
Dialogue.

Rao arrived here from New York on Sunday evening and
held meetings with officials of the Obama administration
including those at the White House and the State Department
yesterday.

She also met Congressmen at the Capitol Hill.

PTI

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