New Delhi: Following a high-level meeting with India`s Overseas Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi, Australian Immigration Minister Chris Bowen has claimed that Indian students were ``less likely`` to be attacked than other people in the Australian community.
Bowen met Ravi here to discuss a range of bilateral issues, including the safety of Indian students in Australia and the recent changes in the visa norms between the two nations.
Last year, Australia faced intense criticism for its perceived failure to prevent racist attacks against Indian students.
However, Bowen strongly defended the Australian government, maintained that Melbourne was ``serious`` about ensuring the safety of its people, including Indians.
"We did have some incidents a few years ago, and they were tragic incidents. Australian government worked very closely with the government of India, Mr Ravi and his colleagues and also with the state government of Victoria where most of the incidents occurred. Of course, we take law and order very seriously, after all, people, whether they be international students or any other person in Australia," Bowen said.
“We did some analysis and found that Indian students in Australia were actually less likely to be attacked than other people in the Australian community," Bowen added.
Lauding India`s stellar contribution in Australia`s international student sector, Bowen said: "Importantly, India is our very large source of students in Australia, the second largest source of people who wish to come to study in Australia. Again, this is a very good thing."
“It is good for Australia, it is good for India, and good for the individuals concerned, I would like to think that every person who comes to study in Australia from India, for the rest of their life, would be an ambassador for Australia in India, and an ambassador certainly for India in Australia," he added.
Meanwhile, Ravi said: "(We had) very important discussions regarding certain visa changes and how, in what way they are looking after the Indian students and as it is today, according to their honourable ministers, Indian students have no problem, they are very happy and the visa changes, skill changes have been made in the visa rules has not affected Indian students recently."