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S Jaishankar raises visa backlog issue with Australian authorities


While addressing the Indian community in Australia, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar informed that the Australian authorities had assured him of the redressal of the visa backlog issue, especially of Indian students, by the year’s end.

The visa backlog issue is a prime concern of students who are trying to return to educational institutions in the country following the COVID pandemic.

Also Read: ‘Hard nuts can be cracked’, External Affairs Minister Jaishankar on UNSC reforms

“I want to tell you that it was something that I took up with different ministers when I was in Canberra. We have a particular problem that students are facing,” he said while addressing the Indian Community on Tuesday.

The minister, who is on a two-day visit to Australia, said that he was assured that the situation has improved and about 77,000 Indian students are back in Australia. He said the numbers of visas from India should and could be much more. That’s why the government will work with Australian authorities to sort out the issue by the end of the year.

He also highlighted the fact that it’s not just a problem for students but also for many other Indians who want to travel due to family reasons. He also applauded the resumption of tourism in Australia and other countries of the world post-COVID pandemic.

There will be a legal framework for talented Indians to move to another country for work, said S Jaishankar

S Jaishankar also stressed two issues that would transform the issues of partnership on mobility and mutual recognition degrees and qualifications. This includes partnerships on mobility and mutual recognition degrees and qualifications. While elaborating on Partnership on Mobility, Jaishankar said, “It means that Indian skills and talents that are in demand in Australia will have a legal framework, an agreed methodology by which they move from one country to another,”

Notably, India is finalising such agreements with a lot of countries like Japan, the UK, and France.

“We are close to concluding one with Germany. And we, I think we’ve done some preliminary work in this with Australia. So I’m very much hoping that that is one area where we can see rapid progress because we know that in many domains, there are skill shortages in Australia,” he said.

S Jaishankar also said the government is working on the issue of mutual recognition of degrees and qualifications for the convenience of people who are planning to move to another country for work.

S Jaishankar expressed hopes of opening additional consulates in Australia in the future. He also said there was also an interest reiterated during his visit for Australia to open a consulate in Bengaluru.

“India is today very strongly on a recovery path,” S Jaishankar

While talking about India’s struggle during the COVID pandemic, S Jaishankar said that India is very strongly on a recovery path.

He agreed that every country in the world went through a lot of hardships during the COVID pandemic. There was hardly any country that was untouched by the COVID pandemic. Moving ahead he said it is the time for every country to focus on coming out of COVID in a better and faster way.

He said that the COVID pandemic has led the country to massively upgrade its health infrastructure. “What normally would have taken us decades to do happened due to Covid in a matter of a few months,” he said.

After talking about COVID’s contribution to India’s digital transformation, the minister stressed the importance of digitisation in the country.

“We can deliver public services in India on a scale that you cannot even imagine. It is happening only because today we have the digital backbone and the leadership. Prime minister’s vision of how to apply technology for good governance that is today yielding results on the ground.

He also mentioned the government’s schemes that were launched during COVID pandemic to ensure food security and financial stability among Indians.

(With inputs from PTI)

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