Australia launches Hindi website for Indian students



Victoria’s Minister for Tourism and Major Events, Innovation and Small Business, Ms Louise Asher and Amway India’s Senior Manager Special Events, Ms Rita Tandon.

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In a first by any foreign government, Australia on Friday April 15 launched a website in Hindi in New Delhi aimed at providing better information access to families of prospective Indian students in Victoria.

The Hindi version of ‘Study Melbourne’ portal: was launched by visiting Victorian minister Louise Asher, who is leading a 60-member business delegation on her first trip abroad after formation of a new government there.

“It is the world’s first website of a foreign government in Hindi. Though knowledge of English is imperative for students there, the website aims to provide information to the families and parents of those students in their mother tongue. “It will help them in better understanding of facilities and prospects in Victorian universities,” Asher, minister for innovation said while launching the portal. On attacks on Indian students in Victoria, she said, “I agree we have some problems in Victoria. We are embarrassed, but the new government is addressing these issues. It is an important part of our focus in governance… we are not only concerned about students but whole community.”

She also noted that a 24X7 student case service has been set up to help Indians in Victoria. Asher also pitched in for stronger ties between Victorian universities and Indian institutions. Indians makes up the second largest group of foreign students in Victoria behind China. In 2010, there were approximately 46,000 Indian student enrolments in courses in Victoria, she said.

On India-Victoria trade relationship, Asher said the seriousness of her government in this regard is evident as they chose India as a destination for a senior minister’s first foreign trip after assuming office. She said the “Trade mission to India represents the very best of Victoria’s capabilities in automotive, sustainable urban design, aviation, cleantech, food and beverages and ICT.” “Through this visit and other activities planned as part of our trade engagement programme for India, we look forward to significantly boosting partnerships with India — the most exciting economic powerhouse,” she said.

Leading Indian firms Mahindra and Mahindra, Infosys and the Wadhawan Group, as well as nine out of India’s top 15 information and communications technology companies, have presence in Victoria. Speaking at the launch, Australian High Commissioner Peter Varghese said, “We have high ambition with our relationship with India. We want to develop strong strategic and economic ties… strong educational ties will bring better understanding between the two nations.”

In March this year Melbourne successfully bid to host Amway India’s coveted Leadership Seminar for more than 4,000 delegates in Melbourne in 2012 an event that would generate an estimated $20.98 million for Victoria. Rita Tandon, Senior Manager Special Events for Amway India, said Melbourne’s impressive infrastructure and unique range of attractions and activities had played a major role in finalising the decision to host the group in Melbourne.

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