Is this 2012 for Australian Education in India!
If it is left to Indian Media, it will be and they may seem victorious. However, the Indian Australians are not prepared to let them have their way.
This morning the news websites have two Aussie focussed items: 1)Bal Thakray states that Australian players will not be welcome in Maharashtra and 2)A Gurudwara has been put on fire in Melbourne. Both these news items have sensation value except that there is really not much in them. The next Aussie cricket tour to India is far away and the only thing that will happen will be that Mumbai team in the IPL will be at a disadvantage. Lets see if it helps. What if the other IPL teams with Aussie players like Ponting, Warne, McGrath or Gilchrist have a match against the Mumbai team, will the Mumbai team give them a walk-over and if Thakray forces them to, will this lead to his popularity. Unlike the Pakistani issue, I am not sure if this will get him votes. My prayers go out for those who repeat the same formula for all audiences. The second item about the Gurudwara did make it as a braking news on the TV channels. When I tried to find out, it turns out that the “Gurudwara” was an under construction structure and far from being an arson, it was simply a bonfire gone astray. Guys in the Media, please allow us to have the trust in the fourth estate.
My curiosity in the conduct of journalists (primarily the English TV key anchors) became enhanced when I realised that except for Barkha Dutt, all other key names have never studied Journalism at the University. It is high time that study of journalism especially some papers in ethics should be compulsory before we start believing their reports.
Now in continuation of the previous blog, let me first thank all of those who got back to me and I value their comments. I was provided with the email ID of Mr Arnab Goswami and I have forwarded a mail to him too (No response) and prior to that also sent him an SMS indicating that his stories have some basic wrongs (No response to that too). My job is done since he has been informed that there are factual errors in the claims about the number of attacks and also that the dead in Australia being students. If Times Now still continues to claim this, it will be clear to me, atleast, that they are doing it purely for sensationalism.
Karan Thapar’s interview of the Australian High Commissioner earlier this week on DEVIL’S ADVOCATE was very good. Karan Thapar is known from his incisive and ferocious interviewing skills and I quite enjoy it (a little biased I am as we share the same schooling). Peter Varghese replied to each of the questions very well and Australia should be proud of him as its High Commissioner. Indian Australians should also be proud him as he can claim himself as one too. I guess he is eligible for the PIO or the OCI status too due to his family origins in India. I know Mary very well and have high respects for her and it seems that the Verghese family has done the “Indian” brand a lot of good in OZ.
Now coming to the theme of this post. Is this 2012 for Australia as a destination for Indian students? It is for the vocationally inclined students but not for the University focussed ones. And the reason is not that the students have anything to fear. It is primarily that I donot see a time in the next few years that Australia will liberalise the now tightened student visa policy for Vocational sector from India. I live in hope that very soon Australia will complete the ongoing review of the Assessment Levels and India’s assessment level for 573 (University Sector) will once again move to 3(Risk) level from 4(high risk) current level. Without this, we are to see a tough phase and a phase that may put an end to the momentum. It is almost impossible for an average student to even consider Australia at this time and they are not likely to get a visa too. My hope is also due to the fact that the MOIA and MEA are possibly aware of the unfair AL that India has and will also put this as one of the suggestions to the Australian Government.
I am also a strong advocate of the fact that education should not be termed as trade in the same way as we treat trade of minerals or textiles. The decision of the Australian Government to shift the responsibility for education promotion in India from AEI to Austrade from middle of 2010 is a negative development and should be opposed. AEI should continue to be seen as the one and only body for the Australian Government for all aspects of Education. If it moves to Austrade, it confirms that for Australia, education is purely commerce.
Mr Yadu Singh’s blog from Sydney made interesting read and I recommend to all. This is the voice of Indian Australians indeed.
Finally, one suggestion to Indian Media: Try and have a bureau in Australia. When we realise that despite all the coverage of events over the last few months, NO TV channel has a journalist on the ground and the only real journalist in Australia for Indian press is Natasha of PTI in Melbourne. High time guys that you give it an importance if you really believe that Australia is Afganistan. Donot depend on leads from people with agendas.