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Australia to deport 20 illegal Chinese migrants

In a major operation against illegal migrants in Australia, the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) has detained 20 Chinese migrants who were staying and working illegally in the country. DIAC will remove the illegal workers identified in a joint operation with New South Wales Police in the Riverina.

Warrants  breaches under the Australian Migration Act were executed at several private residences in Griffith, after information from the community.

“Several people spoken to by compliance officers at these residences were identified as not holding valid visas,” a department spokesman says.

Immigration compliance officers from the Sydney and ACT Regional Offices with NSW Police from the Griffith Local Area Command, detained the unlawful non-citizens (UNCs) from China.

“These people were immediately detained and taken to Griffith police station.”

In the extensive operation on July 21, officials also stopped a number of vehicles and checked the immigration status of the occupants. Several people were also not holders of valid visas, nor were they entitled to work in Australia. Among these, a Chinese woman, who had escaped immigration custody after arriving in Darwin unlawfully, was found hiding in one of the vehicles.

“The department will not tolerate unlawful non-citizens living and working in Australia,” the spokesman says.

“The group, which comprises eight men and 12 women, will be taken into immigration detention at Villawood Immigration Detention Centre until their removal from the country.”

The circumstances of their employment are under further investigation.

Members of the public with information on UNCs in the community or illegal work practices should contact the DIAC community dob-in line on 1800 009 623.

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Visa free entry for Indians to New Zealand?

Will Indians get visa-free entry to New Zealand by the end of 2011? If you think it will, you can put your money where your mouth is.

New Zealand’s online predictions market, iPredict Ltd, launched stocks to predict whether the Kiwi Government will waive visa requirements for India – an emerging tourist market.

The iPredict stock predicts whether New Zealand will announce by December 2011 that it will waive visitor visa requirement for tourists travelling on an Indian passport.

India is one of the top 10 source countries of visitor to New Zealand. While a whopping eight are on the visa-waiver list, India and China are the only two countries in the top 10 whose nationals have to pay a sizeable visa fees and obtain a visa.

100% Pure New Zealand fun. Image: Tourism New Zealand

China and India are emerging economies, and strong growth in tourist numbers is projected in the next five years, according to iPredict’s chief executive, Matt Burgess.

More than 27,000 Indians visit New Zealand every year, according to a Tourism New Zealand estimate. In 2010, Indian tourists spent 13 days on average in New Zealand, and spent NZ$55 million. Nearly three in four (76 percent) Indian visitors to New Zealand are first time visitors.

Indians are among the world’s most optimistic consumers in terms of job prospects, personal finances and attitude to spending, according to a Nielsen Global Consumer Confidence Survey. After saving and investing, Indians love to spend their spare cash on holidays and vacations, another survey found.

“We are interested to see if the market believes the Government will relax visa requirements to attract more tourist dollars from these valuable economies,” Burgess said.

Change has already begun for China. Immigration New Zealand has simplified visa processes for Chinese tourists and increased staff numbers at its three China branches. Providing further boost to Chinese visitors to New Zealand, China Southern Airlines began flights from Guangzhou to Auckland.

“China is our second largest trading partner, and Chinese tourists are among the biggest spenders when travelling in New Zealand. It makes sense that the Government would look for ways to encourage additional travellers from China,” Mr Burgess said.

However, New Zealand’s Ministry of Economic Development predicts a 60 percent increase in Indian traveller numbers over the next four years.

India has experienced strong economic growth, and has a growing middle class with propensity to spend on international travel.

“New Zealand is growing in popularity, partly thanks to the country’s recent starring role in Bollywood blockbuster I Hate Luv Storys,” says Tourism New Zealand outlook. “But lack of airline seats is restraining growth.”

Bollywood new zealand i hate luv storys

"New Zealand is growing in popularity, partly thanks to the country's recent starring role in Bollywood blockbuster I Hate Luv Storys," - Tourism New Zealand

There are no direct flights from India to New Zealand, and tourist numbers from India have not shown any significant growth. While Air India is likely to start flying direct from Delhi to Melbourne this year, the country’s national carrier has no similar plans for New Zealand. “It’s not a lucrative market for us,” an Air India official told The Global Indian magazine.

Which are the visa-free countries?

If you hold a passport of any of New Zealand’s visa-free countries, you don’t need a visa to visit New Zealand. List of visa-free countries for New Zealand.

If you are a passport holder of any other country, for example India, you will need to apply for a visitor visa.

What are the visitor visa requirements for New Zealand?

You need to demonstrate to Immigration New Zealand that you are of good character and are in good health. You need to apply for the visa that matches your intentions of the visit.

Your passport must be valid for minimum three months past the date you are to leave New Zealand.

In the light of alarming number of overstayers, the government is concerned about your intention to leave. You need to show a proof about your intention to leave New Zealand and that you have the means to leave the country.

You need to show your return air tickets. You also need to show an evidence of funds – NZ$1000 per person per month of stay, or $400 if accommodation is already paid for.

How long can I stay?

The maximum validity of a visitor visa is nine months.

Visit Immigration New Zealand website for more details.

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Australia to recruit 30,000 Indians

Australia needs as many as 2.4 million skilled employees over the next four years, and it is looking to India to fill part of this skills shortage.

The demand, mostly driven by Australia’s booming mining sector, will be met by training more than 100,000 Indians, and hiring about 30,000 Australia-educated indians.

This is part of a joint initiative between the two countries.

India initiated the training project with Australia in an effort that is expected to fill India’s own need of one million skilled labour for its mining activities.

The initiative is also supported by the tertiary colleges in Australia, as well as by the Australian mining industry, according to a report in Australia’s business newspaper, ‘Australian Financial Review’.

Petroleum engineer Soubhagya Das emigrated to Australia and works in the country’s oil and gas industry.

Australia expects this cooperation model to be replicated in other countries. Austrade was working with the mining sector and India’s skills development group on the scheme which could become a model for other industries in other countries, Peter Linford, Australia’s senior trade official in India, told the newspaper.

While the Indian students will be hired “on the same conditions as Australians”, they will be subject to Australian immigration rules, the report said.

However, the Australian government was quick to address any concerns of Australian citizens losing potential job opportunities to Indians. Treasurer Wayne Swan told the Australian Associated Press that the government’s priority was to train Australians first and foremost for jobs but skilled migrants would be needed.

“What the government is going to do is train Australians. … we’re going to make sure that Australians can participate in the benefits of the boom.”

In the last few years, Indians in Australia, especially Indian students, have suffered many physical attacks. While Indian media have painted the attacks as “racist”, the Australian opinion of the attacks has been much more moderate, often describing the acts of violence as crime.

However, sources in Australia have told The Global Indian that there is a strong sense of resentment among Australians about the job losses that Australian citizens blame on migrants, especially from India.

The Australian government hasn’t announced any measures to address potential racial backlash that Indians may suffer when 30,000 of them take up skilled jobs in Australia.

The number of students going to Australia to study had dropped following the racial attacks on Indians in Australia.

Despite the media coverage about the racial attacks, there is a growing group of Indians emigrating to Australia, and University of Sydney is one of the top destinations for Indians keen to study in Australia.

Indian students continue moving to Australia in search of a better life, something they find lacking in India.

The international education sector in Australia is valued at about AU$15 billion annually.

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NRIs slow on using voting rights

Despite the government of India offering the much-demanded voting rights to Indians living overseas, NRIs have been shunning away from exercising this right in the recent state assembly elections in India.

For example, not even one NRI has registered to vote in the recent elections in Tamil Nadu.

“Even though the EC had made the NRIs eligible to be included as voters and exercise their franchise, no NRI from Tamil Nadu came forward to cast their votes,” chief electoral officer Praveen Kumar told a news agency.

Following a long-standing demand by NRIs, the Indian government has extended the same voting rights to NRIs as are available to resident Indians.

NRIs shy away from voting in India

Any citizen of India, living outside the country, can vote in any of the state of central elections, by visiting their state and personally casting their vote.

Postal voting is not yet allowed, which may be a major stumbling block for many Indians living abroad.

Also the voting right is available to Indian citizens only.

The Global Indian magazine has prepared this quick guide to voting rights for NRIs.

I am an NRI. Can I vote in the upcoming elections in India?

Any person can vote as long as they meet the following criteria:

  • You are an Indian citizen above the age of 18 years
  • Your are otherwise eligible to vote, that is, you are not disqualified
  • You are away from India due to employment, education or otherwise
  • You have registered themselves as an NRI voter

How do I register as an NRI voter?

You need to fill out Form 6A and submit it to the election commission with relevant documents. Once the election commission receives the form and accompanying documents from you, you will be enrolled to vote. You can submit your form online through the election commission portal, through your local high commission, or by post to the election commission in your ordinary state of residence in India.

You can also submit your voter application in person when you visit India. You can submit it to the state election commission. However, if the application is sent by post it must be accompanied by a copy of your passport and all relevant documents mentioned in Form 6A attested by the Indian High Commission or Embassy in the country where you currently live.

What documents do I need to submit with Form 6A?

  • One recent passport size colour photograph, and
  • Photocopy of relevant pages of the passport containing photograph, address and valid visa

Where can I get the Form 6A?

You can either download it from the Election Commission website or download Form 6A and voter rules. The Form is also available free of cost in Indian Missions in foreign countries and in the offices of the Electoral Registration Officers (EROs) in India. Visit Election Commission website for more information.

How do I know the outcome of my application for registration?

You will receive a letter from the Election Commission or ERO, communicating the decision. Electoral Rolls are also available on the website of the Chief Electoral Officer of the State concerned in PDF format.

I am now enrolled as overseas voter. How do I cast my vote?

As an overseas elector, you can vote in an election in the constituency, in person, at the polling station provided for the part where you are registered.

Can I cast my vote by post?

Not at this stage. The EC has not allowed the NRIs to vote through post. According to EC’s guidelines, if application (Form 6A) is sent by post with relevant documents, his/her name will be enrolled in the electoral list..

Business Study Abroad

Young Indians ready to mingle with business leaders

In a country where 67 percent of its population is below 30 years of age, engaging with the youth is central to its progress. As India prepares for its fastest growth over the next three decades, a forum is shaping up in Mumbai to bring together 300 of India’s brightest young minds, and the country’s torchbearers in business, education and innovation at the India Youth To Business forum at I.E.S. Business School on 30 April 2011.

Powered by UTV Bloomberg and organised by AIESEC, the world’s largest and oldest student-run organisation, the forum brings together thought-leaders in diverse fields, including Adi Godrej, Priya Dutt and Meera Sanyal, just to name a few. The theme, ‘Building a young and enterprising India’ encourages the youth to merge with business world.

“AIESEC instills in the youth a mindset to succeed. It is a great student-run organization that creates people with an international mindset,” says Adi Godrej.

“The forum celebrates 30 years of AIESEC in India and aims to bridge the gap between the youth and business,” says Manveer Grewal, President AIESEC India. “It aims to discuss global trends affecting our business, our education system and our society at large.”

AIESEC partners with more than 5, 000 organisations around the world to provide its 23,000 members a unique leadership experience through 5,500 global internship opportunities. AIESEC India has trained famous Indian personalities like Meera Sanyal, Jehangir Pocha, Arjun Bhagat and Vikram Gandhi.

Major Indian business houses are on the AIESEC National Board of Advisors, including Godrej, Tata Steel, HDFC, Fortis Healthcare, HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland and Coca-Cola India and McKinsey and Co. India.

Global Indians Study Abroad

Indian duo creates best-selling iPad app

Akshay Kothari Pulse Alphonso

Just a mention of your name by Steve Jobs can make you a celebrity overnight. At least that’s what two young Indian students in the US experienced.

As a part of a project for Stanford University where they were completing their masters’ degree, Ankit Gupta and Akshay Kothari created an iPad application to help readers access news on their iPad.

They called the iPad Application Pulse.

Akshay Kothari Pulse Alphonso

Akshay Kothari co-created the best-selling iPad App, Pulse

The inspiration for Pulse came out of frustration at the news reading experience on mobile devices, says the Pulse website. They developed Pulse in 10 weeks for their course at Stanford.

After launch, the iPad app caught Apple CEO, Steve Jobs’ attention, who not only mentioned, but also demonstrated the application at WWDC, a developers’ forum.

Soon, “Pulse became the best-selling application in the App Store and Alphonso Labs was born,” the website says. Alphonso is a premium mango fruit grown in western India, which is where the founders hail from.

It was no surprise then that Pulse caught American media’s fancy.

“Pulse: why I almost didn’t return my iPad,” said a CNN headline. Fox News listed Pulse as one of the “7 iPad must-have iPad apps.”

Soon, the duo attracted venture capitalists keen to invest. Alphonso Labs have already secured US$1 million in funding, and have exciting plans ahead.

Developing iPad apps seems to be second nature to Indians, as a Google search for iPad applications brings up thousands of results for iPad developers from India.

Akshay Kothari now looks after product management, while Ankit Gupta manages iOS development.

While gaining an electrical engineering post-graduate degree from Stanford, Kothari describes himself “fake EE”, since he spent most of his time taking computer science and design courses, the company website says.

“He is mad about mobile interaction design, thinking about novel interactions during the day and coding nifty apps in the night. He likes good vegetarian food, down-tempo music, spontaneous drives to the beach and cashmere sweaters.”

While Kothari is the creative type, Gupta is a coder. “A true code junkie, he once woke up at 5 in the morning to compete in a TopCoder competition; on a vacation,” says the website.

Gupta studied Artificial Intelligence while graduating from Stanford with a Masters in Computer Science. Gupta likes taking long walks, listening to Alternative Folk and watching Quentin Tarantino movies.

Rajasthan-born Kothari completed his electrical engineering degree from Purdue University while Mumbai-bred Gupta went to the presigious Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Mumbai.

Editor recommends News Study Abroad

More Indians choose US to study abroad

Indian students in US

More Indian students are opting to study in the US graduate schools in 2011 (Image courtersy:

Indian students have shown a renewed interest in studying in the US in 2011. This year, American universities have recorded a  7 percent growth in applications from India to US graduate schools after just 1 percent gain in 2010.

China, India and South Korea are the three largest countries of origin for international graduate students in the US, according to a survey by the Council of Graduate Schools in the United States.

However, there’s a slight dip in the number of students from China; applications from China rose by 18 percent, compared to a 20 percent gain in 2010.

The survey includes responses from 230 schools, including 84 percent of the 50 institutions which award the largest number of degrees to international graduate students.

There was a 2 percent increase in applications from South Korean students compared to no growth last year.

The Middle East and Turkey saw an increase of 12percent in 2011 which is lower than the previous year’s growth rate of 20percent.

Overall, the number of applications from prospective international students to US graduate schools increased in 2011 for the sixth consecutive year; the 9percent growth matches the gain in 2010.

While these figures show that the competition to secure admission to a US graduate school has got tougher for Indian students, that’s only part of the picture. Students are favouring popular institutions over lesser knowns. About three-quarters of institutions reported an increase in applications over last year, the remaining institutions reported a decrease, averaging 9percent.

The data show that U.S. graduate schools continue to be highly attractive to international students, says CGS President Debra W. Stewart.

“Yet it would be unwise to take our current position for granted, since international students have a growing number of choices in the global education marketplace.”

What to study abroad

Data for the US graduate schools indicate that traditionally popular fields of study, like engineering and science, are still favourite among international students: engineering and physical and earth sciences saw a 12 percent increase in international applications.

Education increased 9 percent, followed closely by arts and humanities and the life sciences, both at 8 percent.  This year’s 8 percent increase in life sciences is the largest gain in the field since 2007.

Social sciences and psychology saw a smaller increase of 5 percent, compared to an 11 percent increase last year.

However, the surprising figures were registered for business which saw the smallest growth (4 percent), down from last year’s increase of 11 percent.

Which graduate school to choose

As in 2010, growth this year was slightly stronger at institutions that award the largest number of degrees to international students.

This pattern was particularly pronounced for applications from prospective Chinese students:  applications from China surged 26 percent at the 10 largest schools, but grew just 12 percent at those responding schools outside the 100 largest.

A 4 percent decline in international applications occurred in the field of business at the 25 institutions that award the largest numbers of graduate degrees to international students.

This is of particular note because the 100 largest institutions combined experienced only a 1 percent growth on average in international applications in business, compared to a 13 percent gain at the institutions outside the largest 100. Dr. Stewart noted.

“This may be a reflection of the growing competition in high quality graduate business programs worldwide.”

A slight difference emerged between private and public institutions.  Applications increased 11 percent at private, not-for-profit schools, and 9 percent at public graduate schools; last year, the difference in growth was more pronounced (12 percent vs. 7 percent).

Where to study in the US

Applications from international students increased in all regions of the U.S.  The increase was largest in the West (13 percent) and Midwest (10 percent) while the Northeast (8 percent) and the South (7 percent) saw smaller gains.

The Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) is an organization of over 500 institutions of higher education in the United States and Canada engaged in graduate education, research, and the preparation of candidates for advanced degrees.

Editor recommends Global Indians News Study Abroad

US uni grads to be blessed with prayers

Hindu Baccalaureate Service (Dikshant Utsav) will bless the University of Nevada graduating class in the traditional Hindu style according to ancient scriptures, complete with applying tilak (religious mark) on the foreheads of graduates.

In its fourth year, the service at the prestigious university will include blessing prayers by Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Jewish, Baha’i, and Native American religious leaders. Giving it an inter-racial flavour, musician Jim Eaglesmith will chant a kirtan (religious song) in Sanskrit with audience following him in the chant..

Organized by Indo-American community leader Rajan Zed in collaboration with Indian Student Organization of UNR, it will have a keynote address by a Hindu monk.

Leaders of various religions participated in last year’s Hindu Baccalaureate Service.

Leaders of various religions participated in last year’s Hindu Baccalaureate Service.

Starting with ‘Gayatri Mantra’ (the most sacred verse from oldest scriptureRig-Veda) recitation by Rajan Zed and traditional lamp lighting before the statue of goddess of learning – Saraswati; it will include blessing the upcoming graduates with wisdom from Vedas, Upanishads andBhagavad-Gita—all ancient Hindu scriptures.

Education in Hindu tradition has been deep rooted, says Zed.

“After many important universities in ancient India, like Taxila, Nalanda, Sarnath, Amaravati, Banaras, Kanchi and Ujjain, great Indian universities also flourished in medieval period, like Odantapura (745 AD), Vikramasila (810 AD), Somapura (480 AD), Jagaddala (1090 AD).

“The purpose of this Baccalaureate Service is to root the graduating class in divine spiritual and cultural tradition so that they have a spiritually meaningful life in addition to material success,” Zed says.

Established in 1864, the flagship institution of the state, UNR, is one of the top 120 universities in America for funded research, which spans issues relating to the environment, renewable energy resources, the life sciences and plasma physics.

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Kiwis less warm towards Asians

New Zealanders’ feelings of warmth toward people from Japan, India and China have marginally decreased since 2009, according to a survey. The average warmth rating toward people from all three countries was 70 in 2010, against 72 in 2009, according to the latest survey of New Zealanders’ perceptions of Asia and Asian peoples.

The Asia:NZ Foundation study shows that the perceptions may have been slanted by the media coverage of the Crafar farms by Chinese investors, Japanese whaling and the trail of Peter Bethune, and the controversy surrounding the lead-up to the Delhi Commonwealth Games, as well as the impact of the recession, mirroring surveys in other countries, says Asia New Zealand Foundation’s director, policy and research Dr Andrew Butcher.

Chinese New Year

Lion Dance at the 2010 Auckland Lantern Festival (courtesy: Asia:NZ Foundation)

However, local events like Diwali and Lantern Festival, and the free trade agreement with China seem to have had a positive influence on New Zealanders as three-quarters of Kiwis (77 percent) see the Asian region as important to New Zealand’s future (38 percent see it as very important).

New Zealanders continue to view the Asian region more important than Europe (66 percent), North America (56 percent), South Pacific (43 percent), South America (24 percent) and Africa (9 percent).

Not surprisingly, Australia, with 86 percent, rates as being more important to New Zealand’s future than Asia.

The benefits of a relationship with Asia that New Zealanders see as being the most positive are primarily economic.

Meanwhile attitudes regarding the contribution that Asian people make to New Zealand has not changed significantly since 2009.

Good news for racial harmony: 75 percent Kiwis believe that Asian immigrants bring a valuable cultural diversity to New Zealand, Dr Butcher says.

However, New Zealanders’ cultural awareness is limited to high profile Asian events. The most common events mentioned are Chinese New Year (30 percent), the Lantern Festival  (24 percent), and the Diwali Festival (22 percent).

The survey is also a measure of New Zealanders’ interest in Asian peoples and cultures, and as well as on subjects such as inbound Asian investment, trade with Asia, tourism from Asia, Asian international students and immigration from Asian countries.


Immigration Study Abroad Work Abroad

Tips for choosing immigration lawyer for Australia

With starry dreams of emigrating to Australia and starting a better life in a western country, many Indians have become victims of fraudulent immigration lawyers and consultants.

To safeguard the interests of unassuming migrants moving to Australia, the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA) have launched a multi-lingual guide to migration.

The booklet called Your Rights offers tips on using a registered migration agent and provides a valuable resource to protect migrant communities from unscrupulous operators.

Available in English as well as 17 major languages, the booklet can be downloaded from MARA website (

In Australia, it is illegal for anyone to give immigration assistance without being a registered migration agent.

“For your protection, make sure your agent is registered with the Office of the MARA,” says a departmental spokesperson. “This authority ensures only fit and proper people are registered migration agents.

“They must keep up-to-date with migration law, abide by a code of conduct, maintain proper communication records and pass police checks.”

Australia has over 4400 registered migration agents, based in Australia and overseas, who can provide immigration assistance.

If you are unhappy with the services of your registered migration agent, you can complain to the MARA.

“Making a complaint will not affect any visa application you have with the Department of Immigration and Citizenship.”

MARA website contains a detailed list of all registered migration agents in Australia.

Also, for your protection MARA website – – contains information about agents whose registration is suspended or cancelled by the Office of the MARA (sanctioned agents) and information about agents who are no longer registered (lapsed agents).

How to choose an immigration attorney

MARA offers some useful tips to consider while selecting an immigration agent for study in Australia or for permanent residence visa or any visa-related work.

Ask for a schedule of services: Before hiring an immigration lawyer, ask the migration agent for a contract or statement of services and an outline of fees applicable. “You should not sign the contract or statement of services until you fully understand the terms of the work to be done,” advises MARA. Ask questions to clarify anything you do not understand.

Ask questions: You can ask many questions to your potential immigration lawyer. Some key questions:

  • Experience – What are your areas of expertise? Do you have sufficient experience, knowledge and competence to effectively deal with my matter? What were the outcomes of any prior similar matters?
  • Options – What are my options? What can I apply for? What do you expect from me in relation to the service? Could the fees be reduced by me doing some of the work, and what are the drawbacks in my doing some of the work?
  • Fees – What is the fee and what are the terms? If the fee includes a conditional refund, will you provide me with written information as to how you propose to refund my money? Are there any other costs?

What does it cost to use a Registered Migration Agent?

While MARA does not regulate the fees charged by Registered Migration Agents, these fees are expected to be reasonable.

All registered migration agents provide MARA with information on the average fees they charge. The MARA website offers a guide to the schedule of fees charged by a registered migration agent based on this data.

You may also consider seeking another opinion on your matter before signing or agreeing to the registered migration agent representing you.

What to expect from a migration agent?

Registered Migration agent must:

  • have a sound knowledge of migration law and administrative practice relating to immigration
  • abide by the Migration Agents’ Code of Conduct.

MARA has put some mandatary rules for registered immigration agents. All registered migration agents must:

  • disclose their full fees and costs to their clients
  • disclose the expected time needed to perform the services
  • keep the client informed of the progress of their application
  • provide detailed report about total costs of their application and all steps of the process
  • keep all client information confidential
  • not make misleading claims as to the likely success of the application.

The agent must also give you a copy of a booklet that explains your basic consumer rights. The booklet is called Information on the Regulation of the Migration Agent Profession.

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Indian student wins NZ television scholarship

Taking clue from her interest in keeping a scrapbook of news events during a weekend shift at a local newspaper, a young Indian student became certain of her media calling.

Keen to study media, Nilam Patel, applied for and won a prestigious scholarship that will not only see her complete a three-year degree at top-rated Auckland University of Technology, she will also earn a paid holiday work at state-run national broadcaster – TVNZ.

Patel, who lives in New Zealand’s Porirua gained media experience at the local newspaper won the TVNZ Journalism Diversity Scholarship, which is run annually in conjunction with AUT University ’s Journalism School.

The TVNZ Scholarship, which is valued at more than $30,000, is open to New Zealanders who are of Maori, Pacific Island or Asian ethnicity and meet strong community and media criteria. All fees are paid for during the three-year degree, and paid holiday work is offered at TVNZ.

The scholarship is designed to broaden the scope of the stories that are told and the faces we see on screen, and to better reflect the perspective of all New Zealanders in the news, says TVNZ Head of News and Current Affairs, Anthony Flannery.

Patel was a student at Aotea College when she took part in the school’s Gateway programme which introduces students to a variety of working environments.

Her once a week shift at the local paper, Kapi Mana News, and enjoyment of Year 11 Media Studies, sparked a strong interest in journalism.

“We had to keep a scrapbook of news events and I loved it because I could watch the news every day and research what was happening around the world. I felt really on to it,” Patel says.

Nilam graduated from Aotea College last year with an award for Academic Excellence in Media Studies, and is now in her first year of a journalism degree at AUT in Auckland.

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Australia relaxes student visa rules for Indians

At a time when Australia’s education sector is showing effects of the bad press attracted by racist attacks on Indians, the country’s Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) has made it easier for students from India and 37 other countries to get a student visa to study in Australia.

With the more lenient international student visa assessment levels, applicants will need to submit fewer documents to support their student visa application.

These may include evidence of English language proficiency, financial capacity and academic qualifications.

“These changes will lower the minimum evidentiary requirements needed for the grant of a student visa for the selected countries and education sectors,” says a DIAC spokesman.

Students in Australia represent a multi-ethnic group: Seen here are (L-R) Tuan Pham, Malyun Ahmed and Stephen Yuen (Source: DIAC)

An Australian student visa allows Indian students to live in Australia for a specified period to study at an Australian educational institution. In 2009-10, Australia granted 270,499 student visas. As of June 2010, there were 382,710 international students in the country.

One in five international students (80,450) in Australia is from India. Similarly, there are 80,010 students from China and 21,720 from South Korea.

International education in Australia is an AU$14 billion industry, and Australia seems to be keen to boost this export market. While many international students from India see overseas education as an opportunity to explore the living opportunities in Australia, the Australian government knows its priorities and clarifies that “the reductions to assessment levels do not change the likelihood of a former student in Australia obtaining permanent residence.”

Australia sees Indian students as a revenue-generating avenue for the ex-chequer, but does not necessarily consider Indian students suitable for permanent residence.

“Students should not make educational choices solely on the basis of expecting to achieve a particular migration outcome, because the skilled migration program will continue to change and adapt to Australia’s economic needs,” says the spokesman.

“While many international students apply for permanent residence when they complete their studies, this is an entirely separate process and there is no guarantee that, on the basis of having held a student visa, a person will meet the requirements to be granted permanent residence.”

The spokesperson clarified that “there is no particular (study) course that guarantees a permanent visa.”

For more information about the lowered assessment levels for a student visa in Australia, please visit the DIAC website.

Also read: Australia to recruit 30,000 Indians


Editor recommends News Study Abroad

Raped, killed and dumped in suitcase – Indian student in Sydney

She was thousands of miles away from home when she became a victim of rape. Indian student Tosha Thakkar was raped and killed, and her body was discarded in a suitcase.

If this story sounds like something that happened in India, read again. This is a crime against an Indian student in Sydney.

Thakkar was followed and observed by her killer. When her housemate was away, she was sexually assaulted and later killed by 19-year old Daniel Stani-Reginald who is a storeman. Stani-Reginald is said to be an Australian of Sri Lankan origin.

Thakkar was studying accounting in Sydney.

Stani-Reginald is arrested and charged with rape and murder of the 24-year old Indian student.

According to Australian media, Thakkar’s body was found on Friday morning by contractors working on routine maintenance of an oil pipeline in a canal running behind Meadowbank Park in north-western Sydney.

It had been stuffed into a large, black, cloth suitcase.

About 20 friends and family of Ms Thakkar, who had been living in Australia to study accounting, turned up to the court in Sydney where the case was being heard.

“We are very upset of course and are just waiting to get justice as soon as possible,” a friend outside court told the Sydney Morning Herald.

“She was very nice, the type that got along with everybody and she didn’t deserve this, such a painful death.

Detective Chief Inspector Pamela Young said Thakkar was a “respectful young woman”.

“She did not deserve this at all,” she said. “She did nothing whatsoever to contribute to what happened to her.”

Detective Chief Inspector Young told the news agencies that Thakkar’s parents had not yet made plans to come to Australia and police hoped to return her body to India for a proper Hindu funeral service.

“I understand her father is very ill,” she said.

In the meantime, the news of the brutal killing following rape of the Indian student hit headlines in media in India, Thakkar’s home country. Describing the crime against the Indian student in Australia as “unfortunate”, India’s External Affairs Minister S M Krishna said the government was closely monitoring the investigations in the case.

Krishna told Indian media outside Parliament that the Indian government has sought a report about the case from Indian embassy in Australia.

“I have asked… we are getting a report from our ambassador. We are closely following it up… monitoring it… and we will see that justice is done.”

Indian media has run thousands of reports about safety of Indian students in Australia in the last 24 months, and the governments of both the countries have been in a dialogue to improve the safety of Indians in Australia.

However, many parents as well as Indian students feel unsafe about studying in Australia.

“There as a statistic showing a much higher incidence of racism experienced in the workplace as reported by Indian and Sri Lankans,” wrote the Management Line article in the Sydney Morning Herald, published just a few days before the incident.

“All these are alarming statistics and many seem to forget that the first white Australians themselves were boat people. White Australia is essentially a nation of migrants,” the article added.

“As some words doing the round of the Internet now say: “Your car is Japanese. Your Vodka is Russian. Your pizza is Italian. Your kebab is Turkish. Your democracy is Greek. Your coffee is Brazilian. Your movies are American.

“Your tea is Tamil. Your shirt is Indian. Your oil is Saudi Arabian. Your electronics are Chinese. Your numbers Arabic, your letters Latin. And you complain that your neighbour is an immigrant?””

Your views

Do you think Indians are racially abused in Australia? What are your views about the safety of Indian students in Asutralia? Leave your comments below.

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Australians try the curry route to Indians’ hearts

Following racist attacks on Indians in Australia, many community initiatives are shaping up to encourage racial harmony.

One such effort is by a community group in Melbourne called Uniting Church, which has started monthly meetings between Indian students and the mainstream Australian community. The meetings attempt to encourage Indian students in Melbourne to talk about their hardships in Australia.

“We are a multi cultural society and initiatives like hosting dinners will help build cordial relations,” said the visiting educator of Uniting Church in Australia, Robert Bos, while talking to India’s Times of India newspaper.

Indian students are welcoming such initiatives, especially after failed attempts by the respective governments to address the safety concerns of Indians living in Australia.

The newspaper also quoted Bos saying that another local, Mia Northrop, has launched a ‘Vindaloo Against Violence’ campaign to curb hostility against Indians. Mia invites willing Australians to dinner at Indian restaurants, hosted specifically to encourage racial harmony.

Bos attended one of these dinners and observed that these events provide an opportunity to both Indians and Australians to understand each other and also enjoy Indian food, the newspaper reported.

He said not only Indians, but all the Asian students who come to Australia to study, make an important contribution to the country’s economy.

While the alleged racially-motivated attacks received heavy media coverage in India, some Indians living in Australia believe that the media reports were biased, and blew the issue out of proportion.

“Indian’s being assaulted in Australia was an issue which is highly blown up by the tabloid section of Indian Media,” Raj from Sydney commented on the Times of India story. “I, in fact, rarely, come by any article or news item, from Indian media which is objective or just gives you the facts, without trying to inflame the situation.

Raj goes on to share his personal experience in the comment. “I never felt threatened being here during this time. Most of them who were assaulted, were travelling in the poorer section of the city, where the crime rate is high, and when you are especially a new visitor to the country, that is something which you would resist from doing.

Raj also had a particular observation about the perpetrators of the attacks on Indians. “Those who were caught and found guilty of assaulting Indians, were mainly non-caucasians (non-whites).”

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Why Are Indians Good at Math?

Historical Background

India has made significant contributions in the evolution of mathematics. Aryabhatta, Brhamagupta and Bhaskara II are some of the famous mathematicians from ancient India. Concept of zero and the decimal system came from India.

Significant work was done in the field of algebra and trigonometry. There is Vedic Math which teaches various computation techniques through sutras(rules).

The growth and development by the mathematicians would have trickled through to the general population, making them interested and adept in computations.

Socio-economic factors

Another factor is the Indian socio-economic circumstances. Historically, engineers and doctors were the only professionals who had a prospect of lucrative jobs. Number of seats in colleges for these two streams was limited.

In order to get admitted to engineering or medical school, a student has to pass very difficult entrance exam with stress on math and science subjects. Only the best of the best can get admission to a reputable college or university. This led parents, students, teachers and the school system to focus on doing well in math and science.

Rigor of Math

Kids learn multiplication from early childhood. Every evening, you recite multiplication tables. This practice makes kids good at mental math. As they grow older, they start learning math rules and formula. Indian methodology is based on learning and practicing. Kids are made to solve many problems in each of the mathematical concepts so that it becomes second nature to solve the problems.

Unlike the US system, Indian education system does not put much importance on creative thinking and deep understanding of the subject. There are pros and cons of this approach. Pro is that there is less fear of math – You get mechanised about computations and problem solving. Being good and quick on basic math makes it easy to learn higher concepts.

The disadvantage is the lack of innovation and creativity. But in a country with a population of over a billion and not enough educational or job opportunities, being good in giving a test is essential for the short-term goal of getting into the race.

Computer Industry Boom

This knack towards math and science and the knowledge of English language became great assets when the computer and software industry blossomed. The US had need of tons of software engineers. India had its potential base ready.

Young graduates grabbed this opportunity and took classes in learning programming languages, databases and other technologies. Being good at math generally leads to being good in programming and analytical thinking. People who did not get into engineering colleges and did graduation in math or physics also started doing diplomas and masters in computer applications.

Year after year there are hundreds of thousands of Indians who come to the US, get jobs in IT industry and make the US their home. When they have family and kids, they apply the Indian method to their kids who go to the US schools.

Children of Indian origin living in the US excel in math and science. This trend applies to kids from other Asian countries as well.

Math in the US

In my opinion, the US math books are very well-written and illustrated. They explain the concept, history and application of a particular topic. This gives a kid well-rounded education rather than learning the formula.

However, the trouble is the lack of rigor. Be it physical fitness or mental fitness, a strong discipline, regular drill and successive goals for improvement and achievement are needed. Mathematics inherently needs practice. When you solve a math problem, it is either right or wrong – there are no grades like average or fair.

In order to solve a problem correctly and quickly, one needs rigorous workout. If the teachers do not instill this discipline, students get more incorrect answers than correct. They get into the vicious circle of ‘I am not good at math-I hate math-Why do we need math’ and so on.

If the teachers can guide the students towards a regular math work programme, the circle can be reversed. They start solving problems, get excited about it and develop an interest in the subject. It will build math confidence and the fear will be gone. After all, school math is no rocket science! If students in India can be good at math, students in other countries can be good as well.

Bina Mehta

(Bina Mehta is a PMP certified business systems analyst. She is a contributor on Book Review programme for PMI Silicon Valley Chapter. Her interests include reading, writing, speaking and problem solving. She is a competent communicator with Toastmasters International.)

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Accent Reduction for Indians: Pronunciation Problems for South Asians

Many Indians (South Asian English speakers) are puzzled when they realize that Americans have difficulty understanding their spoken English.

If this sounds familiar you may find yourself wondering, “Why is my English so difficult for Americans to understand?” One reason is because most Indian English speakers are not aware of American English syllable stress patterns. They use syllable stress incorrectly.

One of the most significant features of American English is its use of syllable stress. Syllable stress patterns create a speech rhythm that American listeners use to identify words. Here is a true story that illustrates why stressing syllables correctly is so important.

In my accent reduction coaching program I have an Indian client who works in information technology. He is brilliant at his job but he has problems with American English pronunciation.

While he and I were having a discussion about audio files he asked me if I could compress some of the mp3 files that I was going to send him. When I heard the word compress (stressed on the first syllable), I was momentarily confused. That is because the word compress, when stressed on the first syllable is a noun. It means a warm or cold compress that you would apply to a swollen body part after an injury.

The verb compress, (to reduce in size) is what he meant. The verb compress is stressed on the second syllable. The vowel sound in the first syllable is articulated as a schwa sound.

This true story illustrates that simply by using the wrong syllable stress pattern, my Indian client unknowingly said the wrong word.

Many non-native English speakers, including Indians, Chinese and Korean speakers don’t realize that 60% of two syllable American English verbs are stressed on the first syllable. That means that verbs such as compress, produce and review are stressed on the second syllable, not the first. When these very same words are stressed on the first syllable, compress, produce and review they are recognized by Americans as nouns.

If you are a South Asian professional who would like to learn more about accent reduction for Indians I invite you to take a look at my website below.

(Susan Ryan helps professionals reduce their foreign accents so that they can communicate clearly andAccent reductioneffectively in the workplace. Visit her website at Accent Reduction Coaching to learn more about her one on one accent reduction coaching program. Susan also offers Accent Reduction Classes for Indian language speakers.)

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Immigration Study Abroad

Studying and working abroad for diverse experience

For those looking for high school study abroad opportunities, there are many programs for high school students.

Studying abroad is fun and is the greatest way to discover the world. However, working abroad can add more flavour to students’ global experience. Students of Indian origin living in Australia or New Zealand can look forward to working in the United States with a special programme.

The Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) offers a great opportunity to explore the United States while gaining an international work experience that enhance the value of any CV or resume. While looking for a job, this work experience in the United States will help you get your foot in the door.

This experience is not for the faint hearted as it prepares you for the diverse cultures that are visible in every part of the United States.

What’s on the offer

Eligible university students from Australia and New Zealand can apply to work in the USA for up to 12 months. At the end of their work assignment, they can travel throughout the US for a month.

You can choose your own start time as well as your own industry to work in. You can even switch jobs during the 12-month period. You can choose to work in the tall skyscrappers for half of the year, and spend rest of the year as a skiing instructor, if you like.


You need to be a full time student in Australia or New Zealand. You should have completed first year of studies, or have graduated within the past 12 months. You need to be Australian or New Zealand citizen.

Selection process

  • Resume
  • Health records and physical examination
  • Online application assessment
  • Disciplinary clearance Form

For more details, contact CIEE

Immigration Study Abroad Travel

Choosing an immigration attorney

Immigrating to a new country is a major decision for immigrants, and choosing the right immigration attorney or immigration agent is very crucial, whether it for studying abroad, working abroad, doing business abroad, or moving permanently to a new country.

Before hiring an immigration lawyer, you must decide whether you need an immigration consultant at all. Some countries have a very straightforward migration process and easy-to-understand immigration rules.

Also, the immigration department of most countries are very friendly, whether you are immigrating to the UK, US, Canada, the Middle East, Australia or New Zealand.

It is always useful to have a chat with an immigration officer of the country you are migrating to. Some countries have a very helpful website with plenty of information. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has a very extensive website which can be very valuable.

Familiarise yourself with the immigration rules and processes on these websites. Complete online assessment forms to see whether you qualify for a student visa or work visa or permanent residency. Find out all the documents that will be required for getting a visa.

If your case is straightforward, you may not need an immigration lawyer who are very expensive to hire. The money saved can be very useful during the initial stages of settlement.

Of course, you may get overwhelmed by the immigration documentation, processes and the uncertainty involved in your visa application being processed. This can be very stressful and you may want to hire a competent immigration attorney.

Here are a few tips that will help you find a good immigration lawyer, whether you are in the US (Miami, Atlanta, California), Canada, India, New Zealand or Australia.

1. References: Ask your friends and family who may have used an immigration consultant/attorney. You will be surprised to know how many people would have stories to share about their immigration lawyer.

2. If this does not help, then look up the yellow pages and contact a few immigration attorneys near you. Ask them for references, and speak to their past client to know what their experience. Ask a few immigration lawyers about their experience with your type of case. Find out how many years they have been helping immigrants.

3. Make sure the attorney is registered with a relevant industry body or legal establishment. Most countries require immigration lawyers to be registered with a government governing body. Speak to the immigration department of the country you want to migrate to. They can guide you about the registration and legislative requirements of that country for immigration attorneys. They may even be able to point you to the official website of the governing body.

4. Money: Find out the fees of a few immigration lawyers. Remember, just because an immigration agent is more expensive, does not mean he is good. At the same time, the cheapest immigration agent may not have the expertise for your work. But you must shop around. Find out the terms of payment too.

5. Attitude: Find out the working style of the immigration attorney. It is important that you feel comfortable working with this agent.

6. Finally, find out what the immigration lawyer is promising. If he sounds too good to be true, he probably is. Don’t get carried away by unrealistic promises – whether it is about the success of your case or the time frames. In fact, that is a dead give away of a fraudulent immigration lawyer. As they say in the law circle, Buyer Beware.

Study Abroad

Scholarship available for higher studies

The main barrier that’s faced by Indian students aspiring to study abroad is the cost of education, especially in the UK and in European universities.

This need prompts many students to seek scholarships, where they can secure partial or complete funding for their education abroad.

There are many institutions that offer such funding for studying abroad. One such foundation is Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation.

The highly sought-after scholarship can fund higher education of up to two years in the top European, UK and American universities. Only a dozen students will be able to secure the scholarship which closes on 15 April and is likely to attract hundreds of students to attract.

The scholarship is not available for degrees in engineering, computer science, urban planning, business studies, medicine, public health, Indian studies and Indian history.