To arrive at a civil nuclear cooperation agreement that will create a framework for the sale of uranium,India and Australia will engage in a second round of negotiation by the end of this month in Australia.
Peter Suckling,the Australian High Commissioner to India,said on Friday the first round of negotiation held in March had gone well and there is commitment to make progress on the agreement.
While private companies will engage with the Indian government for selling uranium consignments,the agreement that the two countries will sign will ensure that it is used only for peaceful purposes,the High Commissioner said. It would be effectively an agreement to ensure that any Australian uranium sold to India is for peaceful purpose with appropriate safeguards in place to show that it happens under the auspices of the IAEA, he said adding that the Indo-Australia agreement will be consistent with most international agreements on uranium sale.
Meanwhile,Australia has announced a $10-million grant in funding from the Australia-India Strategic Research Fund (AISRF) for collaborative research projects. HRD Minister Pallam Raju and Australias Minister for Higher Education Senator Kim Carr Friday met in Sydney at the annual Australia-India Ministerial Dialogue on Education Cooperation and the second Australia India Education Council meeting.
Minister Carr announced that in 2013-14,Australia would support 29 higher educational institutions. It would send 300 students to India for a study experience under the new AsiaBound program. Raju said the Connect to India programme would give Australian students the opportunity to visit India for short terms.
The two countries have also agreed to set up a new Australia India Knowledge Partnership Grants under the AIEC to fund projects in prioritised higher education thematic areas and to establish an Australia-India task force to enhance qualifications recognition between the two countries. Minister Carr announced a new Australia India Education Leaders Exchange,to support high calibre education leaders from both countries to develop innovative sustainable knowledge partnerships at the institutional level. A second Australia India Vocational Education Leadership Training programme has been announced for the Indian community college leaders.
Speaking to reporters in New Delhi,Suckling said education is a high priority area for Australia and efforts are being made to address the concerns of Indian students following the 2009 incidents of violence against Indian students in Australia. The changed visa rules have also brought in a set of more skilled Indians to Australia,the High Commissioner pointed out.
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