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Updated: February 16, 2011 09:12 IST

U.S. assures India of ‘fair solution’ to TVU students

PTI
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U.S. Under Secretary of State William Burns has assured Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao that the U.S. government would provide a “fair solution” to Indian students affected by the Tri-Valley University issue. File photo
The Hindu U.S. Under Secretary of State William Burns has assured Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao that the U.S. government would provide a “fair solution” to Indian students affected by the Tri-Valley University issue. File photo

The United States has assured India of providing a ‘fair solution’ to Indian students affected by the closure of California-based Tri-Valley University, which has been accused of a massive visa fraud.

The Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns has assured Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao, during a meeting, that the U.S. government would provide a “fair solution” to hundreds of Indian students whose academic career were at stake following the closure of the Tri-Valley University.

“It (Tri Valley University) was a very important subject among various issues that I discussed. Especially in my discussion with the Under Secretary Burns I took the matter up and conveyed our concern about the welfare of the students who have been affected by this unfortunate series of events involving Tri-Valley University,” Ms. Rao told reporters at a news conference as she concluded her Washington leg of her U.S. visit.

Ms. Rao was following up the TVU issue with top U.S. officials, days after External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna raised it in a telephonic conversation with the U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

On Monday, Indian Ambassador to the U.S. Meera Shankar conveyed to Ms. Clinton India’s concerns on the issue.

“I was assured by Under Secretary Burns that this is what the U.S. government is looking at and they want to provide a fair solution to this very very rare and critical problem that many of the students face, many of the students who were enrolled in Tri Valley University face,” Ms. Rao said.

Over the next few days, the Indian Embassy is going to be in touch with the State Department on this issue.

“Our stress, our emphasis has been on seeking a solution that would help the students who have been affected by this unfortunate development and enable them to find alternative placements in bona fide universities without affecting their future,” Ms. Rao said.

During the meeting, with Mr. Burns, Ms. Rao stressed India’s concern about the large number of bona fide students who have been adversely affected by the events surrounding TV University and uncovering of the scam that were concerning that university.

“Our concern was that the future of the students should not be affected and to whatever extent possible this number of students who have not really many of them not been involved in any illegal or negative activities should be accommodate in other universities, should be enable to transfer to other universities without determent or without any disadvantage,” she said.

Responding to questions, the Foreign Secretary stressed that this rare incident would not affect the “India Brand” in the U.S.

“I do not believe that it would affect the image of Indian students coming to this country. I think there is enormous appreciation and I can sense that in our conversation with our American friends in the U.S. government. They see the talent and the capability and the intellectual levels of our students who rank among the best anywhere in the world,” she said.

The flow of students from India will continue and should not be affected by what has happened.

“This is a stray incident and you must think of the over 100,000 students from India who come to this country for university education and who excel in the fields that they have chosen. That is the prevailing and overriding image of the Indian students in this country. That has not changed,” she said.

One has to see the story of Tri Valley as totally apart from this positive story, the constructive narrative involving Indian students coming to this country and indeed contributing to the growth of the economy and to the success of America as a country, she said.

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