The student said that he was “shocked and shattered by seeing the reasons for refusal”.

Australias bizarre excuse to deny Indian researcher visa Nuclear proliferationImage: Wikipedia Commons/Jovianeye
news News Thursday, July 21, 2016 - 09:10

An aerospace engineer from IIT-Kanpur was denied a student visa by Australia after the latter claimed that it was against their foreign policy objectives.

The incident came to light after Congress MP Shashi Tharoor took to social media and tweeted to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.

The Times of India reported that the student, Ananth SM, had applied for the visa in August 2015 after being offered a fully-funded PhD by University of Melbourne, and contacted Tharoor when his application failed to get a response even after 10 months.

When contacted by The Wire, Ananth said that he was “shocked and shattered by seeing the reasons for refusal”.

The report goes on to add:

Ananth had applied for a temporary student visa after getting a full scholarship for a Ph.D. in fluid mechanics at the University of Melbourne. He applied for a visa in August 2015, but with no sign of any travel document from Australia for over ten months, Ananth approached his constituency’s MP for assistance.

In the letter, Tharoor says "I asked the high commissioner privately over email how an Indian scholar could be subject to such a bizarre suspicion, and stated that such a position is unacceptable since it clubs Indian nationals working in certain sectors with those of rogue nuclear states like North Korea and Pakistan." 

However, Australia has defended its move.

Claiming that Ananth's planned research in high tech (“fluid dynamics”) was against the foreign policy objectives of the country, The Hindu quoted the High Commission of Australia as saying, “It should be noted…Australia strongly supports India’s application to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and India’s admission to other export control regimes. We are strong supporters of India’s peaceful use of nuclear energy...”

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