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Australia Rejects Visa of Indian Student on “Bizarre” WMD Risk Grounds

Australia Rejects Visa of Indian Student on “Bizarre” WMD Risk  Grounds

| On 25, Aug 2016

The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs has rejected visa of Mr Ananth SM, a young Indian engineer who received a prestigious scholarship from University of Melbourne, as they feared his research might result in making weapons of mass destruction.

The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs has rejected visa of Mr Ananth SM, a young Indian  engineer who received a prestigious scholarship from University of Melbourne, as they feared his research might result in making weapons of mass destruction.

Richard Sandberg, a Professor from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at University of Melbourne, says that Mr Ananth had a strong application and he was surprised at the refusal of his visa, as the research topic was not developing a technology rather it would have impacted aircraft engines or wind turbines or similar fundamental applications.

This refusal has stirred many angry Indians as it did not appear to be a friendly gesture. Many liked to bring up the fact that Australia has, till last month, not accepted India as a member of the global nuclear powers and this incident showed that Australia might still see India as a rogue nuclear nation like Pakistan or North Korea.

Australia’s refusal to sell Uranium to India also came up, as that particular stance strained relations between the two countries. Australia showed concerns as India never signed any international nuclear safeguard but had built nuclear weapons. Having a perfect record of non-proliferation, India has kept its rights to own nuclear weapons.

Many Indians have heavily criticized this visa refusal incident, pointing out that this was an offensive move to suspect Mr Ananth and claimed the fear of creating weapons of mass destruction to be bizarre and unfair. Although the Immigration Department of Australia has not directly responded to that, but they have claimed that an applicant can be refused visa for health, character and security tests and “other agencies” can be used as a source for these information.

The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs has rejected visa of Mr Ananth SM, a young Indian engineer who received a prestigious scholarship from University of Melbourne, as they feared his research might result in making weapons of mass destruction.

Mr Ananth, a 29-year- old aerospace engineer graduating from IIT Kanpur, was offered a PhD scholarship in fluid mechanics by University of Melbourne, but his visa was refused, claiming that he was a person who could directly or indirectly contribute to the production of weapons of mass destruction. Mr Ananth’s appeal which stated that he based his research on available mathematical models and had no history of associating with any political or religious groups that promoted or supported any kind of hatred, failed to sway the Department of Immigration from their decision. Mr Ananth fears that these
implications are likely to destroy his career before it even started, not to mention the waste of hard work he put into earning this scholarship.

Richard Sandberg, a Professor from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at University of Melbourne, says that Mr Ananth had a strong application and he was surprised at the refusal of his visa, as the research topic was not developing a technology rather it would have impacted aircraft engines or wind turbines or similar fundamental applications.

This refusal has stirred many angry Indians as it did not appear to be a friendly gesture. Many liked to bring up the fact that Australia has, till last month, not accepted India as a member of the global nuclear powers and this incident showed that Australia might still see India as a rogue nuclear nation like Pakistan or North Korea. Australia’s refusal to sell Uranium to India also came up, as that particular stance strained relations between the two countries. Australia showed concerns as India never signed any international nuclear safeguard but had built nuclear weapons. Having a perfect record of non-proliferation, India has kept its rights to own nuclear weapons.

Many Indians have heavily criticized this visa refusal incident, pointing out that this was an offensive move to suspect Mr Ananth and claimed the fear of creating weapons of mass destruction to be bizarre and unfair. Although the Immigration Department of Australia has not directly responded to that, but they have claimed that an applicant can be refused visa for health, character and security tests and “other agencies” can be used as a source for these information.

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