US assures India of ''fair solution'' to TVU students'' issue

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Washington, Feb 16: The United States has assured India of providing 'fair solution' to Indian students affected by the closer 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 US Government would provide a "fair solution" to hundreds of Indian students whose academic career were at stake following closer 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 Bill 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," Rao told reporters at a news conference as she concluded her Washington leg of her US visit.

Rao was following up TV University issue with top US officials, days after External Affairs Minister SM Krishna raised it in a telephonic conversation with the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

On Monday, Indian Ambassador to the US Meera Shankar conveyed to Clinton India's concerns on the issue.

"I was assured by Under Secretary Burns that this is what the US 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," 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 bonafide universities without affecting their future," Rao said.

During the meeting, with Burns, Rao stressed India's concern about the large number of bonafide students who have been adversely affected by the events surrounding T V 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 US.

"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 US 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.

PTI

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