Vayalar Ravi takes charge of overseas Indian affairs ministry

Last Updated: Fri, May 29, 2009 11:50 hrs

New Delhi, May 29 (IANS) The Indian government was seriously considering 'an institutionalised mechanism' to prevent racist attacks on Indians abroad, Vayalar Ravi said Friday after taking charge of the overseas Indian affairs ministry.

After taking charge of the ministry again with a simple function at Akbar Bhavan here, Ravi said his immediate task was to protect the Indians in Australia as a number of Indian students have faced allegedly racial attacks there this week.

'The government of India has taken the matter seriously. My immediate task is to ensure the safety of Indians there. I have asked for a report from the Indian High Commission in Australia,' Ravi told reporters after assuming the office.

'I can assure that the ministry will do all it can for the families of the victims,' he said.

The minister also said the government was seriously thinking about 'an institutionalised mechanism' to prevent racist attacks against Indians abroad.

Ravi, who held this important portfolio in the previous cabinet too, said a 100-day plan for the ministry would be finalised soon.

He said memorandums of understanding (MoUs) on employment and social security with some European and Gulf countries were pending and would be finalised soon.

'Pending MoUs on employment and social security with various countries including Bahrain, the Netherlands and Luxembourg would be signed immediately,' the minister said.

Ravi said he was happy to be back with this ministry as he would have an opportunity to work for people in India and abroad.

'As a politician, I always deal with the people in India and as the overseas Indian affairs minister I deal with the Indians abroad,' he said.

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