Excerpts from theconversation.com

  1. The Australia in the Asian Century White Paper places India in a position of much greater significance than it has previously achieved in our national consciousness. India is identified as one of five key regional nations that are most important to Australia, along with China, Japan, South Korea and Indonesia. This is not surprising. India has emerged as increasingly attractive to Australia for exports of commodities, as a supplier of large numbers of full-fee paying international students and for two-way investment.

  2. India is identified as one of five key regional nations that are most important to Australia, along with China, Japan, South Korea and Indonesia. This is not surprising. India has emerged as increasingly attractive to Australia for exports of commodities, as a supplier of  large numbers of full-fee paying international students and for two-way investment.
  3. Indeed, the paper projects India as the world’s number three economy by 2025, and with its youthful demographic profile India may become the most economically vibrant destination for Australia’s energy exports, education and other services. The economic imperatives are well understood.
  4. One of the paper’s major surprises is the proposal to make Hindi – India’s main language – one of four priority languages, with Chinese, Japanese and Indonesian. Hindi has barely figured in foreign language teaching in Australia, although the Asian Studies Association of Australia has always argued for its importance. While this is a welcome move, the real challenge is effective implementation.

A long-term strategy and significant investment in training skilful teachers can produce the pool of Hindi-speaking businessmen, public servants, educators and citizens that Australia needs to pursue the close linkages with India envisaged in the Asian century white paper.

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