The ministry has launched an application form on its website for Indian students to register their contact details in order to make it easier for them to be reached in the event of an emergency.
In an effort to get the word out, Sushma Swaraj, the minister of external affairs, tweeted: “We have no data of Indian students studying abroad. We have therefore, started a Students Registration Module on http://www.madad.gov.in.
I request all Indian students to register themselves on this module. This will be of immense help.”
Announced this month, the Consular Services Management System, directs people to register as a user if they have “any grievance related to consular services offered by Indian Missions/Posts abroad” or if they are an “Indian student studying/planning to study abroad”.
To sign up, students register their overseas course and institution details, along with their basic personal information, visa information and details for their emergency contact person.
Rahul Gandhi, managing director of Take Off Educational Consultants, said that if the motivation of this initiative is safety, then it is a “good development”.
“The issue is how many students will register as the student fraternity may not be aware at all,” he told The PIE News. “But I think it’s a good step and will benefit in the long run.”
So far, over 6,600 students have registered with the ministry.
Sonya Singh, CEO and managing director of education agency SIEC, told The PIE News that in the short-term, she expects this initiative will be more of a “support network”.
However she added that “long-term, I think the Indian government will create initiatives to invite talent back home and lobby for the Indian students if there are incidents of crime or racism.”