Canada has reported 91 deaths of Indian students since 2018 (File)
The government on Thursday said 403 Indian students have died abroad since 2018 due to various reasons including natural causes, accidents and medical conditions, with Canada accounting for the highest 91 fatalities among 34 nations.
In a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said that according to the information available with the ministry, 403 incidents of death of Indian students abroad have been reported since 2018.
He said the heads of mission/post and senior officials visit universities and educational institutions for regular interactions with Indian students and their associations.
According to data submitted by the ministry, Canada has reported 91 deaths of Indian students since 2018 followed by the United Kingdom (48), Russia (40), the United States (36), Australia (35), Ukraine (21), Germany (20), Cyprus (14), Italy and the Philippines (10 each).
"The safety and security of Indian students abroad is one of the foremost priorities for the Government of India," V Muraleedharan said.
He said Indian missions and posts remain vigilant and closely monitor the wellbeing of students.
"In case there is any untoward incident, it is immediately taken up with the concerned authorities of the host country to ensure that the incident is properly investigated and the perpetrators are punished. Further, the distressed Indian students are provided all possible consular assistance, including emergency medical care and boarding/lodging, whenever required," V Muraleedharan said.
When asked about the high number of deaths of Indian students as mentioned in the reply to questions in the parliament, External Affairs Ministry spokesman Arindam Bagchi referred to increasing number of Indian students going to that country as well.
"I don't know if this is an issue that merits taking up with the government. There are individual incidents where there has been foul play and others....Our consulates do reach out to families, we also take it up such cases with the local authorities," Bagchi told reporters at the weekly briefing.
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