Melbourne: Around 300 students mainly from the state of Kerala protested in front of the Victorian Parliament house on Wednesday at 1:00 pm local time in Melbourne.
The students were protesting against the new rules for nurses in Australia.
Till July, before the new Skilled Occupation List (SOL) was announced, the rule was that any nurse who has scored at least 6.5 in International English Language Testing System (IELTS) could do a basic one-year course in nursing and get registration to work as a nurse in Australia.
But with effect from July 1, the minimum score required in IELTS will go up to seven.
Gautam Gupta, founder of FISA spoke in support of the nurses. Gupta said, "It is not about whose problem it is. It is such a huge waste of Indian foreign currency because these degrees are not worth value of the paper they are printed on without recognition and will have no value in India.. What are these students going to do?"
"If these students go back the Indian government would have wasted 20 crore of valuable foreign exchange. What shocks me is the silence from the Indian government and authorities, why are they not doing anything to help protect India's own interests? And this is not the first set of changes that are affecting students adversely and with such impact," added Gautam Gupta.
Many of these students are in the their last semester and now will not be able to practice as nurses if this new rule applies.
Christy, a 27 year old nursing student from Ballart University hascompleted his course but is now not being registered to practice, "Thisnew change is just announced to us right when we finish our course andnow we are being expected to sit through the entire module of IELTStests again. I have spent $26000 on this course alone and another$50,000 on staying here for 2 years. I already have anotherqualification from India but this showed so much more promise for abetter job that I came here and enrolled".
With the fate of so many students at stake, It is now important to see if the Indian Government intervenes in the matter.