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Last Updated: May 20, 2007 - 10:48:48 AM
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Massacre won't discourage Indian students: US counsellor
Apr 18, 2007 - 4:54:50 PM
He felt that under the present circumstances, 'there is a fairly good balance on American university campuses' on maintaining security.

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[RxPG] New Delhi, April 18 - The massacre at Virginia Tech that claimed 33 lives, including that of two Indians, will not jeopardise campus life in American universities nor should it stop Indian students from pursuing higher education there, a US embassy official said here Wednesday.

Describing Monday's massacre as an 'aberration', Satish Kulkarni, Counsellor Science, Technology, Environment and Health Affairs at the embassy, told reporters: 'What maybe happening is not what campus life is about.

'Individuals with different backgrounds go to these campuses and react in different ways and that - could happen anywhere. I don't think the situation in campus life is in jeopardy.'

Kulkarni himself got his doctorate from Virginia and his office was in the same building where the shootout took place.

Asked whether the incident would impact Indian students going to the US to pursue higher studies, he said: 'I really don't think so. I do not see even the slightest sign of Indian students not going to the US.

'In fact the number of Indian students has increased steadily and at this time the largest number of foreign students in the US are from India.'

To another question on campus security, Kulkarni replied: 'It is important to realise that you have to have an open system because you cannot operate it like an airport. Consequently, one has to maintain some sort of balance between too much security and not enough security.'

He felt that under the present circumstances, 'there is a fairly good balance on American university campuses' on maintaining security.

On Monday, a South Korean student at Virginia Tech gunned down 32 people before fatally turning the weapon on himself. Among them were two Indian victims - Professor G.V. Loganathan from Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu and architecture student Minal Panchal from Mumbai.

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