Melbourne: Australian prime minister, Kevin Rudd, arrives in India on a two-day visit that is expected to throw up a host of issues, some of them thorny. At stake is reviving political relations between two Indian Ocean democracies that show all the signs of slipping into stagnation. Issues expected to be touched upon include frequent attacks on Indian students and sale of uranium.
Australia has for long been the second largest producer of uranium ore in the world but may now slip to third position as Kazakhstan overhauls it and Canada to occupy the top slot.
Even as experts hope for an unexpected boost to bilateral relations between the two nations, chance are the trip may not amount to much more than a damage control exercise on the part of Kevin Ruud's government, especially after a spate of racially motivated attacks on Indian students has left Australia with a considerable amount of egg on its face.
Australia now faces the prospect of losing out on a share of the lucrative education market that caters to foreign students. Indians are amongst the largest student communities around the world.
Rudd meets his Indian counterpart Dr Manmohan Singh on Thursday. He was scheduled to attend a cricket match, featuring home team Australia, in Mumbai, but unseasonal rains may find that engagement cancelled.
He meets business leaders in Mumbai.