In order to find the exact strength of preferences, the Lowy Institute and Australia India Institute had conducted a poll where they found that 75% of Indian students believe that Australia was a good place for higher education. The United states stands second in the ranking given by Indian students.
Despite the racially motivated attacks against Indian students in 2009 and 2010, the new polls have revealed that Indians still prefer studying in Australia.
According to the polls it is found that 62% of Indians still considered Australia a dangerous place for students, and 61% also felt the attacks were racially motivated. A further 60% of the 1233 adult respondents said they would like India's government and society to be more like Australia's.
Overall, Indians ranked Australia among the top four countries they felt closest to, with the United States, Japan and Singapore taking out the top three.
The study's co-author and Director of the Lowy Institute, Prof Rory Medcalf said "It reveals that ordinary Indians quite like Australia despite all the trouble that's happened".
"All the trouble" refers to series of much-publicised attacks on Indian students, studying in Australia, in 2009 and 2010. And these events have still left their mark on Indians' the sources said.
"There's still some fragility in the relationship and if there was another crisis it wouldn't take much to raise these ghosts about racism and danger," Medcalf said adding the main difference between Australia-India relations now, compared to five years ago, is that "champions of the relationship" have emerged.
"It shows the Australian cricket team is still good for one thing, and that is projecting a positive image of Australia in India," he said.
However, the report found that Australia was well-liked in India with Indians holding relatively warm feelings towards Australia (56 degrees on a scale of 0 to 100), which ranks fourth after the US (62), Singapore (58) and Japan (57) out of 22 countries in the survey.