Kevin Rudd this week will attempt to boost Australia's economic and strategic ties with India, on his first visit to the subcontinent as prime minister.
Mr Rudd flies into Mumbai on Wednesday on a whistlestop visit to a country flagged as a foreign policy priority since he won government.
Two earlier attempts to make the trip had to be shelved because of domestic issues in India.
This visit is aimed at bolstering Australia's relationship with the south Asian superpower, the world's biggest democracy with a growing middle class and a population of 1.2 billion.
It will help make amends for strained relations earlier this year, after a spate of violent attacks that seemed directed at Indian students turned the spotlight on problems in the rapidly-growing education export industry.
Mr Rudd is the most senior member of the government to head to India after an outcry over the students' treatment led to fears about a possible backlash affecting the $15 billion a year industry.
Education is Australia's third biggest export, and India sends the second largest number of students to Australia after China.
Mr Rudd will meet a range of political and business leaders during his trip to Mumbai and New Delhi, including Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Australia is keen to build its trade relationship with India - already the country's fourth biggest customer - given its vast potential as a consumer market.
Like China, India is crucial to Australia's growth prospects over the coming decades.
The two countries have been considering a free trade agreement to build their economic ties.
A recently completed feasibility study reportedly found a free-trade deal would be favourable to both countries, but it remains unclear whether Mr Rudd and Mr Singh will give the green light to the start of negotiations.
Rory Medcalfe, from the Lowy Institute for International Policy, says that despite the strong growth in trade, Australia's relations with India continue to fall below expectations.
In a policy paper released on Tuesday, Mr Medcalfe argued the two countries should be looking at ways to expand their strategic partnership, particularly in areas like defence and energy security.
The Rudd government, he says, needs to act on its rhetoric about India.
"Two years on (from winning office), the Rudd government's progress in pressing its claim has been uneven and in some areas downright disappointing, especially on the strategic front," Mr Medcalfe said.
An issue Canberra and New Delhi haven't seen eye to eye on is the Rudd government's refusal to sell uranium to India because it isn't a signatory to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT).
The matter may be raised ahead of a review of the NPT next year and could take on greater import for India in the context of global efforts to address climate change.
"Australia and India should work to expand common ground on nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament, which might help open the way on uranium sales," Mr Medcalfe says.
"Both governments need fully to grasp Australia's vast potential in ensuring India's energy security."