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23 lakh Indian diaspora are reinforcing Indo-Canadian relations: Jitendra Singh

IANS | February 21, 2024 05:59 PM

NEW DELHI: Twenty-three lakh Indian diaspora are reinforcing New Delhi-Ottawa relations and contributing to the development of both nations, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Science and Technology Jitendra Singh said as he met a high-level delegation on Wednesday.

Singh told Scott Moe, Premier of Saskatchewan province who was leading the delegation, that the presence of the Indian diaspora in the Canadian Parliament and the cabinet is a testimony of longstanding relations between the two countries.

Acknowledging the positive contributions made by the Indian community, the minister said they act as a bridge between the two nations as Canada is one of the most favoured destinations for Indian students for higher education.

Singh also mentioned PM Narendra Modi’s invitation to India’s diaspora to do research in India’s premier institutions and contribute to its progress under the VAIBHAV fellowship programme.

Cooperation and collaboration in areas like Electric Vehicles, Cyber Physical System, Quantum Technologies, Future Manufacturing, Green Hydrogen Fuel, Deep Ocean Mining etc were also discussed, a Ministry of Science & technology release stated.

He told the delegation that under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership, India established the ‘Anusandhan’ National Research Foundation.

The foundation prioritises research in areas of technology and science to foster and revitalise the innovation ecosystem with around 60-70 per cent participation of the private sector.

He also emphasised that the government is keen on opening arms to welcome non-governmental organisations to contribute to technology development and support them.

The meeting comes as India is keen to develop research collaborations with Canadian R&D institutions and technology collaborations with Canadian industries.

Speaking of Canada and India relations, Moe said it has made great strides in recent years and has become truly multidimensional, spurred by a significant convergence of interests, mutual goodwill, and exchanges.

He said the relationship has grown between India and Saskatchewan, especially after opening their office in Delhi, and strengthens their resolve to work with India and achieve collective growth.

After arriving in New Delhi on Tuesday, Moe met External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar who praised the Indians in Canada for serving as a bridge between the two nations.

"Appreciate @PremierScottMoe’s strong support for our partnership and looking forward to deepening our cooperation, " Jaishankar said as he also shared a picture of the two leaders shaking hands.

"An important supplier of potash, lentils, and uranium. Saskatchewan’s Indian-origin community has truly been a bridge between us, " he added.

Saskatchewan is home to 15, 660 Indians, according to the 2021 census, and from 2016 to 2021, immigrants from India made up 18.4 per cent of total immigrants moving into the province.

The province's exports to India stand at more than $1 billion and roughly make up a third of Canada's total exports to the country. In addition, the province also has a trade and investment office in New Delhi.

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