Year of India launched in Canada

Ottawa, January 27 (PTI): India has launched year-long activities and programmes in Canada to showcase the country’s rich art and culture, as well as its rise as an economic power. Indian high commissioner SM Gavai launched the ‘Year of India in Canada’ with a major investment in Canada-India Centre for Excellence in Science, Technology, Trade and Policy at the Carleton University.
Gavai and Roseann O’Reilly Runte, Carleton University president, signed an MoU on Monday governing the Visiting Chair in the field of humanities and social sciences that would bring together key members of the academic, business and public policy communities in both countries to provide cutting-edge research, analysis, training and exchanges. Gavai said the year-long festivities would include exhibitions of Indian art and culture, seminars on promoting trade and business, conferences on enhanced co-operation, food and film festivals and more in different parts of the country.
The celebratory year was designated for 2011 by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Canadian counterpart Stephen Harper during the latter’s visit to India in November 2009. “The aim is to showcase India’s rich art and culture, as well as its rise as an economic power, thereby promoting closer people-to-people ties across a broad range of sectors, including business,” Gavai said. “A number of positive developments point to an upward trajectory in this bilateral relationship. A sustained engagement of Canada with India is evident from the number of agreements and MoUs already signed between two countries such as Civilian nuclear cooperation agreement; higher education; earth sciences and mining and cultural cooperation,” Gavai said while talking to newsmen after the function.
“Social Security Agreement, the Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement, and MoU on Transportation are under negotiation and are expected to be concluded soon,” he said. Gavai said both the governments were committed in the formation of a broader human connection strategy linking segments of civil society and corporate sector in India and Canada with knowledgeable members of India Diaspora so as to formulate an action plan for next twenty year. “We are most grateful to the Indian government,” Runte said. “This generous contribution will make Carleton’s centre a unique resource for the university, the community and our country,” she added.