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India-Canada sign 6 MoUs to strengthen bilateral relationship

India-Canada sign 6 MoUs to strengthen bilateral relationship

India and Canada on February 23, 2018 signed six memorandums of understanding (MoUs) with an aim to boost bilateral relationship. The MoUs were signed following the meeting between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who is on a six-day official visit to India from January 17, 2018.

List of MoUs signed

  • Joint Declaration of Intent on Cooperation in the Field of Information Communications Technology and Electronics: It was signed between the Ministry of Electronics And Information Technology, India and The Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development of Canada.
  • Terms of Reference for the India-Canada Ministerial Energy Dialogue: It was agreed between the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, India and The Department of Natural Resources of Canada.
  • MoU on Cooperation in Sport: It was exchange between the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports, India and The Department of Canadian Heritage (Sport Canada).
  • MoU on Cooperation in Intellectual Property Rights: It was signed between the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, India and The Canadian Intellectual Property Office.
  • MoU on Cooperation in Higher Education: It was signed between Ministry of Human Resource Development, India and Canadian Education Office.
  • MoU on Co-Operation in the Fields of Science, Technology and Innovation: It was signed between the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), India and The Department of Natural Resources of Canada.

Controversy during Trudeau’s visit

Trudeau’s visit like other dignitaries visit to India did not catch the highlights for right reasons. Rather the visit received a total snub from the Modi government. The reason is Indian government’s displeasure over certain aspects of Trudeau’s policies; particularly Ottawa’s soft pedaling on the issue of Sikh separatism, that is, Khalistan.

The main controversy during the Trudeau’s visit related to inviting Jaspal Atwal to a reception in Mumbai. Atwal was convicted of attempting to kill Indian cabinet minister Malkiat Singh Sidhu on Vancouver Island in 1986. He was also charged, but not convicted, in connection with a 1985 attack on Dosanjh, a staunch opponent of the Sikh separatist movement's push for an independent state of Khalistan.

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