The India- Canada relationship holds immense significance for UPSC students as it ranks among India’s vital bilateral connections. In this article, we’ll explore the India-Canada relationship, understand why it’s making headlines, delve into its historical background, highlight its key aspects, and discuss the challenges it faces. If you’re preparing for your UPSC IAS exam, remember to visit our website ThePrayasIndia for valuable assistance. Let’s begin this informative blog on the India- Canada relationship.
Why in the news?
A significant diplomatic crisis has emerged between India and Canada, triggered by accusations from the Canadian Prime Minister. He alleged that agents from the Indian government were involved in the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a prominent Khalistani leader, in June 2023. This incident has raised tensions between the two nations to an unprecedented level.
Historical Foundation: India Canada Relation UPSC
|1947||India and Canada established diplomatic relations in 1947 after India’s independence.|
|1948||Canada supports a plebiscite in Kashmir, reflecting early diplomatic cooperation.|
|1968||The Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute (SICI) was founded, to foster education and cultural cooperation between India and Canada.|
|2010||India and Canada signed a Nuclear Cooperation Agreement (NCA), deepening their collaboration in the field of nuclear technology.|
|2017||Canada is the “Country of Focus” at the 48th International Film Festival of India held in Goa, strengthening cultural ties.|
|2018||Canada’s first Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite is launched from the Indian spaceport Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh, aboard ISRO’s 100th Satellite launch.|
|2022||India became Canada’s 9th-largest merchandise trading partner in the Indo-Pacific region and the 13th-largest globally. India also ranks as the 14th-largest destination for Canadian merchandise export|
- Bilateral dialogues like the India-Canada Track 1.5 Dialogue continue to promote political cooperation.
- Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) negotiations are in progress to enhance economic ties.
- Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) are periodically renewed in the field of science and technology, focusing on areas like quantum computing and artificial intelligence.
- Canada’s willingness to examine Conformity Verification Body (CVB) status for APEDA facilitates Indian organic product exports.
- ANTRIX, ISRO’s commercial arm, continues to launch nanosatellites from Canada.
- IC-IMPACTS serves as a Center of Excellence, promoting research collaborations and partnerships for community development and sustainability between Canada and India.
Significance: India Canada Relations
Canada is home to one of the world’s largest Indian diasporas, comprising a significant 1.6 million individuals of Indian origin. This community represents over 3 percent of Canada’s total population and includes approximately 700,000 Non-Resident Indians (NRIs).
At the ministerial level, Canada and India have forged a strategic partnership, which encompasses crucial dialogues on foreign policy, trade and investment, finance, and energy. Additionally, at the official level, various working groups are actively engaged in addressing important areas like counter-terrorism, security, agriculture, education, science, and technology, among others.
In terms of trade, the relationship is robust. In 2021, India stood as Canada’s 14th largest export market and the 13th largest trading partner on a global scale. Furthermore, India has emerged as the leading source of international students studying in Canada, with approximately 230,000 Indian students, according to 2022 data.
Recognizing the economic significance of the Indo-Pacific region, Canada is keen to strengthen its ties with India. A comprehensive strategy for the Indo-Pacific has been initiated, in which India plays a pivotal role as a key partner in Canada’s economic endeavors in the region.
- Addressing Cultural Sensitivities: India has expressed concerns about certain Sikh groups in Canada advocating for Khalistan, a separate Sikh state. A parade depicting Indira Gandhi’s assassination intensified these worries. The combination of rising Sikh activism in Canada, Indian pressure, and Ottawa’s reluctance has strained bilateral relations.
- Visa and Immigration Issues: Indian students facing visa difficulties for studying in Canada have caused dissatisfaction and raised concerns in India.
- Divergent Stances on Global Matters: Canada and India’s differing views, notably on the Kashmir situation, have strained diplomatic ties, as evident during the G20 meeting in New Delhi.
- Agricultural Trade Disputes: Indian dairy and poultry producers have trade-related concerns about Canadian exports like pulses and canola oil, leading to disputes in agricultural trade.
- Economic Diversification: Expand trade beyond traditional sectors, including emerging technologies, renewable energy, and healthcare, fostering new avenues for cooperation and economic growth
- Cultural Exchange: Promote cultural exchange programs, art exhibitions, and film festivals to deepen understanding of each other’s cultures and traditions.
- Environmental Cooperation: Collaborate on green technologies, sustainable development, and renewable energy initiatives, given their shared commitment to combat climate change.
- Addressing Khalistan Issue: Encourage open and inclusive dialogue involving the Sikh community, Indian government representatives, and Canadian officials. Both nations should implement legal measures to counter political extremism.
- Security Cooperation: Strengthen cooperation on counter-terrorism, particularly through the framework of the Joint Working Group (JWG) on Counter-Terrorism.
Conclusion: India Canada Relations
In conclusion, this blog has given us important insights into the India- Canada relationship, including its history, significance and challenges. For UPSC aspirants, understanding these global dynamics is vital. If you’d like more in-depth information, you can visit Wikipedia or BBC News. Remember, we’re here to support you in achieving your UPSC Exam goals, so don’t hesitate to explore our resources. Best of luck with your preparations!