India, Canada to promote cooperation in mining, culture, education

     India and Canada on Sunday said that both countries are committed to enhancing cooperation in the sectors of mining, agriculture, higher education, culture and science and technology. A joint statement issued by the two sides after bilateral-level talks revealed the signing of three Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs). Welcoming the signing of the MOU on Earth Sciences and Mining, Prime Ministers Manmohan Singh and Stephen Harper said that they were now looking forward the signing of an MOU on Transportation, and suggested that collaboration in these fields would enhance the scope of trade and investment in natural resources and infrastructure. The MOU on mining and earth sciences envisages seven specific areas of cooperation. They are: 1. Exploration in geo-chemistry and geo-physics 2. Geo-hazards 3.Geo-science information and related informatics 4.environtmental geology 5.Improving dialogue on mining and related activities at various international fora 6. Seek ways to improve market access and promote bilateral investment in the mining sectors of both countries 7.Interactions on other areas of mutual interest. India described Canada as a major mining nation with state-of-the-art technology and mining expertise, and therefore added that Indians involved this sector could benefit by way of education, training and human resource development. It was felt that through this MOU collaborative geo-scientific projects would receive a boost. With regard to the MOU on Culture, the joint statement said it would strengthen and promote better mutual understanding in art, literature, history, sports and other cultural disciplines. Through this MOU, the holding of more cultural and arts festivals and exhibitions would become feasible in either country. It would also promote the exchange of professionals, experts, provide knowledge, technical support and expertise in various fields linked to culture and history. Under the MOU, Canada has agreed to organise an exhibition on 'Inuit Art' in the National Museum in New Delhi in 2010 and a Festival of India in Canada in 2011. The MOU for cooperation in higher education will see a greater exchange of students at undergraduate, graduate and post-doctoral level, and short-term awards for faculty and students for research and curriculum development. Under the MOU, the holding of joint workshops, seminars, special technical programs, professional and academic development has been envisaged. Exchange of research materials, publications, educational literature, etc. It was also agreed through the MOU, that twinning arrangements between institutions of higher learning and promotion of teaching and research about India and Canada would be promoted. Emphasis would also be placed on promotion of vocational education and training. It was also decided to explore possibilities of mutual recognition of educational qualifications and reciprocal internships programs in areas of mutual interest. Both said that this cooperation would help to build the knowledge economy of the future. Both Prime Minister Singh and Prime Minister Harper said that the intensification of bilateral ties should be seen as a major step and would give momentum to existing relations. In speech given at a banquet held in his honour by Prime Minister Harper, Dr. Singh said that Harper and he have identified education as an area of high priority. "In India, we have embarked upon a massive education and skill development programme. Canadian Universities and academic institutions are renowned for their excellence and world education. We should aim to collaborate in the cutting edges of technology and build the knowledge economy in the 21st century," said Dr. Singh. Both noted initiatives to link Canadian and Indian universities and colleges and the creation of chairs and centers for Indian studies at a number of Canadian universities.

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