India, with regard to the problems faced by college students enrolled in Canadian universities, said that New Delhi has taken up the matter with Canada to make sure that students are not affected and that the country will continue to take measures to assist Indian students who would like to go abroad to study.

In a weekly presser, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said on Thursday, "It is an important issue. We have taken up the matter with Canada to make sure that students are not affected. We will continue to take measures to help the Indian students who want to go abroad for studies."

Earlier, the Indian High Commission in Ottawa asked the Canadian authorities to look into the problems faced by college students enrolled in Canadian universities, who are unable to join the academic courses due to delays in processing of their visas and student permits.

In an advisory, the High Commission said that Indian officials in Ottawa and consulates in Toronto and Vancouver continue to be engaged with Canadian interlocutors, including educational institutions and universities, regarding problems faced by the Indian students.

"Higlighting these issues and the fact that Indian students have already deposited tuition fees with Canadian institutions, we request the Canadian authorities to expedite the processing of visa applications for students from India," the advisory said.

It noted that Canada has emerged as a preferred destination for Indian students for post-secondary education. But the High Commission added, "The processing of visas is a sovereign power of the Canadian government."

Currently, more than 230,000 students from India enrolled in post-secondary institutions in Canada, are making a positive contribution to the Canadian economy, including through an estimated $4 billion in tuition fees.

India and Canada's strategic partnership is based on a shared commitment to democratic values, pluralism and the rule of law.

The bilateral agenda is anchored in expanding economic engagement, regular dialogue and long-standing people-to-people ties. Although Ministerial or official visits were not exchanged due to the Covid-19 pandemic, virtual interactions enabled the continuity of bilateral engagement.

Bilateral trade was worth $2.968 billion from April 1, 2021 to August 31, 2021. India's exports to Canada during this period were $1.982 billion and imports from Canada were $0.985 billion. Portfolio investments from Canada into India increased during this period.

Both countries continued negotiations for the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) and the Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPPA).

The flow of knowledge and talent is robust between both countries, with India poised to become the top source of foreign students, with 230,000 Indian students studying in Canada.

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