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India protests Participation of Canada’s PM at ‘Khalsa Day’

India has protested the participation of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at ‘Khalsa Day’ in Toronto that saw felicitation of Sikh separatist elements and featured Khalistani flags and posters of Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale. Mr. Trudeau has become the first Canadian PM to attend the ‘Khalsa Day’ event in a decade since Paul Martin in 2005. The Khalsa Day event was organised to mark the Sikh new year.

The parade organised by the Ontario Sikhs and Gurdwara Council felicitated two legislators, who had authored a motion in the Ontario Assembly calling the 1984 anti-Sikh riots as “genocide”. The  resolution was passed by the Ontario Assembly on April 6. India had issued its strong protest against the passage of the motion (34-5) terming it as a misguided motion based on a limited understanding of India. Indian government had also expressed its reservations and concerns during the meeting between Defence Minister Arun Jaitley and Canada’s Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan on April 18.

Also in the event, Sikh militant leaders Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, Amreek Singh and former General Shahbeg Singh who were killed in Operation Bluestar in June 1984 were also glorified.

The issues over the growth of Khalistani groups in Canada is likely to be discussed during Mr. Trudeau’s expected visit to India late this year or early next year.

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Union Cabinet approves MoU between ISRO and Canadian Space Agency

The Union Cabinet has approved the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and Canadian Space Agency (CSA) on cooperation in the field of outer space.

The MoU was signed between two parties in Ottawa, Canada in April 2015. It will lead to establishment of joint team, drawing members from CSA and ISRO.

The joint team will work out the plan of action including defining and examining cooperative projects and the time-frame. It will provide opportunities for diverse research and development in the field of peaceful uses of space technologies.

Background

  • The successful space cooperation between ISRO and CSA is being pursued through Implementing Arrangements in the field of Satellite Tracking Network Operations.
  • These agreements are in the field of the ultra Violet Imaging Telescope (UVIT) Detector Subsystem of the ASTROSAT astronomy mission in December 2003 and June 2004.
  • They aimed at future cooperation in and use of outer space technology for peaceful purposes in order to reinforce technological and scientific development and the ties between India and Canada at government, industrial and academic levels.

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Canada sends first consignment of Uranium to India

Canada has successfully sent the first consignment of 250 tonnes of uranium to India as part of bilateral civil nuclear cooperation between both countries.

It was shipped by Canada’s Cameco Inc, as part of contract with Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) that was signed during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s offical visit to Canada in April 2015.

With this the 41-year-long hiatus in the bilateral nuclear cooperation between both countries finally came to an end. Canada had completely banned exports of uranium and nuclear hardware to India after it had conducted first nuclear test on 18 May 1974. It was alleged that India had used Canadian technology to develop a nuclear bomb for this test.

It should be noted that Canada is the second-largest producer of Uranium globally and is the third country to supply uranium to India after Russia and Kazakhstan.

Background

The India-Canada civil nuclear contract was signed in line with the Canada-India Nuclear Cooperation Agreement that took effect in 2013. The agreement was signed after the Nuclear Supplier Group (NSG) had granted its waiver for use of atomic power for civilian purposes in 2008 ending India’s 3 decade long isolation from international nuclear trade.

As per the supply agreement, Canada’s Cameco Corporation is going to supply 3,000 metric tonnes of uranium to India for next five years starting from year 2015. These supplies will be under the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards.

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