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What will be the impact of New Delhi-Ottawa rift on Indian students in Canada?

Amid tension between two countries, the students willing to migrate to study in Canada may face some consequences. Check details here.

Nidhi Mittal Written By: Nidhi Mittal @nidhi_mittal09 New Delhi Updated on: September 21, 2023 17:32 IST
Representational Image
Image Source : PIXABAY Representational Image

The relationship between India and Canada has crumbled after the allegations of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau against the Indian government in the killing of wanted Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar.

The Indian government strongly rejected all the allegations and accused Canada of providing shelter to Khalistani extremists. However, tensions have now reached a boiling point after the recent killing of Nijjar and Trudeau's refusal to condemn Khalistani activities. Both countries have also expelled each other's top diplomats.

Amid a diplomatic row between two countries, India has suspended visa services for Canadian nationals today, September 21. The government has stated that the suspension of visa services is a temporary measure that will be reviewed in the coming weeks. However, it is not yet clear when the suspension will be lifted.

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It has also been reported that India has ordered to minimize the strength of diplomatic staff in Ottawa in order to secure them from threats posed by Khalistani terror groups and social media platforms.

Earlier, New Delhi issued a travel advisory cautioning Indian nations and students to refrain from visiting Ottawa amid rising hate crimes and criminal violence in Canada. 

According to a news agency, ANI, Congress MP Ravneet Singh Bittu had a discussion with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in parliament on September 20 regarding the students in Canada. He told the news agency that the center would take care of the students in Canada in terms of their security and safety.

Indian Intelligence agencies alerted Indians and government officials living in Canada

Amid tensions between Canada and India, Indian intelligence agencies have warned Indians and government officials living in Canada about the aggressive and intensified activities. The agencies have cautioned that Pro-Khalistani entities could target Indians, temples, and businesses run by Indian entrepreneurs.

Students staying in Canada can register via Madad App

While sharing advisory on September 20, the external ministry asked the Indian students staying in Canada to register themselves with the High Commisison of India in Ottawa or with the consulates in Toronto and Vancouver through their respective websites or MADAD portal,  The main objective of the Madad portal is to facilitate seamless conectivity between the consulates and indian citizens staying in Canada, in the event of any untoward incident or emergency situation.

Will the India-Canada rift impact Indian Canadian Students?

India has been the largest country for International students in Canada. Since 2018. Every year, thousands of Indians move to Canada to pursue higher education. Since 2018, Indians have made up the largest number of overseas students in Canada. 

As per the immigration, refugee, and citizenship data for Canada, a total of 800,000 international students enrolled themselves in Canadian universities. Of these, 40 percent were from India.

In 2022, the number of Indian students in Canada rose 47 percent to around 320,000, according to the data shared by the Canadian Bureau of International Education.

Students are Anxious

Amid tensions between both countries, students willing to migrate to Canada are anxious about their future.

While speaking to Indian Express, a student from Jalandhar stated that he cleared his IELTS (International English Language Testing System) last month and is now researching various universities in Canada, as his ultimate dream is to settle there after completing his studies. However, he is concerned that the Canadian Embassy may deny his student visa.

A consultant, Gurpreet Singh, stated that Every year, 40% of international students migrate to Canada from India. Such a large source of revenue cannot be disregarded by Canada. Now, we must see how both countries handle travelers' entry at their own borders. Some students may bear the brunt of this development, Quoted by Indian Express.

ALso Read: India suspends visa services for Canadians as diplomatic tensions soar after Trudeau's allegations

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