Citing Q2 growth of 7.6 per cent in FY24, the Union finance minister said the country had the most significant growth making it the fastest-growing economy.
Indian students pursuing higher education in Canada find themselves in a state of significant uncertainty amid the growing tensions between India and Canada.
Canada hosts a substantial number of Indian residents, with the Ministry of External Affairs reporting 962,670 Persons of Indian origin (as per the 2006 Census). Among this group, 50% identify as Sikhs, 39% as Hindus, while the rest follow Islam, Christianity, Jainism, Buddhism, and other faiths. The majority of Persons of Indian origin reside in major urban centers such as the Greater Toronto Area, Greater Vancouver Area, Montreal, and Calgary. (Unofficial estimates put the current number of Persons of Indian origin in Canada at 1.2 million). In addition, there are nine Indo-Canadian Members of Parliament in the House of Commons, one in the Senate, two Persons of Indian origin MPs serving as Ministers of State in the federal government, and one Persons of Indian origin MP as Parliamentary Secretary to the Foreign Minister. Notable Indo-Canadian organizations include the Canada India Business Council (CIBC), Canada India Foundation (CIF), and several local chambers and associations.
The parents of these students are equally concerned, especially since many Indian colleges have already closed their admission processes. Students are left with few options if they are unable to travel due to any imposed restrictions.
Saba Moosa, a student at Sheridan College in Oakville, expressed her thoughts to The Statesman, saying, “I’ve been closely following the recent developments between India and Canada. I came to Canada to pursue my education and career and have always felt welcomed and respected here. While Oakville remains peaceful, I’ve been receiving calls from worried parents and relatives in India. I sincerely hope that the two governments can peacefully and diplomatically resolve their differences, restoring trust and friendship. This is crucial for me as an international student and for many others like me.”
Another student, Shaarav Dhingra at Concordia University, shared his perspective: “Canada has always been my dream destination for higher education and research, as it is one of the best in the world. I’ve been preparing for my journey to Montreal, Canada, for several weeks now. However, the current situation has left me and my family in a state of deep uncertainty. With only a few weeks until my departure, I hope that tensions between India and Canada do not escalate.”
After completing their 12th standard, many students decide to pursue higher education at foreign universities, which are typically private and come with higher tuition fees.
Vaibhav Gupta, representing iSchoolConnect, a private agency that assists students in their journey to Canada, stated, “Canada is the second most popular destination for Indian students studying abroad. In 2022, over 1.8 lakh Indians pursued their studies in Canada, according to figures from the Ministry of External Affairs.”
Numerous agencies help students navigate their way to Canada and advise them to stay away from areas of unrest. They recommend that students keep a close eye on local news, avoid traveling alone until tensions deescalate, explore the possibility of attending virtual classes through their respective universities, register with the High Commission of India in Ottawa or the Consulate General of India in Toronto and Vancouver through the respective websites or the MADAD portal (madad.gov.in), and maintain regular contact with friends and family in India for added security.