Well-being and security of Indian students in Canada should be taken care govts: Ravneet Bittu
Bittu writes letter to PM Modi requesting him to take up matter with his counterpart in Canada
New Delhi, September 21, 2023:
Congress MP Ravneet Bittu reacted to the decision of the ministry of external affairs (MEA) to suspend visa services for Canadian citizens.
Bittu said there is great sense of insecurity and helplessness among Indian students currently undergoing their studies in Canada as also their family members back in India due to the ongoing diplomatic tussle between India and Canada that calls for urgent intervention by the Indian Government.
Writing a letter to PM Narendra Modi today, Ravneet Bittu urged the him to intervene in this regard and take this issue with his Canada counterpart on Priority. “The Prime Minister should personally intervene in the matter and ensure the well-being and sense of security of the students and protect the interests of the large number of Indian students studying in Canada by insulating them from any possible fallout of the strained diplomatic relations with Canada and also help towards restoration of mutual trust and goodwill among the two countries,” said Bittu.
He said there are over 6 lakh Indian students currently are studying in Canada, many of them have applied for permanent residentship of Canada after finishing their respective courses. Indian students studying in Canada have been contributing significantly to their economy through various channels like payment of tuition fees to Canadian Universities and Colleges, incurring living expenses, part-time employment, contribution to local businesses, research and innovation etc.
Bittu further wrote that Canada at present is in the midst of a big recession with impeding scarcity of jobs and shortage of affordable accommodation for these Indian students which has been a matter of great anxiety for them as well as their parents here in India.
“Now, this diplomatic standoff between the two countries has further aggravated the already difficult situation and added to the stress and anxiety being faced by the Indian students in Canada along with their family members in India. I, being a Member of Parliament from Punjab am particularly concerned about the present sorry plight of the Indian students, particularly, from Punjab studying in Canada.
Bittu apprehended that increased diplomatic tensions might lead to delays or complications in Visa processing for Indian students adversely affecting those who plan to study in Canada or those seeking Visa extensions,” he said.
The Congress MP added that it is also possible that in response, Canada may introduce stricter immigration policies, which could make it more challenging for Indian students to obtain study permits or work permits. Also, some Indian students may experience discrimination or bias based on their nationality or ethnicity. This may also create social discomfort for Indian students, potentially affecting their overall well-being and sense of security in Canada.