Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Tuesday called on President Pranab Mukherjee and discussed a host of bilateral issues, including Canadian investment in ensuring India's food security.
Mukherjee, during the meeting, told Harper that both the countries need to build a firm partnership as he said there is a "need to encourage more investment in both directions, from Canada in India's infrastructure and from India in Canada's resources sector."
The President, according to a Rashtrapati Bhawan statement, said "cooperation with Canada in the field of agriculture is crucial to India's food security.
"India imports 40 per cent of its pulses and 25 per cent of its potash requirements from Canada. With India's large and growing population, food security in the coming years is a strategic imperative for India and Canada can be an important partner in this regard," Mukherjee said.
The Canadian Prime Minister said there is a need to focus on a few areas and deepen the engagement between the two countries.
He said India has needs which can be best served by Canada and for Canada, there is no emerging market more compatible than India to expand its engagement.
'Canada can help India in sports medicine, winter sports'
Newly-appointed Sports Minister, Jitendra Singh today met his Canadian counterpart Bal Gosal in New Delhi and said that the North American nation can help India in the field of sports medicine and establishing infrastructure for winter sports.
"We exchanged several ideas for developing cooperation in sports. We have identified two areas where Canada can help us in establishing infrastructure for winter sports and developing sports medicine," Singh said.
During half-an-hour discussion, both the ministers exchanged ideas for identifying areas of cooperation between the two countries.
Gosal is currently visiting India as a part of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's delegation.
Gosal said that the bilateral relationship between India and Canada is extremely good and former is always willing to help latter in setting up winter sports facilities.
He lauded the Indian athletes' performance at recently held Summer Olympics at London where India won six medals. He also appreciated the idea of funding the sports activities through creation of National Sports Development Fund (NSDF) in Public & Private Sector participation by the Sports Ministry.
Meanwhile, on the issue of National Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel (NADDP) suspending 11 Indian athletes, who tested positive for methylhexaneamine (MHA) in the run-up to the last Commonwealth Games, for two years from the decision date, Singh said that he will first look into the judgement and then comment on the matter.
"I'll look into the panel report and then let you know."
The list of offenders include Delhi swimmer and holder of several national records, Richa Mishra, Guangzhou Asiad bronze medal-winning wrestler Mausam Khatri, Beijing Olympian Rajiv Tomar, veteran swimmer Amar Muralidharan, Jyotsna Pansare (swimming), shot putter Saurabh Vij, Akash Antil (athletics), Gursharan Preet Kaur, Joginder Singh, Rahul Maan and Sumit Sehrawat (all wrestling).