India-Canada to ink civil nuclear pact during Dr. Singh's visit

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New Delhi, June 22 (ANI): Secretary (west) Vivek katju said on Tuesday that India and Canada are expected to sign a number of agreements including co-operation in Civil Nuclear Energy during Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh's upcoming visit to Canada.

Briefing the media, ahead of the visit, Katju said: "A number of agreements and Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) are under discussion and negotiations with the Canadian side."

"Some of these have made substantial progress and if concluded before the visit in all respects, may be signed during the visit," he added.

Dr Singh is visiting Canada on a four-day visit from June 26.

Katju said apart from co-operation in Civil Nuclear Energy, both countries are expected to sign an MoU for Cooperation in Mining, an MoU for Cooperation in Higher Education, an MoU for Cooperation in Culture and a Social Security Agreement.

Agreements will be signed after a bilateral meeting between Dr. Singh and his Canadian counterpart, Stephen Harper.

The civilian nuclear energy agreement is expected to allow India to secure uranium, nuclear equipment and technology to meet its energy needs.

The agreement will cover the large ambit of peaceful nuclear applications.

India, which is Asia's third-biggest energy consumer needs uranium, boilers, reactors and turbines as it plans to raise nuclear generation capacity 10-fold over the next decade to sustain its economic growth.

Besides uranium exports, Canada is looking for its 1200-MWe class Advanced CANDU reactor as a good fit for the Indian nuclear programme due to its size and localisation potential.

A three-decade ban on nuclear supplies to India was lifted in September 2008, following which the government has signed civil nuclear agreements with countries including U.S., Russia, France and Namibia.

India and Canada have been engaged, over the past few years, in enhancing the substance of the bilateral relationship in areas that can directly contribute to the welfare of the people.

"There has been a focus on economic and commercial cooperation and cooperation in the field of science, technology, innovation, education, health and agriculture among others," Katju said.

He expressed confidence that Dr.Singh's visit to Toronto will give another impetus to India-Canada cooperation. (ANI)

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