Christy Clark, premier of the Canadian province of British Columbia (BC) on Saturday announced to forge a collaboration in the fields of skill development, faculty exchange, food technology, processing and cold chain, and dairying and milk processing with the Punjab government to boost socio-economic ties, a spokesperson said here.
The decision was taken by the visiting delegation led by Clark following a meeting with Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal at his residence here on Saturday. Taking part in the deliberations, the BC premier assured Badal that the decisions taken in the meeting would be implemented in the right earnest as Punjabis shared cordial ties with Canada besides contributing enormously in its overall development and prosperity.
She asked the minister of advanced education, BC, Amrik Virk, who accompanied her, to tie up with Punjab education minister Daljit Singh Cheema to work out the modalities for teacher and student exchange programmes during the summer vacations besides initiating a faculty exchange programme.
Under the programme, the faculty of the University of British Columbia would visit Punjab's universities especially in the fields of pharmacology, generic medicines and bio-energy. She also promised to give due recognition to certificate/diploma courses of skill training there in BC so as to enable Punjab's youth to be gainfully employed there, according to the spokesperson.
Responding positively to proposals put forth by Badal to collaborate in the areas of food technology and dairying, the BC premier apprised him that they had a Canadian trade centre at Chandigarh where the Punjab government could submit proposals for active consideration.
She also evinced keen interest in the exchange of cultural troupes of eminent musicians and folk singers from Punjab to participate in the Vancouver Punjabi Mela held every year.
Meanwhile, Badal emphasised the need to put a mechanism in place to follow up on these decisions to ensure prompt implementation. He suggested that a high-level group headed by state chief secretary be constituted to take these and any other issues forward.
He also impressed upon the visiting premier to set up ventures in the upcoming Medicity and Educity at New Chandigarh (Mullanpur).