Showing serious concern over the problem of 'brain drain' from India in general and Punjab in particular, former Canadian member of Parliament Ruby Dhalla has advised the Punjab government to allow foreign universities set up their sister campuses in the state.
On her visit to Patiala on Sunday after attending the inaugural ceremony of Kabaddi world cup at Bathinda, Dhalla said it has been witnessed that majority of the youth from Punjab who go to Canada on study visas don't return after completion of their courses.
"This is a serious problem as the trend will lead to unemployment among the Punjabi youth in future in Canada," she said.
"Once foreign universities are in Punjab, students may have better opportunities in their own state. Moreover, it will be possible for everyone to get cheaper education than spending lakhs of rupees abroad," she said, while adding that she would take up matter with the Punjab government.
Dhalla expressed concern over the recent changes in immigration laws effected by the Canada government, which made it difficult to get visas and permanent residency.
"It is totally unfair on the government's part to change rules for those also who were waiting for past seven years to get visas and permanent residency for their parents. The government is focusing more on giving students and business visas, completely ignoring the already settled Punjabi community," she said.
Meanwhile, taking serious note of lack of direct fight from Punjab to Canada, Dhalla said she would meet union civil aviation minister Ajit Singh, seeking seeking restoration of Air India's Amritsar-Toronto flight and early clearance of international flights from upcoming SAS Nagar airport.
"Indian civil aviation has restored Amritsar-New York flight but failed to restore flights to Canada," she said.
Members of Punjabi Sabhyachar Sath and Patiala Welfare Association were also present on the occasion.