India-Canada Relations

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Feb 3, 2023, 18:18

India-Canada relations are based on common values of democracy, pluralism, and solid and interpersonal relations. Long-standing bilateral ties exist between Canada and India which include a network of official dialogues, agreements, memorandums of understanding, and working groups. This strengthens the profound cultural and political ties between India-Canada relations.

The relations between the two countries were strained in December 2020 after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke out against the farmers' protests in India. It was seen as interfering with India's domestic affairs. Find out more details about India-Canada relations here.

India-Canada Relations - Overview

India-Canada relations have mostly been good but at certain times in the last few decades, the relationship between the two countries was strained. However, it did not have any long-term impact on the relationship between India and Canada. Canada is one of the largest Indian diasporas in the entire world and also a top study destination for Indian students.

When we talk about India-Canada relations, we also need to consider the bilateral ties between the two countries. In 2009, the bilateral trade between the countries was at C$4.14 billion. The respective governments of the countries are taking steady steps towards improving India-Canada relations even further.

History of India-Canada Relations

The history of India-Canada relations has mostly been smooth, except for some situations. There have been a few instances where the ties between the two countries were severed for a certain period of time. Some of these instances where the India-Canada relations were strained are as follows:

  • The Smiling Buddha nuclear test by India severed India-Canada relations in 1974.
  • After the Air India Flight 182 bombing, the ties between the two countries were challenged.
  • For a brief period of time in December 2020, India-Canada relations were in question because Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke up about the farmer's protests in India.
  • As a response, on 4 December 2020, the Indian foreign ministry summoned Nadir Patel, the Canadian high commissioner, to India.

Political India-Canada Relations

India and Canada have similar parliamentary structures and procedures as Westminster-style democracies. Mr Raj Saini, a member of the House of Commons, was named Chair of the Canada-India Parliamentary Association following the general election in October 2019.

Some of the political spheres within the India-Canda relations are being reconsidered. The following agreements/MOUs are currently being negotiated between India and Canada:

  • Foreign Investment Promotion Agreement (FIPA)
  • Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA)
  • Audio-Visual Co-Production Treaty

India-Canada Bilateral Trade

When it comes to bilateral trade, the India-Canada relations have always been fruitful. Here is some more information about India and Canada’s bilateral ties.

  1. India is Canada's ninth-largest export market and its tenth-largest trading partner.
  2. In recent years, trade between India and Canada has increased by 62 per cent, making India one of Canada's fastest-growing export markets.
  3. In Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, and New Delhi, Canada has opened Trade Offices. Bombardier, SNC Lavalin, CAE, Inc., and other well-known Canadian corporations have a substantial presence in India.

India-Canada Relations - Economic and Investment

About 400 Canadian companies have their offices or business operations in India, and around 1000 companies are actively entering the Indian market for business prospects.

The following are the specifics of India-Canada relations over the years (in billions of dollars):






India's Exports





India's Imports










India-Canada Relations - Education

With 2,03,000 Indian students studying in Canada, India has recently surpassed China as the leading source of international students. When it comes to education, India-Canada relations are the best. Here are some more details.

  1. In February 2018, the MoU on Higher Education (2010) between Canada and the United States was extended. This Memorandum of Understanding focuses on increasing collaboration in student and faculty mobility.
  2. As of 2020, 69 renowned Canadian faculty members have visited India for teaching assignments in Indian institutions as part of the Global Initiative of Academic Works (GIAN) programme.
  3. The Scheme for Promotion of Academic and Research Collaboration (SPARC), an initiative to improve research ecosystems in India's higher education institutions, includes Canada as one of the 28 nations covered.

India-Canada Relations - Science and Technology

India-Canada relations are also great when it comes to collaborating to develop science and technology.

  1. The main focus of Indo-Canadian science and technology collaboration has been on encouraging industrial R&D with application potentials, such as the development of new IP, processes, prototypes, or products.
  2. A programme for knowledge exchange and scientific research on Cold Climate (Arctic) Studies has been launched by the Department of Earth Science and Polar Canada.
  3. In 2012, a five-year MoU on Cooperation in Information and Communication Technology and Electronics (ICTE) was signed.

Cultural Relations between India and Canada

India-Canada Relations have been smooth with some minor tiffs here and there. You should consider all of these factors and know about the relationship between these countries.

  1. There is a film co-production agreement between India and Canada.
  2. For more than a decade, Parliament Hill has been hosting Diwali celebrations. On Diwali in 2017, Canada Post and India Post collaborated to release a commemorative stamp.
  3. The overall cultural development of India-Canda relations has been on a steady rise.

Important Current Affairs Topics

List of Districts in TripuraList of Districts in Mizoram
Cyclone GulabInternational Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation
World Cancer DayIndian Coast Guard Day
Coringa Wildlife SanctuaryAmphan Cyclone
Asian ElephantAmar Jawan Jyoti

FAQs on India-Canada Relations

Q.1. How are India-Canada relations?

India-Canada relations are great in spheres such as bilateral trade, education, culture, etc. The India-Canada Relations came into existence in 1947, when India gained its independence. Since both the countries are former British colonies and part of the Commonwealth, India-Canada relations have been great.

Q.2. How are the India-Canada Relations concerning space research?

India-Canada relations in the sphere of space research and development seem promising.

In October 1996 and March 2003, ISRO and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) signed two memorandums of understanding (MOUs) in space exploration and utilisation.

Q.3. How are the India-Canada Relations in the area of defence?

India and Canada work closely together in international fora, mainly through the United Nations, Commonwealth, and G-20. On counter-terrorism matters, there is strong cooperation, mainly through the Joint Working Group on Counter-Terrorism. Overall, India-Canada relations in defence are great.

Q.4. To strengthen India-Canada Relations, which festival is celebrated on Parliament Hill every year?

Diwali is celebrated every year on Parliament Hill to strengthen India-Canada Relations. As Canada is one of the biggest Indian diasporas, the cultural influence of Indians is immense in Canada. As a result, to acknowledge healthy India-Canada relations, Diwali is celebrated every year on Parliament Hill.