On December 8, the ICEC AGM featured key Indo-Canada education industry luminaries as we discussed the post-pandemic outlook, challenges, and opportunities, and highlighted institutions and government bodies that have taken the helm in the areas of student recruitment and engagement, including Chief Guest Hon. Deepak Anand, MPP, Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development and Keynote Speaker Dr. Pradeep Merchant, Co-Chair, Canada India Centre for Excellence in Science, Technology, Trade and Policy, and Board of Governors, Carleton University.

Speakers and participants engaged in a round-table discussion on labour market shortages and burgeoning fields, skills development, international student engagement, bridging programs and other pathways towards acquiring credentials, grooming students for success, and much more.

As India tentatively recovers from the pandemic, Canada and India opens borders, and Canada eases student restrictions, Indian students once again look to Canada as a top-tier destination country. ICEC calls on Indo-Canada education stakeholders to seize the moment and take bold steps to meet demand for higher education opportunities. ICEC thanks all speakers and participants for an enriching discussion on the next steps towards developing the Indo-Canada education corridor. Please subscribe to our weekly Sector Update to be notified of future events. You can view the full presentation playlist here.

Watch a presentation by the Hon. Deepak Anand, MPP (Mississauga-Malton), Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development.

Hon. Deepak Anand, MPP reminds us the strength of Canada lies in our diversity, but we lack human resources. India can help us meet that demand. He also urges us to heed the call to be global leaders in a global village.

Mr. Deepak Anand highlighted the importance of educators in nurturing and grooming students to help meet demand for burgeoning fields. He stressed the future of student recruitment is not just business, marketing and engineering. Currently we have a need for 20,000 nurses, 27,000 personal support workers 100,0000 skilled trade employees. Educators have an integral role in building up these less-common fields.

Watch a presentation by Ms. Apoorva Srivastava, Consul General of India, Toronto

Our Guest of Honour Apoorva Srivastava, Consul General of India, Toronto, shares her insights on importance of the Indo-Canada education corridor. With 230,000 students studying in Canada, India is largest source of human capital in Canada and there are over 300 MoUs between institutions of learning and India. Most students stay in Canada, adding to the economic development, and we develop cross-country competencies.

As India recovers from the pandemic and Indians spend more on education, interest in studying abroad in Canada will continue to grow. Ms. Srivastava stressed the importance of students receiving proper information and guidance. She encouraged students studying in Canada to register with the Consulate for assistance and support. The consulate is your home away from home.

Watch a presentation by Dr. Pradeep Merchant, Co-Chair of the Canada-India Center for Excellence

Dr. Pradeep Merchant, Co-Chair of the “Canada-India Center for Excellence in Science, Technology, Trade and Policy” in Ottawa at the Carleton University is a well-known and respected individual in the Indo-Canadian community. He is also the Site Chief of the Division of Neonatology at the Civic Campus and Assistant Professor in Dept. of Paediatrics at University of Ottawa.

Dr. Merchant stresses the most importance currency Canada has to give to India is education. Every student becomes an ambassador of India, and when they finish their training, become an integral part of educational and economical development of Canada.

He provides an overview of the Canada-India Centre for Excellence’s activities, including the Canada-India Acceleration Program, professional development, policy research and dialogue, and potential areas of support.

Professional development programs; that is, short, non-academic credit granting courses delivered in a variety of subjects for university students, the private sector, and govt entities in India. These programs are delivered virtually and in-person, in fields such as nursing, business, and data science.

Entrepreneurship development: the Canada-India Acceleration Program supports women-led businesses scale their ventures in India and Canada. Achievements include 31 startups supported and $10m in revenue.

Policy research & dialogue: CICE provides a platform for academics and policy experts to discuss critical issues of relevance to the Canada-India relationship.

To learn more, visit

Watch Presentation by Dr. Dnyaneshwari Talpade, Public Affairs, Education Advisor, Quebec Government Office in Mumbai

Dr. Talpade speaks on the merits of Quebec as a study destination. The focus of the Government of Quebec Office in Mumbai is to develop institutional relations between universities and institutes in Quebec and India.

Quebec welcomes 2,500 students from India every year. Many universities now offer courses in French and English, and with excellent research facilities with cutting edge technologies and nearly 500 scientific agreements with countries and corporate partnerships, Quebec is a great study destination in IT, AI, biotech, video-gaming, aviation and more. Quebec is also on the look-out for skilled manpower.

Watch Presentation by Ms. Chitralekha Potnis, President, Peel College of Professional Studies

Ms. Chitralekha Potnis, President, Peel College of Professional Studies, urges institutions and parents to prepare students psychologically for studying abroad in Canada.

She reflects on her 35 years in the international education sector and urges educators in India to groom students prior to arrival in Canada. She argues hard skills are adequately instilled by educational institutions, but students often lack soft skills. While students are excited to settle down in Canada, they often lack the social skills required to find employment and settle in to life in Canada.

Watch Presentation by Nandita Bandopadhyay, Senior Vice President, Shiksha Study Abroad

Nandita Bandopadhyay, Senior Vice President, Shiksha Study Abroad, describes the Shiksha Study Abroad student recruitment model and their outstanding work promoting equitable student access to education opportunities. and connect education seekers with education providers. The sites also provides access to credible & verified data on top recruiters, education loans, accommodation and alumni salary. Students can access comprehensive information on colleges, programs, scholarships, admission notifications, ask questions and get answers from users/experts and view recommendations for various colleges and courses. The site provides tools that enable its users to make a well informed decision by interacting with a community of users, domain experts and college/school alumni. is an ICEC Event Partner and Member.

Watch Presentation by ICICI Bank Canada

ICICI Bank Canada is a full service direct bank with a corporate office in Toronto offering a wide range of financial solutions and products tailored to international students. ICICI Bank Canada’s student ecosystem includes the Student GIC Program, the Student Direct Stream (SDS) program with IRCC, Unifee, an online portal facilitating easy payment for between international students and Canadian educational instiutions, as well as international student banking. Learn more about these services here and watch ICICI Bank Canada’s corporate video here.

Watch the Roundtable Discussion

Mr. Sandeep Goel, President & Chief Executive Officer, ICICI Bank Canada, reflects on the symbiotic relationship between India and Canada.

Dr. Merchant speaks on the importance of community colleges in skills development and as a bridge for Indian students coming into Canada, as many already have undergraduate degrees. He highlights the Canadian Association of Students of Indian Origin, which works with the University of Ottawa, Algonquin College, and other community colleges.

ICEC Chairman Surinder Singh Madan poses a question to Dr. Merchant on how we can facilitate meeting demand for paramedical programs.

Carleton University is now reaching out in paramedical fields such as pharmacy assistants, respiratory technologists and therapists. Dr. Merchant argues the pandemic has exposed we need not just the medicine but also the team, highlighting the importance of other therapies.

Regarding core medical programs, Dr. Merchant explained the opportunities and pathway to practicing medicine in the subspecialties for students who have done their residency in India.

Dr. Merchant and Dr. Talpade pose questions on skills development and education bridging for Hon. Deepak Anand. Dr. Merchant stresses the importance of facilitating an easy and efficient process for students to come in. This is where we can work with the Ministries and organisations such as

Hon. Deepak Anand urges continuing to build bridges to support the global community. He reminds us that when we teach children we not only serve Canada but also the world.

Thank you to our Members, Advisors and all other participants for joining us for this year’s AGM.

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