The Australian high commissioner to India, Harinder Sidhu, will start her four-day (February 17-20) visit to Punjab from Amritsar on Saturday. On the first day of the visit, the diplomat of Punjabi origin will pay obeisance at Golden Temple, besides visiting the Indo-Pak Partition Museum, said a release issued here on Friday by her office.
She was quoted as saying, “Australia and India’s northern region enjoy close ties particularly in education, agriculture and sport sectors. A large proportion of Australia’s Indian community comes from the region, and Punjabi is now one of the top 10 languages spoken at home in Australia.”
“This will be my third official visit to Punjab, and I look forward to advancing our cooperation in the agriculture sector,” Sidhu added, as per the release. “The visit to the Golden Temple is very special for me at a personal level. Both my parents are Punjabi, and my father was born in Punjab.”
Sidhu will visit the Borlaug Institute for South Asia in Ludhiana, where she will meet with stakeholders from the state government and the farming community to talk about Happy Seeder, a technology that could help address the environmental issues of stubble burning. “Happy Seeder is an excellent example of practical cooperation between Australia and India. It was developed by the Punjab Agricultural University and Australian engineers and scientists with support from the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research a decade ago.”
In Ludhiana, Sidhu will also launch two skill development initiatives by UDAY, a social enterprise run by Australian alumnus Param Singh — the Mooo app and a mobile dairy van.