PA/01/18 16 February 2018
Australian High Commissioner to visit Punjab
The Australian High Commissioner to India, Ms Harinder Sidhu, will visit Punjab from 17 to 20 February 2018.
Ahead of her visit, High Commissioner Sidhu said, “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,” Ms Sidhu added.
Ms 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.”
For more than three decades, Australia and the Punjab Agricultural University have collaborated in wheat research to improve productivity. Ms Sidhu will visit the university to meet the researchers and Australian alumni to learn about the outcomes of this collaboration.
In Ludhiana, Ms Sidhu will launch two skill development initiatives by UDAY, a social enterprise run by Australian alumnus Param Singh—the Project Mooo App and mobile dairy van. The Project Mooo App will offer dairy farmers an analytics based learning approach through a user-friendly mobile phone application. The Project Mooo mobile dairy van travels from village to village to provide hands-on skills training, which supports rural women and farmers who face mobility challenges.
On a personal level, Ms Sidhu said she is looking forward to her visit to the most important pilgrimage site of Sikhism, the Golden Temple in Amritsar. “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.”