Canada today cautioned India that putting the Blacberry mobile phone device in isolation will be “counter productive” for New Delhi’s endeavours to secure modern technology.
“Blackberry is one of the most popular electronic appliances...900 companies depend upon it...it should not be treated in isolation with other devices otherwise it will be harmful for India and counter productive for steps taken for modern technology,” Canada’s Minister for Citizenship and Immigration Jason Kenney told reporters here.
He was responding to the query pertaining to the controversy surrounding the move to ban Blackberry unless the Canadian maker of the phone RIM gave access to all its services to Indian security agencies.
“I am proud of the success of the Canadian company...we are encouraging India not to choke down such a technology,” he said adding Blackberry should not be treated differently by any other rule pertaining to electronic devices in India.
He said he had taken up the issue with Home Minister P Chidambaram who had assured him of a “solution” to the controversy surrounding the Blackberry.
On the recent refusal of visa to certain police officers and BSF personnel by Canadian government on the ground of “violation” of human rights, he said the Canadian government had been reviewing the inadmissibility findings of law while handling such applications.
“The law on the inadmissibility findings on which visa was refused was being reviewed by the government,” he said adding however that Canada recognised India as a great democracy and respected the Indian Army and the work of security agencies here.
Kenney regretted any misunderstanding that might have created between the two countries in view of denial of visa to certain people belonging to the Indian security forces.
In an apparent reference to breakdown of marriages between Indian and Canadian nationals of Indian origin, he said Canadian government was taking seriously the issue of “marriage of convenience” and cases coming up due to it.
“We are strengthening laws to combat marriage of convenience,” he said adding Canadian government had started providing online consultations to partners to stop the menace of “marriage of convenience“.
The Canadian government had approved 80 per cent of total applications received in connection with spouses and had rejected the rest 20 per cent, he said.
Kenney said his government had received around 3500 applications last year from students seeking permanent residency in Canada. This number had gone upto 5000 this year till date, he added.
Asserting that it was a myth that a large number of applications seeking Canadian visa were rejected, the minister said that there had been considerable increase in approval rate for applications of visas.
“The number of temporary resident visas approved in 2009 was 36,000 whereas it was 93,000 in 2010 till date,” he said.
Noting that the number of visas issued by Canada had gone up significantly, Kenny said the Canadian High Commission and its consulates receive “every single day fraudulent and counterfeit documents” with visa applications.
“If any application is found to be carrying counterfeit or forged documents, the applicant is banned for two years,” he said.
He said people need to understand that they do not need the services of immigration agents for seeking visa.
He asked the Indian government to bring in additional law to crack down unscrupulous immigration agents.
The minister, who is on a three-day visit to the country, said he had taken up the issue with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his other cabinet colleagues.
“I have been assured by Indian government officials that it intends to bring amendments in Immigration Act by incorporating new offences in it,” he said.
He stressed the need to start an anti—fraud campaign to reduce fraudulent applications which as per him will increase the approval rate of applications.
He said relations between Canada and India had been cemented by development of civil nuclear ties between the two countries and nuclear energy needs of India.