In his first visit to India as the Governor General of Canada, David Johnston plans to gift a Canadian stone sculpture — Inuksuk — to Delhi’s Lieutenant-Governor Najeeb Jung on Tuesday. It will be installed at one of the roundabouts in Chanakyapuri.
Found throughout the Arctic, the hand-built and gracefully balanced stone formations are called “Inuksuk” are among the oldest land-markers created by Inuit, the indigenous people of Canada. Traditionally, Inuksuks are built in different shapes and forms, each unique and with a different purpose — from navigation to hunting grounds, caches, and markers of sacred sites.
The Inuksuk in Delhi will be in the form of an ‘innunguaq’, meaning ‘in the likeness of a human’. Its open arms signal a presence between people, and it marks a special location with respect.
The Inuksuk has been built using a purple-red armour stone from Canada. The arrangement of eight massive stones in a human formation will measure approximately 8 feet (2.5 metres) in height, with a breadth of 4 feet (1.2 metres). Three stones will be placed together in the ‘heart’ of the structure — one from the Inuvialuit region in the high western Canadian Arctic, one from the Qikiqtaaluk region in the eastern Canadian Arctic, and one local stone from India, the red stone.
Meanwhile, India and Canada on Monday held talks on a range of bilateral and international issues and decided to expand ties in diverse sectors including health, audio-visual co-production and skill development.
Johnston held talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid and discussed ways to further enhance ties between the two countries.
After his meeting with the Prime Minister, both countries inked three pacts including the India-Canada Audio-Visual Co-production Agreement.
This agreement between the Ministry of Information and the Broadcasting and Heritage, Canada, will open doors for audio-visual collaborations between the two countries.
As per the pact, co-productions will receive national treatment in both the countries.
Another pact for collaboration between the Department of Biotechnology and Grand Challenges, Canada was signed to address health and development needs.
The ‘Programme of Cooperation’ will pave the way for a collaborative roadmap for addressing global health challenges, especially relating to women and child health, early child development and mental health.
An MoU between National Skill Development Corporation and Association of Canadian Community Colleges was also inked.