Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Indian state of Gujarat

At Akshardham Temple.

PRIME Minister Justin Trudeau on  Monday visited cultural and religious sites of significance to people in Canada, India, and around the world.

Trudeau paid a visit to the Gandhi Ashram, Mahatma Gandhi’s former residence and the starting point for the Salt March, a major protest in 1930 that played a significant role in India’s independence movement.

At Gandhi Ashram.

He also visited the Akshardham Temple, one of India’s largest Hindu temples. Trudeau plans to spend time at other sites of similar importance later this week, including the Golden Temple in Amritsar, the Jama Masjid Mosque in Delhi and the Sacred Heart Cathedral in New Delhi.

Trudeau said: “These holy sites are of great significance to

Indians and people of faith from around the world, including many Canadians. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to visit them, and look forward to the rest of the trip as an opportunity to deepen the already strong Canada-India friendship.”

Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science , and Justin Trudeau.

Trudeau noted that Canada-India ties are deepened through a shared focus on the importance of excellence in education. He highlighted that common priority on Monday while speaking to students and participating in a question and answer session at the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad. The Institute has student exchange programs with Canadian universities, including McGill University, the University of British Columbia and its Sauder School of Business, as well as the Schulich School of Business at York University. These exchange programs demonstrate the close connections enjoyed between educational institutions in the two countries.

Trudeau said: “Canada and India both embrace education as one of the most important pathways to success. It is essential to both our countries that our students and institutions have access to the tools and resources they need to be competitive on the world stage. I thank the students from the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad for a great discussion on how education and innovation can help us build a more prosperous future.”

An estimated 124,000 students from India held a permit to study in Canada for six months or more in 2017. Canada is the second most popular destination for Indian students going abroad for higher education.

Canadian universities and colleges are also very active in India, and there are currently over 400 agreements between institutions in both the countries.