Indians now are the single largest minority group in the in the UK and the TATA group is the UK’s single largest industrial employer. Indian students, flush with cash, remain a source of potential and continued revenue for the UK. Indian Weekender brings you the highlights:
Assurance of full co-operation over the AgustaWestland deal: India sought British assistance in the investigation into the allegedly corrupt payment made during the purchase of 12 AgustaWestland luxury AW101 helicopters, manufactured in Yeovil. David Cameron assured full co-operation of the British government in the investigation.
Cameron pays respects at the Amritsar Massacre site, but no apology: The British PM visited the Jallianwala Bagh public gardens and bowed his head at the memorial of those who lost their lives in the 1919 massacre by the British that killed atleast 379 innocent Indians. Cameron, the first serving British prime minister to visit the scene of the massacre, however did not apologize for what Winston Churchill at the time described a “deeply shameful event”. He said that “I think the right thing is to acknowledge what happened, to recall what happened, to show respect and understanding for what happened.”
Visa within a day for Indian investors in the UK: In a bid to recast Britain’s “special relationship” with Cameron pointed to strengths and the shared past - language, culture, ties, the diaspora in Britain. He hopes that Britain would become India’s “partner of choice” for investment.
Cameron showed interest in constructing Mumbai-Bangalore corridor and other projects: Britain will provide £1m to help fund a feasibility study into building a new 600-mile economic “corridor” between Mumbai and Bangalore, its hi-tech centre. The cash will be provided if India matches UK funding.
British companies Cameron said could help India develop new cities and nine districts along a 1,000-km corridor between Mumbai and Bangalore, generating investment projects worth up to $25 billion. He also showed interest in existing projects such as DMIC, Navi Mumbai Airport, Nhava-Sewri link.
Memorandum of understanding between Transport for London (TfL) and MMRDA: The MoU between the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) and Transport for London (TfL), by which the latter will help the former to implement and operationalise its plans of a 150-km-long metro network in Mumbai Metropolitan Region. This will enable exchange of information and personnel for transfer of latest technology in the field
UK government announced its support the creation of a new pan-India network of British Business Centres by 2017: Cameron said Britain had taken steps to relax visa rules, and that Britain and India should reduce barriers to trade. The prime minister said: “We discussed today about how we should both be looking at how we reduce the barriers to investment in our countries. Specifically, the British have said we are going to bring in a same-day visa service for Indian business.
We made absolutely clear there is no limit on the number of Indian students that can study in British universities, so long as they have a place and an English-language qualification.” The British Prime Minister also said he would look into quality immigration to facilitate Indian students.
Cameron on the Kohinoor diamond: Asked whether Britain should return the diamond, Cameron said: “I don’t think that is the right approach. It is the same question with the Elgin marbles,” he said. “It is for the British Museum and other cultural centres to do exactly what they do do, which is link up with museums all over the world to make sure that the things we have, and are looked after so well, are properly shared with people around the world. No, I certainly don’t believe in returnism.”
Cameron on the Sikh religion: “In coming here, to Amritsar, we should also celebrate the immense contribution that people from the Punjab play in Britain.”