INDIA-UK BILATERAL RELATIONS
The relation between India and the UK has been laid on the strong historical foundations.
Mr. Mitchell said Britain’s aid programme for India was “hugely” in its own national interest given the importance of India’s growing market potential.
The relation between India and the UK has been laid on the strong historical foundations. Being a colony of the erstwhile British Raj and the consequent attainment of Independence from it did not deter Nehru from pursuing the relation between India and Britain. It was the vision of Nehru that the bilateral relationship India and
India and the European Union signed a joint agreement, New Delhi Communiqué, for cooperation in the field of science and technology. It identifies 11 key areas for research to be taken up with equal funding from both sides and qualifies India as an equal partner in such collaborative research. According to the agreement. India will have the freedom to choose projects to be undertaken by its scientists.
the UK has evolved from being only a. trade partner. to a multifaceted relationship. Since the upgradation of bilateral relationship between the two countries to a strategic partnership in 2004, the UK-India relationship has intensified and is mutually beneficial and wide ranging. II covers development, regional stability, trade and investment, climate change, counter terrorism and reform of the global international systems. Therefore, Prime Minister David Cameron described Indian – British relations as the “New Special Relationship” in 2010.
The hallmark of improving bilateral relations is the regular visits of high level dignitaries. Since the up gradation of relationship between India and the UK in 2004, there have been visits of premiers of both the countries at regular intervals. The high watermark of the improving relationship came with the visit of the Indian PM in July 2005 to the UK for the Gleaneagles summit of G-8+5 which recognised the importance of the emerging nations in global policy making. This was followed by the then PM of the UK Mr. Tony Blair for the EU/ India Summit in September 2005, and also for the bilateral Summit held in Udaipur. Former President Smt. Pratibha Patil was on a State visit to the UK from in October 2009, which was the third State visit of an Indian President to the UK. The year 2010 is a paradigm in the Indian foreign policy when the P-5 countries of the UNSC beelined to visit India with their largest ever business delegation respectively vindicating therising stature of India and its importance at the global level politics.
To further deepen relationship between the twocountries, the mechanism of Foreign Office Consultations has been established and in addition to the setting up of Joint Working Group on Counter Terrorism and Strategic Dialogue.
Relations between India and France have traditionally been close and friendly. With the establishment of the strategic partnership in 1998, there has been significant progress in all areas of bilateral cooperation through regular high-level exchanges at the Head of State/Head of Government levels and growing commercial exchanges including in strategic areas such as defence, nuclear energy and space. France was the first county with which India entered into an agreement on nuclear energy following the waiver given by International Atomic Energy Agency and the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group enabling India to resume full civil nuclear cooperation with the international community. Today our relations are growing fast in important areas for the future, with wide-ranging cooperation in political, economic and cultural fields and on defence, space, science & technology, and education. France has consistently supported India’s increasing role in international fora.
At the invitation of Prime Minister Shri Manmohan Singh, the then President Sarkozy undertook his second visit to India in December 2010. The visit has contributed to further strengthening the bilateral relationship between India and France – especially in key areas of civil nuclear, space and defence co-operation‑
RESTRUCTURING OF AID PROGRAMME
UK’s £280 mn Annual Aid to India has been Re-engineered : Britain’s £280 million annual aid to India has been radically re-engineered in response to criticism that as one of the world’s fastest growing economies New Delhi does not “deserve” foreign aid, the International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell said. He also said that British aid to India was “not for ever” and there were no commitments beyond 2015.
The restructured programme, which has resemblance to a sovereign wealth fund, is designed to bring returns to the recession-hit British taxpayers. It will see half the aid budget for India invested in private sector enterprises that are already working with poor people such as Milk Mantra, a dairy in Odisha which buys milk from small farmers.
India has hitherto insisted that any foreign aid must be channelled through government agencies but the International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell said that Britain’s private sector approach had the backing of the Indian government.
Seeking to play down criticism — much of it within his own Conservative Party — that at a time of a deep economic crisis at home the government should not be “splurging” scarce resources in foreign aid, he said : “The Tory party is not the same as it was in 1979 on development. There is a big, strong, passionate drive throughout Britain to make a huge contribution which our generation can make which previous generations have not.”
Mr. Mitchell said Britain’s aid programme for India was “hugely” in its own national interest given the importance of India’s growing market potential. It was also part of broader cooperation on major bilateral and international issues such as trade and climate change.
“It’s hugely in our own national interest,” he said pointing out that India was “going to be one of the biggest markets in the world in the next few years.”