A Brief of the UK-India Relations |Summary

Indian-British relations, commonly referred to as India-UK relations, are the bilateral ties between India and the United Kingdom. Both nations belong to the Commonwealth of Nations as full members.

Bilateral Relations

A current alliance between India and the United Kingdom is anchored by close historical ties.

With its upgrade to a Strategic Partnership in 2004, India’s complex bilateral engagement with the UK became more intense.

Toward a New and Dynamic Partnership: India-UK Joint Statement, which calls for Annual Summits and Regular Meetings Between Foreign Ministers.

India and the UK have cooperate relations in the fields of civil nuclear energy, space, defence, terrorism prevention, economic linkages, research & technology, as well as education and culture.

The UK backs India’s bid for permanent UNSC membership and serves as a crucial conduit for India in discussions with the European Union (EU), the Group of Eight (G-8), the G20, and other international organisations.

Political Relations

Strong historical and cultural ties exist between India and the UK.

India has two general consulates—one in Birmingham and one each in Edinburgh—and a high commission in London. A high commission for the UK is located in New Delhi, and there are five deputy high commissioners for the country in Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Kolkata.

Almost 1.5 million Indians live in the United Kingdom.

Also, both nations are members of the Asian Development Bank and the World Trade Organization.

Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, in June 1963; Ramaswamy Venkataraman, in October 1990; and Pratibha Patil, in 2009, all made state trips to the UK.

Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom made state visits to India in November 1963, April 1990, and October 1997. 

Indian Prime Ministers Manmohan Singh and Narendra Modi have also travelled there while serving as India’s PM.

Since the Strategic Partnership in 2004, there have been frequent exchanges of prime ministerial visits.

Economic Relations

The institutionalised discussions of the India-UK Joint Economic & Trade Committee, Economic and Financial Dialogue, and India-UK Financial Partnership serve as a foundation for the direction of economic and commercial affairs.

The expansion of Indian multinational corporations has a significant impact on UK business and the economy. In the UK, Indian businesses produced more than 48 billion pounds as of 2019.

With the help of the UK India Business Council, the Indian High Commission in the UK announced the Access India Programme in September 2017. This innovative programme was created to assist more UK SMEs in exporting to India.

Trade Relations

One of India’s biggest trading partners is the UK, which in 2016–17 came in at number 15 on the list of India’s top 25 trading partners.

According to MoC&I trade figures, India traded with the UK for US $14.497 billion during 2017 and 2018.

India-UK Relations – Investment

With a total equity investment of US $26.09 billion, the UK ranks fourth among foreign investors in India behind Japan, Singapore, and Mauritius (April 2000-June 2018)

It represents 7% of all foreign direct investments made in India.

According to figures released in 2018, Indian companies produced over 110,000 employment in the UK, making India the second-largest international job generator and the third-largest investor in the country.

The combined revenue of Indian businesses operating in the UK was £47.5 billion as of December 2018, with the technical and communications sector accounting for 31% and the pharmaceuticals and chemicals industry accounting for 24% of the India-tracker.

Educational Relations between India and UK

The Joint Working Group on Education, the Newton-Bhabha Fund, and scholarship programmes are some other educational initiatives by the two countries to maintain the bilateral relationship. The UK-India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI), which was launched in 2005, places a focus on higher education and research, schools, and professional and technical skills.

The Prime Minister made the following statements about education during his visit to the UK in November 2015:

The UK-India Year of Education, Research, and Innovation was declared to be 2016

At the school level, virtual collaborations would be established to give students from one nation the opportunity to experience the educational system of another nation and gain insight into its culture, traditions, and social and familial structures.

Launch of the third phase of the UK India Education and Research Initiative UK also supports the Skills India Mission and announced a new commitment of up to £12 million. The UK plans for 25,000 UK students to travel to India through the Generation UK- India programme by 2020, including 1000 UK interns with Tata Consultancy Services in India by 2020.

India-UK Relations – Defense

Another crucial component of bilateral cooperation is cooperation in the defence industry. The two nations decided to strengthen their defence ties by forming capability partnerships in important fields during the Prime Minister’s visit to the UK in November 2015.

Regular joint exercises and extensive exchanges between the three services are held at all three military levels.

Cultural Links between India and the United Kingdom

In July 2010, India and the UK agreed to cooperate on cultural matters.

The Nehru Centre (TNC), founded in 1992 in London, is the High Commission of India in the UK’s cultural outreach programme. It hosts a variety of cultural events on its property.

There has been a gradual mainstreaming of Indian culture and absorption of Indian cuisine, cinema, languages, religion, philosophy, performing arts, etc.

A Midnight Freedom Run was organized in London by the High Commission of India in the midnight hours of August 14-15, 2017 to commemorate of 70 years of India’s independence.

Indians in the United Kingdom

In the UK Parliament as of January 2013, there were 24 Lords and 8 MPs of Indian descent. Also, there are approximately 180 councillors of Indian descent who were elected to councils throughout the UK.

With over 1.5 million people of Indian descent in the UK, or roughly 1.8 percent of the population and 6% of the nation’s GDP, the Indian Diaspora in the UK is one of the largest ethnic minority communities in the nation.

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