British PM Gordon Brown visits India
The India-U.K. annual summit was
held in New Delhi on January 21. The
delegation from the United Kingdom
was led by Prime Minister Gordon Brown
and that from India was
led by Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan
India and the U.K. share a Strategic
Partnership. The two sides underscored
their commitment to the Strategic
Partnership launched in 2004 and reaffirmed
their shared conviction in the values
of democracy, fundamental freedoms, pluralism,
rule of law, respect for human rights
and multilateralism in the international
political and financial architecture as the
means to tackle global challenges effectively.
The close bilateral relationship has
already led to growing cooperation in global
affairs and substantial expansion in the
bilateral engagement in multiple fields.
Building on the achievements of the 'New
Delhi Declaration' (2002) and 'India-U.K.
Joint Declaration' (2004), the two sides
commit themselves to strengthening and
deepening the comprehensive Strategic
Partnership that exists between the two
countries, which is underpinned by growing
economic ties and the presence of a large
Indian diaspora in the U.K.
Economic & Commercial
Bilateral economic linkages are strengthening
through increasing trade and investment
flows. The U.K. is the third-largest
cumulative investor in India. India has
emerged as one of the largest investors in
Britain, including several major acquisitions,
reflecting the maturing nature of the
bilateral economic partnership. The U.K. is
among India's important global trading
partners. The two sides acknowledged the
potential for greater collaboration, especially
in hi-tech research (ICT, life sciences,
nano-technology etc.), advanced manufacturing,
infrastructure, energy, healthcare,
agricultural products and processed foods,
higher education and other service sectors.
Both sides took note of the outcome of
the fourth meeting of the India-U.K. Joint
Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO),
held in London on December 13, 2007.
This meeting reviewed various aspects of
bilateral trade and received valuable feedback
from businesses on both sides on
measures that could further enhance bilateral
trade and investment flows. India and
the United Kingdom agreed to cooperate in
developing collaboration between Small
and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), entrepreneurs
and venture capitalists.
The Prime Ministers welcomed the meeting
of a CEOs' Round Table and
Entrepreneurs' Summit of Indian and U.K.
business leaders in Delhi. In light of the
rapidly growing trade and economic relations
and the rapidly evolving pattern of
international competitive advantage, both
governments acknowledged the considerable
potential for bilateral trade, investment
and services. They noted the importance of
improving market access through liberalisation
and facilitating movement of professionals
across a broad range of sectors of
interest to both sides.
Both sides took note of the large opportunities
in the infrastructure sector, in the
context of the massive infrastructure development
programmes being undertaken in
India. Facilitating the flow of information
on the infrastructure projects being undertaken
would encourage business partnerships.
Both sides agreed to take forward
proposals for the establishment of a capacity
building programme in India for publicprivate
partnership in infrastructure with
India and Britain noted the role played by
people of Indian origin in Britain. Through
their hard work, dynamism and entrepreneurial
talents they have made enormous
contributions towards strengthening bilateral
The two sides noted the traditionally
close ties between the two knowledge societies
in the field of higher education. They
recognised that the UK-India Education &
Research Initiative (UKIERI), launched in
April 2006, was playing an important role
in fostering such contacts.
They further noted the huge expansion
planned in the Indian higher education sector
which would increase gross enrolment
ratio by five percentage points and include
the establishment of a range of Central government
institutions of excellence including
eight new Indian Institutes of Technology
(IITs), seven new Indian Institutes of
Management (IIMs), five Indian Institutes of
Science Education and Research and 30
new Central universities.
Continued on page 2
High Commission celebrates Republic Day
On the 59th Republic Day on
January 26, Indian High
Sharma unfurled the tricolour to the
rendition of the national anthem.
Union Minister for Petroleum &
Natural Gas Murli Deora, who was on
an official visit to Britain, was also
present on the occasion. Addressing a
gathering at the High Commission, the
High Commissioner focused on the President's Republic Day
speech, especially the importance of achieving all-inclusive
growth. "Our pledge will remain unfulfilled until, as Gandhiji
had said, we have wiped every tear in every eye," he said, quoting
from the President's speech. Delivering his last speech as
the High Commissioner for India to Britain, he highlighted the
progress Indo-British relations had made in the past three
years. India is the second-largest investor in Britain; more than
100 flights a week operate between Britain and India; more than
60 Indian companies trade on the London Stock Exchange;
nearly half a million tourists visit Britain; and Indians are the
second-highest spenders in Britain, only next to their compatriots
in the United States.
Mr. Sharma also dwelt on India's importance historically as a
knowledge society. He recalled the British Prime Minister's visit
to Bangalore in January last year as Chancellor, when he characterised
the civilisational inheritance of India as the foundations
of a knowledge society.
Top of page
80 percent literacy by 2012
The Indian government is targeting 80
percent literacy by 2012, against the present
65.38 percent, with an allocation of
Rs. 850 billion for the education sector
during the 11th Five Year Plan. "We are
committed to complete literacy by 2015,"
said A.K. Rath, Secretary, Secondary
Education and Literacy, Ministry of
Human Resources Development.
Officials said the money earmarked for
education during the 11th Five-Year Plan
was five times the budgeted allocation in
the previous five-year plan. The bulk of it
is for Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, the ministry's
HCL introduces $350-laptop
Indian firm HCL Infosystems on January
15 launched two laptop variants, HCL
MiLeap X Series (priced at $357) and
HCL MiLeap Y Series ($765).
"Our objective was to launch a laptop
that will take technology to the masses.
We have not compromised on any feature
at all. It is just like any other laptop," said
Ajai Chowdhry, chairman and CEO, HCL
First digital entertainment city
India's first digital entertainment city is
coming up in Hyderabad. It will house
animation companies, film production
houses, music and television studios and
an entertainment complex.
The Andhra Pradesh Government has
joined hands with a consortium of animation
and gaming firms and production
houses for the project.
Reliance hits new milestone
For the first time ever, the Mukesh
Ambani-promoted Reliance Industries
Ltd.'s (RIL) three-quarter turnover
exceeded Rs. 1,000 billion, the company
said in a statement. The company
declared a turnover of Rs. 358 billion for
the third quarter of the current financial
year. The company also had reported a
turnover of Rs. 334 billion and Rs. 297
billion in the first and the second quarters
of this financial year. Reliance now
reports a record 26 percent growth in
quarterly growth on a year-on-year basis.
50 patents granted every day
In the first three quarters of this fiscal,
India's patent offices issued some 10,130
patents, more than double the annual
number they granted only two years ago.
The country, which has one of the most
stringent patenting regimes in the world
after Japan and Germany, has been granting
50 patents on average a day.
The rate is comparable to the patent
grants made in advanced intellectual
property regimes such as the United
States and the European Union when
measured in terms of patents granted
against applications made.
On the other pages
« Back to India Digest Links
Top of page