India and the United Kingdom released a Joint Statement on 7 November 2015 to strengthen their strategic partnership. The joint statement was released after meeting of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UK Prime Minister Theresa May in Delhi.
PM Theresa May was on a three-day visit to India from 6 November to 8 November 2016 at the invitation of the PM Modi.
This was May’s first bilateral visit outside Europe after taking over as the Prime Minister of the UK. The meet highlighted the need for both the sides to work together in building a forward-looking global partnership to promote peace, security and prosperity of the two countries.
Details of the Joint Statement
• Both countries called for greater participation of their respective investment communities to stimulate Indian & UK economic growth.
• Both sides agreed to build the closest possible commercial and economic relationship when the UK leaves the European Union.
• The newly established Joint Working Group, reporting to JETCO, will help drive progress.
Financing India’s infrastructure growth
• The two nations agreed to speed up their partnership in financing investment in Indian infrastructure.
Smart Cities and Urban Development
• Both leaders agreed to build a more strategic urban partnership that brings together governments, businesses, investors and urban experts to construct smarter and more inclusive cities that drive shared prosperity, jobs and growth between the two countries.
• The two sides also welcomed new technical assistance for the redevelopment of Varanasi City Railway Station under the Varanasi Smart City Development Plan.
• Prime Minister Theresa May announced UK’s intention of investing over 160 million British Pounds across 75 start-up enterprises that would help create more jobs and deliver critical services across several states in India.
• May also announced an additional 20 million British Pounds for a Start-Up India Venture Capital Fund, which will support 30 enterprises and leverage additional 40 million British Pounds capital from other investors including UK venture capital funds.
Energy and Climate Change
• Both the sides welcomed the decision to hold the first India-UK Energy Summit in early 2017 and the fourth phase of UK-India Civil Nuclear Research Programme that will explore new technologies that contribute to enhancing nuclear safety, waste management and future civil nuclear energy systems.
• While appreciating Indian leadership on the International Solar Alliance to harness solar energy for meeting global energy demands and to address issue of climate change, Theresa May put forth UK’s intention to join the Alliance.
• UK confirms to reform United Nations Security Council with India as its permanent member and also enhance India’s role within the United Nations system.
• While showing commitment towards working more closely within the G20, the two nations also expressed their keen interest in advancing nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.
• Along with welcoming India’s entry into the Missile Technology Control Regime, UK also strongly advocates an early Indian membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).
• Theresa May strongly condemned the September terrorist attack in Uri and offered condolences to the victims and their families.
• While agreeing that there should be zero-tolerance on terrorism, the two leaders also restated their call for Pakistan to bring to justice the perpetrators of the November 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai and 2016 Pathankot attack.
• The two leaders agreed to encourage and facilitate cooperation in defense manufacturing between UK and Indian companies under the ‘Make in India’ framework.
• The statement also confirmed continual of UK’s engagement with the Indian Ministry of Defense (MOD) and Indian defense companies to simplify control and support the transfer of technology to enable projects in areas of mutual interest.
• The two nations showed commitment towards promoting a free, open, peaceful and secure cyberspace.
• The two leaders recognised India’s contribution in maintaining peace and stability in the region of South Asia.
• Noting that a secure and violence-free Afghanistan would contribute much to the prosperity of the region, the two leaders agreed to work together to help the Government of Afghanistan deliver its ambitious reform program.
• The two leaders also agreed to continue their engagement with Maldives to strengthen its democratic institutions and committed to work more closely with the Sri Lankan Government to accelerate its progress in line with UN Human Rights Council Resolution 30/1.
• The two Prime ministers also reaffirmed their support to the people and the Government of Iraq in their war against terrorism and welcomed the Iraqi-led operation to liberate Mosul and other cities from the control of the terrorist group, ISIS.
• The two leaders agreed on the need to make visa regimes simpler and more efficient for students, businesses, professionals, diplomats and officials and other travelers, including facilitating short-term mobility of skilled personnel between the two countries.
• India will become the first visa country to be offered the Registered Traveller Scheme, offering business travelers expedited clearance at the UK border and the Union Government will become the first government in the world to be invited to nominate business executives to the Great Club, a bespoke visa and immigration service.
Education and Culture
• 2016 is the India-UK Year of Education, Research and Innovation. The two leaders welcomed the first 35 visiting faculties in India from the UK under the Ministry of Human Resource Development funded GIAN programme and 198 new GREAT scholarships for Indian students to study at 40 UK universities.
• Both leaders also welcomed the first batch of TCS sponsored UK interns, under the Generation UK-India programme.
• Theresa May also announced a new commitment of up to 12 million British Pounds to support India’s Skill India mission.
Science and Technology
The two leaders agreed that the exponential growth in science and technology programmes in India provide immense possibilities for further expanding bilateral collaboration.
• The leaders welcomed new initiatives on joint hydrological research programme and re-usage of waste water as well as innovative biotechnologies for cleaning and processing industrial waste, adding value to the Swachh Bharat programme.
• The leaders also welcomed the launch of India-UK Clean Energy R&D Centre with focus on solar energy storage and integration with joint investment of 10 million British Pounds and a collaborative R&D programme on energy efficient building materials. These initiatives would help reduce carbon footprint and contribute to Modi’s Smart cities programme.
Besides, India and UK also signed two agreements in the field of intellectual property rights and the ease of doing business.