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Modi in UK: 3rd largest investor India not a backbencher for UK


New Delhi: Being the third largest investor in the UK and, possibly, the sturdiest player among the emerging economies including the BRICS nations – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, India is showing a growing interest in the UK. Among the recent high-profile investors is Tata Motors which acquired the iconic UK car brand- Jaguar Land Rover.

There is a large number of firms owned by Indian businesses in the United Kingdom. At the point where the Chinese, Brazilian and Russian financial prudence is displaying signs of slowing, India is growing at a good pace.

Due to a slowdown in China economy, India is getting benefited and is able to excel, growing at a rate of 7% per year, pushing it at par with China. The growth of Indian investment is discovering new commercial spaces in the UK.

As per a recent report from the government department of UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), India became the third-largest source of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the UK.

In the year 2014 itself, Indian investment into the UK increased to 64% and is, more or less, at the same level as France, the second largest investor in Great Britain.

Indian investors in the UK this year itself created 7,730 new jobs in the country. There are over 800 India-owned business houses in the UK giving jobs to more than 110,000 employees.

But at the same time investments from the UK have also increased in India. BBC quoted a report stating the investment pattern since 2000 to 2015, from the UK to India has been $22.2bn (£14.5bn). This accounts for 9% of the FDI in India.

The UK is the third- largest foreign investor in India after Mauritius and Singapore.

The Indian government is making individual states more competitive and open to seek for investment by cutting red tape and simplifying investment criteria.

This brings India at par with the UK in the growing economic market and with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in UK, these facts can play a favourable role for India.

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British-Indian MP Virendra Sharma receives Stya Paul Memorial Award

Virendra Sharma, One of Britain's senior-most Indian-origin MPs, has been awarded Dr Stya Paul Memorial Award for his contribution regarding India-UK ties

Virendra Sharma receives Stya Paul Memorial Award for his contribution in strengthening Indo-Uk ties. Image courtesy: wikimedia commons

London, February 24: Virendra Sharma, One of Britain’s senior-most Indian-origin MPs, has been chosen as the first recipient of Dr Stya Paul Memorial Award for his “outstanding contribution” regarding India-UK ties.

The award was received by the Labour party MP for Ealing Southall at a ceremony in London on Wednesday from NRI industrialist and the younger brother of Indian educationist Dr Stya Paul, Lord Swaraj Paul.

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“It is a great honour to receive this award in memory of Dr Stya Paul, who hails from the same town in India as me ? Jalandhar,” Sharma was quoted as saying at the third annual Indo-UK Thought Leadership Awards.

The event which was organised by Great Place to Study (GPTS) Research Institute, an international auditing firm for Indian colleges and UK-based consultancy Sterling Media, is an annual program that celebrates achievements in the field of economic development and education.

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Deputy High Commissioner of India to the UK, Dinesh Patnaik, put the focus on the importance of education to the India-UK relationship.

According to him, “It is vital that education acts as a great link between the two countries. However, over the years, the number of Indian students coming to the UK to study has fallen down from 40,000 to 16,000”.

“While this is not a loss to India, considering they have other welcome options such as the US, Canada, Germany or Australia, where numbers seem to swell, it is certainly a setback for working and expanding on the historical UK-India ties. Students and academia play a great role in cementing this relationship,” he added.

According to PTI reports, The Global Icon Award for 2017 was awarded to Rajesh Agrawal, Londons Indian-origin Deputy Mayor for Business.

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In his acceptance speech, he stated, “London is a city of dreams, where one can achieve anything. My story is a testimonial to that, I grew up from a small town in India (Indore) and stepped out for the first time abroad, and landed in Heathrow with 200 pounds in my pocket back in 2001”.

The list of the other key award-winners includes dignitaries like Dame Asha Khemka, principal and CEO of West Nottinghamshire College, for “outstanding contribution to Indo-UK academic relations”; Centre of Excellence Award to the head of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies, Shaunaka Rishi Das; Lord Pauls niece Sushma Paul Berlia, chairperson & president of Apeejay Svran Group & Apeejay Education Society, for “outstanding contribution in Indian education & industry” and many more.

According to the explanation of Shekhar A Bhattacharjee, founder of the GPTS Research Institute, “These thought leadership awards are not just about celebrating the leading contributors to sectors like education, business and economic development from both countries, but also building and fostering new relationships between the UK and India.”

– prepared by Durba Mandal of NewsGram. Twitter: @dubumerang


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Modi in UK: Will we ever be decolonised?


By Dr. Kallol Guha

Prime Minister Modi’s reception at London had the pomp and glamour of a five-star quality. However, it is interesting to speculate what went on inside the mind of the host who leads a 6.4 crore British population internationally far more influential and powerful, and for all practical purposes, remotely controls their former colonies– including 125 crore Indians— who are plagued with poverty, ill health,  fourth rate imitation schooling and underdevelopment.

The host, when receiving Modi, must have been very well aware that their guest, in fact, represents 7-8 crore Anglophonic Indians, who are a miserable and pathetic caricature of the British life style, and are ruling over the rest 117-118 crore, while protecting the interest of the Anglo-American axis power in India.

This situation is favorably comparable to the early days of British Raj, when Aristocrats and Babus – under the direct supervision of one lakh white-skinned British population –were the keepers of British interest in the 35 crore-strong India.

The British host probably knows better than Modi that it is the marketing machinery of the Anglo-American corporate press that is preaching  about the “Largest Democracy”, “Freedom of Press”, and the “growth rate” of India which means nothing to the majority non-Anglophonic Indians  living below poverty line.

The British also must also know better than their Indian counterparts that the fourth-rate Indian schooling – a caricature of the Anglo-American system – has not made any new contribution in any field during the last 65 years and is not likely to pose any competition to the major countries  in the field of intellectual performance.

The British could not possibly overlook the fact that it is their manipulation of the Indian education system (Macaulay’s Doctrine) which has made it possible for them to remote control all of India’s resources through the control of its human resource. So successful was this process that Indians seem to have lost all sense of self-respect and pride in identity, and in a way is now suffering from an identity crisis.

It is qualitatively the same Indian population who were ruled by one lakh British population for over two hundred years, who are now ruling four times that population through their agents represented by Modi.

At the time when I was teaching at the University of Constantine in Algeria, 99 percent of the university teaching staff was French as the medium of instruction there was French language. The student population of the University – by virtue of the cultural conditioning of the French colonial masters – showed distinct preference towards imitating their colonial masters in their language, dress, lifestyle, beliefs, and concepts, and look down upon everything that was indigenous. This is similar to the current state in India.

When the French instructors realized I was Indian, they would many a time speak their mind in my presence. They commented: “Look at these clowns. They believe they would be accepted as French equivalent by imitating us. France and the world will never accept them as one of us.  They have no sense of self-respect and do not realize that their only identity is Algerian. But these fools do not understand that.”

These comments of the French about the Algerians kicked me back to self-realization as I apprehended that the British must be thinking and saying similar things about the Anglophonic Indians, of which, I was one. As such, the British hosts must be thinking the same of Modi.

Let there be no miscalculation: the Anglo-American marketing forces will continue to blow horns inside and outside India about India’s “largest Democracy”, “Freedom of Press” and “growth rate”, as a tool to ensure remote control over India’s resources, while leaders such as Modi –like many others in the past– will continue to represent India in London, pretending they are equals!


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Modi in UK: Modi sells brand India at Wembley


London: Asserting that diversity was India’s pride and strength, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday hard sold brand India during his much-awaited address to the Indian diaspora here even as he urged industry captains to push India-Britain ties.

“India is full of diversity. This diversity is our pride and our strength,” Modi said as a frenzied crowd of 60,000 British Indians chanted “Modi, Modi” at the iconic Wembley Stadium here.

“Kabir and Rahim have been our inspirations. The Sufi tradition is the best antidote to terrorism,” he said.

Earlier in the day, Modi was hosted for lunch by Queen Elizabeth II.

“India has no reason to remain poor. I can say that after my experience during the last 18 months,” Modi, who started his Wembley speech in English and then turned to Hindi, said.

“Such a youthful nation like India cannot lag behind in development,” said Modi in his over an hour long speech.

He said the fact that the world’s confidence in India was increasing was proved by the fact that foreign direct investment into India has increased by 40 percent over the past year.

“It shows the increasing international confidence in India,” Modi said in the speech he delivered in Hindi.

“Two dreams that we are working towards — a clean India and India with 24/7 electricity,” he said.

Modi said that 18,000 villages in India that were not connected with electricity would get this basic facility within the next 1,000 days.

“The pace and direction of progress in India is such that the fruits of development will be seen very soon,” Modi said.

Modi said that by the year 2019, the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, he would ensure that there was 24 hours of electricity all over the country.

Much to the delight of the people of Gujarati origin sitting in the crowd, he announced the start of direct flights between London and Ahmedabad from December 15 this year.

Modi also thanked British Prime Minister David Cameron for the latter’s affection towards India and Indians.

“Whenever I meet the prime minister (Cameron), I find that he is very proud of the Indian community in UK,” he said.

Speaking ahead of Modi, Cameron sent the crowd into raptures by greeting them with “Namaste, Wembley” and said a time would soon come when there would be a British-Indian prime minister.

“It won’t be long before there is a British-Indian prime minister in 10, Downing Street,” Cameron said citing the contributions of British-Indians in various fields.

Britain is home to a 1.5 million-strong Indian diaspora, one of the largest in the world.

The British prime minister said that “India-UK ties are about people and about prosperity”.

He also backed India’s claim for permanent membership in the UN Security Council.

Adding to Modi’s pre-election Hindi slogan of “acche din aane wale hain”, Cameron said: “Acche din zaroor aayega” (Good days will definitely come).

A cultural extravaganza preceded Modi’s speech in which Indian pop and Hindi film playback singer Alisha Chinai belted out her evergreen “Made in India” number from the 1995 album of the same name. It was obviously in keeping with Modi’s “Make in India” initiative.

Apart from Alisha, British singer-rapper Jay Sean, Bollywood singer Kanika Kapoor, and Indian violinist Jyotsna Srikanth, as also the London Philharmonic Orchestra, were among those who enthralled the crowd.

Keeping with the spirit of Diwali, the night that was charged with electricity, ended with a dazzling display of fireworks over the world famous football stadium.

Earlier on Friday, Modi asked industry captains to contribute to India-Britain ties since the political will of the two countries was well established.

Addressing the UK-India CEOs Forum here, Modi said it was for industry captains to push bilateral ties with Britain as the political will of the two nations’ leadership was well established.

“India and the United Kingdom are economically made for each other. This relationship has to be driven by private sector CEOs now,” Modi said.

Cameron, who also addressed the meeting, echoed Modi and said: “We both have the political will to take our political relationship forward.”

On Friday, in a signal honour to India, Modi was hosted to a luncheon banquet by Queen Elizabeth II at the Buckingham Palace here. Modi gifted the British monarch a set of photographs from her first visit to India in 1961, award-winning Darjeeling tea, quality honey from Jammu and Kashmir Tanchoi stoles that are a speciality of Varanasi.

The Indian prime minister started his second day of his three-day visit to Britain by continuing one-to-one bilateral discussions with Cameron at the Chequers, the countryside retreat of the British.

On Saturday, Modi will leave Britain for Turkey where he will attend the annual G-20 summit.