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London: After his visit to New York, Sydney, Toronto, Dubai, California Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi sat down for delegation level conversation with British Prime Minister David Cameron at 10, Downing Street on Thursday, November 12, the first day of his three-day visit to Britain.

As per the tweets from the Prime Minister’s Office India this morning:”Discussing bilateral ties and development… delegation level talks begin with PM @David_Cameron,” and during this course of Modi’s visit to Britain, the two authorities namely Britain and India, are expected to sign a number of bilateral agreements on mutual investments and defence cooperation.

Modi was earlier received at Heathrow international airport, among others, by British Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Hugo Swire, British High Commissioner to India James David Evan, Indian High Commissioner to Britain Ranjan Mathai, and British Minister of State for Employment Priti Patel, who is of Indian origin. And after his landing, Mr.Modi was accorded a ceremonial guard of honour at the Treasury Quadrangle on King Charles Street in London.Modi also met members of the Sikh community living in Britain before beginning his official responsibilities as per the tweets from PMO India’s tweet “The UK visit begins with a meeting with the Sikh community in London”.”Deepening diaspora linkages. Before formal engagements, PM finds time to meet members of the Punjabi community,” Vikas Swarup, The spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs also tweeted in this regard.

In their delegation-level conversation, British PM Cameron expressed happiness and gratitude towards Indian government and added that British authority is happy to have Modi in their nation as a foreign visitor.He also said that British authority will re-build five cities including Amravati, Pune, Indore as smart cities.Besides this, Cameroon also questioned Modi on the matter of Intolerance In India as per a request made by 200 writers Including some well-known names like Salman Rushdie.While answering to Cameroon’s question Modi said that India is the land of Buddha, Mahatma Gandhi and there is no place of intolerance in this country and also added that Indian Government will not tolerate any kind of Intolerance at any point and they will also take strict action against those who indulge in such acts.

Later, Modi also visited British Parliament and said that it is a proud moment for him to visit the parliament house as he is the first Indian Prime Minister to do so.Cameron also announced that 2017 will be the UK/India year of culture. He said:” The great partnership between India and the UK extends beyond economic ties to the boards of The Bard and the beaches of Bollywood. We have some of the best cultural exports in the world – and it’s about time we celebrated this, together.To mark the start of this cultural pairing, the British Library will be digitising 200,000 pages of their South Asian archives. Two Centuries of Indian Print will be part of a major programme to make the wealth of Indian printed books held by the British Library dating from 1714 to 1914 accessible to anyone around the globe.

Madame Tussauds – whose Bollywood figures are some of the most popular in London – has also announced its first Indian venture in New Delhi, scheduled to open in 2017. Parent group Merlin is set to invest £50m in India over ten years, rolling out other UK favourites – such as SEA LIFE aquariums and LEGOLAND Discovery Centres – across Indian cities.Two of the most iconic British texts will tour India as part of the programme. The British Library will showcase Shakespeare’s First Folio – the first collected edition of the Bard’s plays – and the 1225 edition of the Magna Carta. One of India’s premier museums – the CSMVS Mumbai – will tell the story of Indian civilisation in the context of world history using some items on loan from the British Museum.The UK is already a big hit with Indian tourists. Last year saw a record-breaking 400,000 visits to the UK from India and in the first half of 2015 Indian tourists spent £199 million during their stays.”

(Inputs from various sources)

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