Sat, 02 Dec 2023

New Delhi [India], May 26 (ANI): UK Minister of State for the Middle East, South Asia, and United Nations Lord Tariq Ahmad is set to visit India from May 27-31 with a focus on strengthening ties between the two nations in science, research and innovation sectors.

Lord Ahmad will announce the UK-India Health-Tech Bootcamp winners, welcoming collaboration between the health and start-up communities in the two nations, British High Commission in India announced in a statement. Lord Ahmad is in India for a visit to accelerate UK-India collaboration on science, technology and health. His visit to India comes after an agreement signed between India and UK in April on science, research and innovation.

Lord Ahmad will meet senior ministers and officials, including External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra, Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla, and G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant.

During his visit, Lord Tariq Ahmad will visit historical sites and high-tech research facilities in Jodhpur, New Delhi and Hyderabad. He will also meet senior officials from the Indian government.

Lord Ahmad's visit focuses on science, technology and innovation and emphasises the UK's commitment to deepening partnerships in these areas across the globe. According to British High Commission in India's statement, strengthening the UK-India relationship is a "key pillar" of the UK's long-term foreign policy.

"The visit's focus on science, technology and innovation emphasises the UK's commitment to deepen partnerships in these areas across the globe - evidenced by the recent announcement of a new Tech Envoy to the Indo-Pacific," the British High Commission in India said in a statement.

It further said, "Strengthening the UK-India relationship is a key pillar of the UK's long-term foreign policy, as part of its enduring engagement in the Indo-Pacific set out in the Integrated Review Refresh."The visit of Lord Ahmad comes as the UK and India continue to make progress towards a mutually beneficial Free Trade Agreement (FTA). The nineth round of negotiations for a free trade agreement between India and the UK was held from April 24-28.

The British High Commission in India in a statement said, "An ambitious, balanced FTA would boost our current trading relationship, worthPound 36 billion in 2022. " Round nine of negotiations for a free trade agreement between the United Kingdom and the Republic of India"A trade deal with India supports the government's growth strategy to take advantage of the UK's status as an independent trading nation, creating new trade and investment opportunities and championing free trade," the British High Commission in India said in a statement.

In the statement, UK Minister for South Asia Lord Ahmad called India and UK "trusted partners." He said that India and UK are deepening collaboration on science and technology.

"The UK and India are trusted partners united by the unique living bridge that closely connects our countries and people," Lord Ahmad said in a statement. "Building on the 2030 Roadmap for India-UK future relations, we are deepening our collaboration on science and technology, bringing new innovations to both our nations," he added. Lord Ahmad's visit to Rajasthan will be his first trip to his mother's birthplace of Jodhpur as Minister for South Asia and will showcase the region's rich cultural history, according to the statement. He will visit the Mehrangarh Fort and hold discussions about education, sustainability and gender equality with emerging women leaders, the British High Commission in India said in a statement.

Lord Ahmad in New Delhi will launch the 'English Skills for Youth' programme, co-developed by the British Council and Microsoft India, which will enhance global employment opportunities for Indian young people, particularly young women. He will announce the winners of the UK-India Health-Tech Boot Camp boosting health-tech innovations from India.

During his visit to India, Lord Tariq Ahmad will travel to Hyderabad. He will highlight science and tech innovations with trips to T-Hub and T-Works, the technology start-up incubator and prototyping facility which are part of the world's largest innovation campus, and space launch vehicle company Skyroot.

Lord Ahmad will visit the National Institute of Animal Biotechnology and hold discussions on the further potential for science and technology collaboration with Indian alumni of Chevening, the UK's flagship international scholarship programme.

Christina Scott, Acting British High Commissioner to India in the statement said, "The UK and India enjoy an invaluable partnership. As we deliver the UK-India Roadmap 2030, we are deepening and accelerating our collaboration on health, climate, trade, education, science and technology, and defence. "Scott further said, "With India's Presidency of the G20, we have an opportunity also for the UK and India to work together to shape and deliver solutions to global problems." Notably, India assumed the G20 Presidency on December 1. (ANI)

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