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India and the UK: An unbeatable combination in education and skills

British ministers pay a multi-city visit to India to promote cooperation on education, skills and research.


The Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, and Jo Johnson MP, Minister of State for Universities and Science will visit India from 9-11 December 2015.

They visit New Delhi, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Mumbai to meet Indian students and faculty, and ministers in the central and state Governments to build on the success of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the UK last month, specifically in the fields of higher education, skills and research co-operation.

Mr Modi’s historic visit to the UK saw the two countries set high ambitions for their bilateral partnership. Building on Prime Minister Modi’s statement that the UK remains a “preferred destination for Indian students,” the Secretary of State and Minister will showcase the UK’s higher education, research, science, innovation and technology capabilities that can help India’s growth story and the Indian Government’s “Skill India” agenda.

Sajid Javid said:

Prime Minister Modi’s visit to the UK electrified the UK/India relationship, setting new, more ambitious goals for our shared future. This includes the UK helping India meet its ever-growing need for skills, education and research, for which the UK is perfectly placed.

A British education is a quality-mark and a passport to global success, with four of the world’s top-ten universities in the UK. Many Indian Prime Ministers, scientists, economists and business leaders who played a pivotal role in shaping modern India benefited from studying in the UK. I want to see India’s future leaders in all fields take advantage of what the UK has to offer, which is why I’m coming to India so soon after Mr Modi’s visit.

Both Ministers will begin the visit in New Delhi where Sajid Javid will launch the Midlands Engine initiative in India, marked by an alumni event in partnership the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). The event will promote the UK’s Midlands region as a hub for innovation and manufacturing, highlighting how British and Indian technology and brainpower can work together with companies like Jaguar Land Rover, and alumni from top British universities from the region to fuel growth in both countries.

British Indian businesses leader and Chancellor of Birmingham University, Lord Karan Billimoria, as well as Vice Chancellors from Universities of Birmingham, Leicester and Warwick will participate in the discussions.

Mr Javid and the Indian Minister for Human Resources, Ms Smriti Irani, will announce the 2016 UK-India year of Education, Research and Innovation, which was agreed between the during PM Modi’s visit to the UK last month.

He will call on Indian Finance Mr Arun Jaitley, Minister for Human Resource Development, Ms Smriti Irani, and Minister for Commerce, Ms Nirmala Sithraman.

In New Delhi, Mr Johnson together with the Indian Minister for Science and Technology, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, will launch the UK’s partnership of the 2016 Technology Summit and KnowledgExpo.

British and Indian business leaders and senior academics including Dame Nancy Rothwell the Vice Chancellor of Manchester University and Professor Colin Riordan, Vice Chancellor of Cardiff University will participate in discussions. Mr Johnson will announce an extension of the UK’s Newton Fund Fund until 2021 as well as new research partnerships under the Newton-Bhabha Fund, and celebrate the joint investment in UK-India research, which has grown from less than a £1 million in 2008 to over £200 million today.

Both Ministers will meet students at the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi along with notable IIT alumni who have benefited from a higher education in the UK. The ministers will promote the range of programmes that IIT Delhi has been involved in with the UK as a part of UK India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI).

In Hyderabad, Sajid Javid will talk to students at the Hyderabad Public School (HPS) about higher education opportunities in the UK. The UK has been a preferred higher education destination for students from Hyderabad and one of the school’s esteemed alumni is Lord Karan Bilimoria. Mr Javid will also meet students and faculty at the Indian School of Business (ISB) and visit the newly-established T-HuB at IIIT, India’s largest incubator for start-ups, where he will discuss the UK’s leadership in the field of innovation and chalk out areas of collaboration between young innovators from both countries. Whilst at T-Hub, Mr Javid will meet the Telengana IT Minister, Mr. K.Taraka Rama Rao]

On the same day, Mr Johnson travels to Bengaluru. He will visit Stonehill International School to meet students and staff, and will have lunch with the Karnataka State Education Minister.

Mr Johnson will attend a research and innovation showcase event by Research Councils UK (RCUK) at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, and announce a series of new joint research programmes that will boost the long-established cooperation between the UK and India in science and research.

The minister will announce a new partnership between UK’s Open University and Manipal education group that will support the development of innovative programmes, focused on equipping students with the skills they need to succeed in the workplace. The minister will also announce a new partnership between British Council Generation UK-India programme, Christ University and Jain University for hosting UK students at their campus in Bangalore.

Jo Johnson said:

Education, research and development, science and innovation are pillars upon which the future UK-India partnership will rest. Our Prime Minister has called “team UK and team India a winning combination” and has offered to support Prime Minister Modi achieve his goal of preparing millions of young Indians for the 21st Century.

Both ministers will spend their final day in India in Mumbai addressing and interacting with students from the Jamnabai Narsi school and the Cathedral School.

The ministers will be accompanied by Vice Chancellors and senior faculty from leading British universities and further education institutions, who will meet students and faculties across India to explore education and research opportunities.

Further information

  • Midland Engine: The overarching aims of the Midlands Engine Prospectus includes -completing a more comprehensive analysis of the Midlands Engine economy. This will be used to update the aim and objectives for the Midlands Engine. Developing a Midlands Engine productivity improvement plan, based on best practice recommendations currently in development within parts of the region

  • The Technology Summit and KnowledgExpo is India’s flagship knowledge and technology conference and exhibition, providing a platform for promoting technology-intensive trade and investments. It is supported by the Government of India (Dept of Science and Technology) and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and has run for the past 20 years. The Technology Summit and KnowledgExpo’s key aim is to provide a platform to industries, institutions and government agencies from India and the UK, to forge knowledge-business partnerships for manufacturing, trade and investments. It combines a conference with thematic sessions, with an exhibition of technology intensive products and services as well as a programme of business-to-business and business-to-government meetings.

  • Generation UK India Partners, including Christ University and Jain University will host UK students for 2-3 weeks study placements on topics like Women’s issues in Indian society and India studies (Culture, History, Society Arts etc) in July and August 2016

  • The Newton Fund was established by the UK Government to promote international science and innovation partnerships. The Newton Fund is currently worth £375 million over 5 years.

  • In November 2014, the UK and India agreed the Newton-Bhabha Fund to which the UK committed to contribute £10m a year for 5 years (100 Crore Rupees a year). Newton-Bhabha Programme addresses the big societal challenges, like sustainable cities, health, food, energy and water. The programme is comprehensive: capacity building of researchers and institutions; developing new research collaborations; translating knowledge into tangible benefits for our countries.

  • The UK-India recognise that Newton-Bhabha Programme is strengthening existing research UK and Indian partnerships and promoting new relationships with policy makers in government, government agencies, research organisations, higher education institutions, companies and enterprises of UK and India

  • RCUK research showcase event at the Indian Institute of Science – new UK-India research and innovation partnerships:

  • Research and Innovation Bridge on Food Processing: in India, we are all aware that up to 40% of food crops are wasted before reaching the market. This programme will address this essential element of ensuring food security in India by developing affordable on farm food processing and packaging technologies and an effective cold chain. The ‘Bridge’ will bring together academia and industry in joint partnerships.

  • A set of virtual Joint Centres on Agricultural Nitrogen: Optimising the use of Nitrogen in agriculture is a pressing global need in order to address societal, economic and environmental challenges of food security and sustainability. I am pleased to announce 4 new partnerships between our two countries where teams of researchers will explore ways to improve current levels of crop production with lower energy inputs and reduced environmental impacts, ultimately leading to the production of high yields of crops with lower inputs of nitrogen fertiliser.

For media queries please contact:

Speeches by Sajid Javid during his visit to India:

Stuart Adam, Head,
Press and Communications
British High Commission, Chanakyapuri
New Delhi 110021
Tel: 44192100; Fax: 24192411

Mail to: Jagori Dhar

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Published 9 December 2015