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Minister Greg Clark concludes India visit on a successful note

He co-chaired the UK-India forums on science and education with Indian ministers Dr Harsh Vardhan and Smriti Irani.

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Greg Clark with Smriti Irani

The UK’s Minister for Universities, Science and Cities, the Rt Hon Greg Clark MP, met the Indian Minister for Science and Technology Hon Dr Harsh Vardhan in New Delhi on 12 November 2014. The ministers agreed to take the UK-India research and innovation relationship to a greater level with the announcement of a significant new initiative which will be known as the Newton-Bhabha Fund.

The Newton-Bhabha Fund (£50 million over five years from the UK with equivalent resources from India) is an important programme with a strong interdisciplinary dimension that will further strategise science, research and innovation cooperation between the UK and India.

Speaking about the Newton-Bhabha programme, Minister Greg Clark said:

I hope this exciting new programme will deliver as much to global science as Newton and Bhabha. By working together to address big societal challenges, like sustainable cities, health, food, energy and water, UK and India can deliver tangible benefits for our countries and the world.

Minister Greg Clark also announced another UK-India research partnership, in addition to the Newton-Bhabha fund, to promote deeper UK-India partnership in historical research through the signing of a memorandum of understanding between UK’s Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR).

At the fourth UK-India Science and Innovation Council (SIC) on 12 November, the two ministers, who co-chaired the meeting, applauded the significant role that the UK-India research and innovation partnership had played in bringing together the best researchers in both countries.

The ministers noted that the UK-India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI) had been successful in building new scientific partnerships through joint research projects and networking. It was agreed in principle to augment and continue UK-India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI) Phase III.

Speaking about the UKIERI, Minister Greg Clark said:

I’m delighted that UK and India have now agreed to the next phase of this rewarding initiative. Since 2006 the UKIERI has successfully laid the foundations for a deep educational and research partnership, and we are committed to building on this progress.

On 13 November, Minister Greg Clark gave a special address at the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) Higher Education Summit 2014 ahead of his meeting with Indian Minister for Human Resouces Development Smt. Smriti Irani. Both sides participated in the education forum and discussed the progress on other existing bilateral programmes including the Higher Education Innovation fund of Department for International Development (DFID), Generation UK India of the British Council and Chevening Scholarships of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).

Both sides welcomed the announcement of the British Council’s Generation UK-India programme which will support up to 25,000 young people from the UK to come to India over the next 5 years by 2020, and create a more globally competitive workforce.

Speaking about the Generation UK India, Minister Greg Clark said:

It’s great news that over the next five years up to 25,000 young people will get to experience student and working life India. This programme will help create a more globally competitive UK workforce and will help future proof the UK-India relationship.

Both sides also welcomed the expansion of the Chevening Scholarship programme, the largest Chevening programme in the world is now in India and it provides a world class education for 150 Indian scholars annually.

On 14 November, the third and final day of his visit, Minister Greg Clark gave the welcome address at the Urban Age Conference. Speaking at the conference he said,

one of the greatest challenges of growing cities in both UK and India is to try and keep them sustainable and our two countries can work together to achieve this.

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

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Published 14 November 2014