London: British Prime Minister David Cameron has offered to lend support to his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi to achieve his goal of preparing young Indians for the 21st century.
Under the new UK-India Skills pledge, 11 UK companies have committed to support skills development in India. Together, the UK government and UK businesses will establish new “Centres of Excellence” in key sectors, starting with a centre for Automotive and Advanced Engineering in Pune, said the joint statement issued after the talks between the two leaders.
Both Prime Ministers agreed to initiate virtual partnerships at the school level to enable young people of either country to experience the school system of the other country and develop an understanding of the culture, traditions and social and family systems.
The Prime Ministers announced that UK will be the partner country for the 2016 Technology Summit in Delhi. Committed to promote further joint research partnerships, the two Prime Ministers noted with satisfaction, the planned academic exchange which would enable access for Indian scientists to the Neutron Facility at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxford University.
They welcomed the establishment of a Newton-Bhabha fund for joint research, capacity building and translation, noting that joint investment in UK-India research has grown from less than 1 million pounds in 2008 to over 200 million pounds today. New substantial investments include multi-million-pound UK-India virtual centres in Clean Energy, Water Security and Agricultural Nitrogen.
The two Prime Ministers also welcomed new joint research and innovation programmes on Childhood and Maternal Health and Nutrition, Mental Health and Substance Abuse, Urbanization and Heritage, Sustainable Water Resources for Food, Energy and Ecosystem Services, Atmospheric Pollution and Human Health in an Indian Megacity, Aquaculture, and the joint UK-India observational campaign on the South Asian Monsoon.
They welcomed the announcement by Innovate UK, the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the Global Innovation and Technology Alliance (GITA), of the opening of a third round of collaborative industrial R&D, making up to 3.5 million pounds available to support novel commercial solutions in the areas of clean-tech energy, affordable healthcare and ICT related to clean-tech energy and healthcare.
The two Prime Ministers recognized that climate change and its impact on agriculture was a serious challenge confronting the world; they welcomed establishing the joint India-UK collaboration in crop sciences which will bring together the best UK universities – Cambridge University, National Institute of Agricultural Botany, John Innes Centre, Rothamsted Research and University of East Anglia to work through Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), Government of UK and the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India to address fundamental plant science underpinning yield enhancement, disease and drought resistance and translation of research into sustainable agriculture. They also welcomed establishing of a joint Indo-UK Plant Science Centre in India.
The two Leaders welcomed UK’s plans to send 100 academics to India over the next two academic years as part of the Global Initiative for Academics Network (GIAN); and the ambition for 25,000 UK students to come to India through the Generation UK-India programme by 2020, including 1000 UK interns with Tata Consultancy Services in India by 2020. They also welcomed the 3rd phase of the UK India Education and Research Initiative.
Prime Minister Modi and Cameron welcomed the commitment to achieving mutual recognition of UK and Indian qualifications.