(Article) India-Britain Relation (Declaration on Civilian Nuclear Cooperation) | Aspirants Times

Aspirants Times: India-Britain Relation (Declaration on Civilian Nuclear Cooperation)

India on feb 11 signed a “declaration” on civilian nuclear cooperation with the U.K. which officials described as a “general umbrella agreement.” 

The two sides are expected to make a public announcement in the coming days. The U.K. becomes the eighth country with which India has signed a civilian nuclear pact since breaking out of restrictions imposed on it.  The agreement was signed by Atomic Energy Commission Chairman Srikumar Banerjee and British High Commissioner Richard Stagg. The pact will provide a legal framework for British companies that have expertise in supplying components.

According to the Nuclear Industry Association of the UK, 185 British companies in the island nation which include the nuclear plant operators, those engaged in decommissioning, waste management, nuclear liabilities management and all aspects of the nuclear fuel cycle.  The British nuclear industry exports nuclear goods and equipment worth over 1.11 billion dollars and can supply 70-80 per cent parts of a new nuclear reactor.

Since September 2008, when the Nuclear Suppliers Group lifted the embargo on India's participation in international nuclear commerce, India has signed civil nuclear cooperation agreements with France, USA, Russia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Argentina and Namibia. India has also finalised a civil nuclear cooperation deal with Canada, which is expected to be signed soon.

India-UK Bilateral Relations

India’s multi-faceted bilateral relationship with the UK has intensified over the past few years. Recent dialogues at the highest level have underlined the bilateral strategic partnership in all areas. The UK is an important interlocutor in the bilateral, EU, G8 and global contexts.

Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh visited the UK on 19-20 September 2004 and met PM Tony Blair. During the visit, the two Prime Ministers adopted a Joint Declaration titled 'India-UK: Towards a new and dynamic partnership' which envisages annual Summits and meetings between Foreign Ministers. It also outlined areas for future cooperation in civil nuclear energy, space, defence, combating terrorism, economic ties, science and technology, education and culture.

The then PM Tony Blair mooted the idea of India joining G-8 discussions. At his invitation PM visited the UK on 7-8 July 2005 for the “G-8 Plus 5” Gleneagles Summit (India, China, South Africa, Brazil and Mexico). He visited India on 6-8 September 2005 in his capacity as EU President for the EU/ India Summit on September 7, and also for the bilateral Summit held on September 8 in Udaipur. PM met the then PM Blair in St. Petersburg in July 2006 during the meeting of the Outreach Countries with G8 leaders.

Prime Minister Dr. Singh visited UK from 9-11 October 2006 and held the third annual India-U.K Summit. Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s visit to India (20-21 January 2008). The fourth India-UK Annual Summit was held in Delhi on January 21, 2008 during the visit of Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Building on the achievements of the two declarations (2002, 2004), the two sides issued a joint statement on India-UK Strategic Partnership.

The two sides agreed

On the importance of more representative and effective international institutions to address global challenges. The UK reaffirmed its firm support for India’s candidature for a permanent membership in an expanded UNSC.

To cooperate in developing collaboration between small and medium enterprises, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists.To forge a closer partnership of two knowledge societies in the field of higher education. In particular, it was agreed to establish an Education Forum to work towards an early conclusion of an education partnership agreement and to enter into a MoU on an Indo-UK Higher Education Leadership Development programme to develop leadership skills in higher education.

To establish a Science Bridge Initiative shall be established to build institution to institution relationship on equal partnership with joint funding under the principle of parity. To promote cooperation in civil nuclear energy and would work towards a bilateral agreement for this purpose. The UK supports the India-US civil nuclear cooperation initiative.
Both sides expressed satisfaction over the announcement of UK-India agreement on the second phase of UK-India Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation study aimed at identifying the barriers to local carbon technology transfer. Remain committed to build on existing cooperation on counterterrorism including establishment of bilateral dialogue on terrorist financing.

Prime Minister met Prime Minister Brown on the sidelines on the UNGA Summit in New York on 26 September 2008. The two leaders discussed the global economic crisis, terrorism, and other bilateral and regional issues. Prime Minister of UK Gordon Brown was on a half-day visit to New Delhi on 13th December 2008 as part of his visit to the region following Mumbai terror attacks. He met the Prime Minister and conveyed his condolences on the Mumbai terror attacks.

India-UK Round Table

The 11th India-UK Round Table was held in India in 2-5 May 2008 at Shimla. The issues discussed include prospects for the world economy, the demographic dimension, health care, the dialogue of cultures & education, research and innovation. The next round of India-UK RT will be held in Dichley, UK on 3-5 July 2009 (both days inclusive). Economic and Commercial Relations

Bilateral economic linkages have strengthened through increased trade and investment flows. Two-way bilateral trade in goods has crossed £ 8.11 billion in 2007-08 and is expected to cross £ 10 billion before 2010. Trade in Services is estimated to be more than £3.5 billion in 2007-08 and thus the total bilateral trade in goods and services amount to £ 11.6 billion in 2007-08. The export basket from India has undergone substantial diversification and more than 50% of India’s exports now constitute non-traditional and hi-tech goods like petroleum products, engineering products and pharma products.

UK fourth largest investor in India

UK is the fourth largest investor in India and the cumulative investment by UK from April 2000 till September 2008 was $ 5,058 million. For the period April-September 2008, the total investment by UK was $ 695 million. The UK is the most preferred nation for investments by Indian companies in 2008 so far, accounting deals worth $6 billion. (till August 08). India has emerged as the third largest foreign investor in the UK and the second largest overseas investor in London and Northern Ireland in terms of number of acquisitions / investments. India is the second largest creator of jobs in the UK with opening of offices by over 500 Indian companies. London Stock Exchange hosts 52 Indian companies, with a combined market cap of £ 9 billion. Indian firms have raised a total of £3 billion through listings on the exchange. In March 2008, Tatas acquired Jaguar and Land Rover for £2.3 billion.

India-UK Joint Trade and  Economic Committee (JETCO)

The fifth meeting of JETCO was held during the visit of Peter Mandelson, Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform and Shri Kamal Nath, Minister for Commerce and Industry on 20 January 2009. Liberalisation of visa regime, progress on the eight working groups set up was among the issues discussed. The fourth meeting in London on 13th December 2007 had constituted Working Groups under the JETCO in order to identify the barriers and to promote the business.

The working groups have been set up in Hi-Tech Industry, Agribusiness, Accountancy, Financial Services, Intellectual Property Rights, Legal Services, Infrastructure and Healthcare sectors.

India-UK Financial Dialogue

This initiative was launched in January 2007 by Finance Minister Shri Chidambaram and UK’s then Chancellor of the Exchequer Mr. Gordon Brown with a view to exchange views on bilateral and global financial issues. The second meeting of the India-UK Financial Dialogue was held on 11 August 2008 between Shri P. Chidambaram, Finance Minister and UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling.

The discussion focused on the Doha trade talks and financial services liberalisation in India. The Ministers also discussed commodity markets and energy policy. The two Ministers signed a Memorandum of Understanding to encourage sharing of best practices in the development of Public Private Partnerships.

India-UK Investment Summit

The first ever India-UK Investment Summit took place in London on 10 October 2006 to coincide with Prime Minister’s visit to the UK. The second India-UK Investment Summit took place in India in January 2008 during the visit of Prime Minister Gordon Brown. At the summit, both sides agreed to cooperate in developing collaboration between SMEs and entrepreneurs and venture capitalists.
The British side agreed to support the establishment of a capacity building programme in India for public private partnership in infrastructure. CII delegation was invited by Prime Minister Gordon Brown on 25th March 2008 to follow up issues discussed during the summit. UK side agreed to consider CII’s request to implement a UK funded three year programme to impart vocational skills to one million Indians in rural areas.


The 2004 Joint Declaration identified education linkages as a priority. India has (November 2004) become a strategic partner in the Global Gateway Initiative of the UK Department for Education and Skills for linkages between schools. The share of Indian students in UK universities and higher education is growing steadily. There are about 22,000 Indian students in Britain. The annual intake has crossed 18,000.

In September 2005, then PM Tony Blair had announced £ 10 million UK-India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI), during his visit to India, and launched it in April 2006. Four corporates – BAE, BP, GlaxoSmithKline and Shell, have together contributed £ 4 million. The first meeting of the India-UK science and Innovation Council in London (June 2006) had endorsed UKIERI and agreed to match the UK’s contribution for bilateral research projects. Overall, total anticipated fund for UKIERI is in excess of £ 25 million over 5 years. The three main strands of the initiative are Higher Education and Research, Schools, and Professional and Technical Skills.

Indian Community in Britain

Indian on Britain’s population of 59.8 million, the population Community of Indian origin is estimated to be around 1.5 million, accounting for the single largest segment of ethnic population. Over 40% of them live in inner and outer London. Outside London, Indian community’s main concentrations are in West and East Midlands, Leicester and Greater Manchester. Over the years Indians have performed extremely well in various fields.

Majority of the second generation have opted for higher education and are in white collar professions like doctors, engineers, solicitors, chartered accountants, etc.  House of Commons MPs of Indian origin:  Parmjit Dhanda, Dr. Ashok Kumar, Marsha Singh, Keith Vaz (all Lab.) and Shailesh Vara (Cons.).

House of Lords:  Raj Bagri, Narendra Babubhai Patel, Meghnad Desai, Navnit Dholakia, Shreela Flather, Tarsem King, Bhikhu Parekh, Adam Patel, Swaraj Paul, Usha Prashar, Diljit Rana, Kumar Bhattacharya, Kamlesh Patel, Karan Bilimoria, Sandip Verma, Mohamed Sheikh. In addition, there are Indian origin Councillors in active politics in many Councils across UK.

UK Profile

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom, the UK or Britain, is a sovereign island country located off the northwestern coast of continental Europe. The UK includes the island of Great Britain, the northeast part of the island of Ireland, and many small islands.

Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK with a land border, sharing it with the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the UK is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, the North Sea, the English Channel and the Irish Sea. The largest island, Great Britain, is linked to France by the Channel Tunnel.

The UK has an area of 244,100 sq. km. forming a group of islands lying off the North-West coast of Europe. The two largest islands are Great Britain proper (comprising the greater parts of England, Wales and Scotland) and Ireland (comprising Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland). Britain does not have extreme weather, but is subject to frequent changes depending on the prevailing southwesterly winds. The temperature rarely rises above 32 C or falls below -10 C.

According to statistics compiled in 2000, the population of UK was 59,755,700 with England accounting for 50.0 million, Scotland 5.1 million, Wales 3.0 million and Northern Ireland 1.7 million. United Kingdom is set to become Europe’s most highly populated nation within two generations, driven by immigration. Forecasts published by the European Commission suggest that UK will overtake Germany within 50 years as the population rises from 60.9 million today to 77 million.

The UK has a parliamentary system of government where the Constitution is not based on a written constitution but is the result of gradual evolution over many centuries. Unlike most countries, the British Constitution is not set out in a single document but is made up of statute law, common law and convention. The monarchy is the oldest institution of the Government, with Queen Elizabeth II as the Head of the State. Britain follows universal adult suffrage from the age of 18. It has a bicameral system of Parliament, with an elected House of Commons (646 seats) and a nonelected House of Lords, which has recently been reformed to consist mainly of appointed life peers.


The economy of the United Kingdom is the fifth largest in the world in terms of market exchange rates and the sixth largest by purchasing power parity (PPP). It is the second largest economy in Europe after Germany's. Its GDP PPP per capita in 2007 is the 22nd highest in the world.

The credit crunch and the ongoing economic crisis have severely affected UK. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) in UK revealed that Britain's economy shrank during the third quarter of the year for the first time since 1992 and endured the worst single quarter since 1990. It said gross domestic product (GDP) from July to September 2008 was down 0.6 per cent on the previous quarter. The contraction came at a faster rate than previously thought, and was down from last month’s initial estimate of a 0.5 per cent contraction.

» GDP (PPP): $2.772 trillion(2007 est.) (5th)
» GDP growth: (-) 0.6 % (Q3 2008)
» GDP per capita: £ 23,500 (2008 est.)
» GDP by sector: agriculture (1%), industry (26%), services (73%)
» Inflation (CPI): 4.4% (2008 est.)
» Population below poverty line: 14% (2006 est.)
» Labour force: 31 million (includes unemployed)
» Labour force by occupation Services: (81%), industry (18%) and agriculture (1%) (excludes unemployed) (2007)
» Unemployment: 6.0% (Oct.2008)
» Exports: $470 billion (2007 est.)
» Main export partners: USA 15%, Germany 11%, France 10%, Ireland 7%, Netherlands 6%, Belgium 6%, Spain 5%, Italy 4% (2007)
» Imports: $600 billion (2007 est.)
» Main import partners: Germany 14%, USA 9%, France 8%, Netherlands 7%, Belgium 6%, Italy 5%, The People's Republic of China 4%, Ireland 4%.

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