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International Relations

Young Professionals Exchange between India and UK

  • 18 Nov 2022
  • 5 min read

For Prelims: Young Professionals Exchange, Indo-Pacific, Free-Trade Agreement (FTA)

For Mains: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests.

Why in News?

Recently, United Kingdom (UK) and India decided to launch a Young Professionals Exchange in 2023.

  • UK will offer 3000 degree-holding Indians in the 18-30 year age group places to work for up to two years.
  • The scheme will commence in early 2023 and be on a reciprocal basis.

Why is the Indo-UK Partnership Important?

  • For UK: India is a key strategic partner for the UK in the Indo-Pacific both in terms of market share and defence, as was underscored by the signing of the Defence and International Security Partnership between India and the UK in 2015.
    • For Britain, a successful conclusion of an Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with India would provide a boost to its ‘Global Britain’ ambitions as the UK has sought to expand its markets beyond Europe since Brexit.
    • Britain has been trying to seize opportunities in the growing economies of the Indo-Pacific to cement its place on the global stage as a serious global actor.
      • The British would be better able to achieve this goal with good bilateral relations with India.
  • For India: The UK is a regional power in the Indo-Pacific as it possesses naval facilities in Oman, Singapore, Bahrain, Kenya, and British Indian Ocean Territory.
    • The UK has also confirmed USD 70 million of British International Investment funding to support the usage of renewable energy in India, which will help in building renewable energy infrastructure and developing solar power in the region.
    • India has sought easy market access for Indian fisheries, pharma, and agricultural products besides duty concession for labour-intensive exports.

What are the Current Major Bilateral Issues between the Both Countries?

  • Extradition of Indian Economic Offenders:
    • The issue is the extradition of Indian economic offenders who are presently seeking shelter in Britain and using the legal system to their advantage.
    • Offenders like Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi and others have long taken shelter under the British system despite clear cut Indian cases against them which warrant extradition.
  • Umbilical link between the British and Pakistani Deep State:
    • This legacy of the long-gone British Raj in the sub-continent allows Britain to box in a higher weight category with the help of Pakistan on imperial follies of Jammu and Kashmir.
    • The presence of a large Muslim community from the sub-continent in the UK, particularly from areas like Mirpur of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir adds to dissonance apart from the trap of vote bank politics.
  • Non-Acceptance by White British:
    • The unacceptance of the rise of India as a global power by white British people is another issue.
      • India under the current Prime Minister has left behind Britain as the fifth largest economy in GDP terms and is on the way up.
      • There is no difference between a modern and confident Indian and a British colonial Indian in terms of skin colour or the imperial legacy of the British Empire.

Way Forward

  • The profound ties of culture, history and language already give the UK a potentially strong foundation upon which to further deepen its relationship with India.
  • With a whole new set of circumstances, India and Britain should recognise that they both need each other to achieve their larger goals.

UPSC Civil Services Examination, Previous Year Question (PYQ)

Q. The judicial systems in India and the UK seem to be converging as well as diverging in recent times. Highlight the key points of convergence and divergence between the two nations in terms of their judicial practices. (2020)

Source: TH

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