India, UK to sign a dozen agreements during PM Modi’s visit to shore up ties
New Delhi: India and the United Kingdom will sign a dozen agreements to shore up their “very” good relations during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the country next week, British high commissioner Dominic Asquith said Friday, as the UK prepares to begin its existence outside the European Union (EU) in March 2019.
Technology cooperation will be high on the agenda as India looks to the tech edge to leapfrog to higher growth rates and the UK for markets.
This will be the third bilateral meeting between India and the UK since 2015 when Modi made his first visit to that country. British Prime Minister Theresa May visited India in 2016. Modi will also attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meet hosted by London on 18-19 April.
A major item on the bilateral agenda for discussion will also be mutual recognition of educational degrees, especially the one year Masters degree earned by Indian students in British universities. At present India does not recognise these degrees given that the Masters’ programme is a two-year course in India.
“For us that seems to be unfortunate,” Asquith said. “We would love it to be different. Discussions are underway (for the recognition of these degrees). We would like it to come a conclusion. It seems to be fair to Indian Masters’ students, it seems to be fair to our universities which are world class that their masters’ degrees are recognised... it makes coming over to the UK to do a Masters’ degree all the more attractive. There are so many reasons why it should happen, I would hope it does,” he said.
There are 14,000 Indian students doing Masters’ degree courses in the UK each year, the British High Commissioner added.
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