London: The UK government has expanded its Go Global initiative to India with the aim of giving the country's most innovative and cutting-edge start-ups the skills they need to grow their business, build links with the UK's digital sector and pave the way for future economic partnerships.

The programme forms part of the UK-India Tech Partnership announced by outgoing British Prime Minister Theresa May and her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi in April last year.

"India is home to a rapidly growing tech sector and with thriving fintech, e-commerce and telecommunications industries. Through the newly expanded Go Global programme we are giving Indian tech entrepreneurs focused on the development of tech for good the opportunity to hone their skills so they can compete on the global stage," Jeremy Wright, UK's digital secretary, said.

"This will also help to build connections for UK start-ups in new markets, highlight Britain as the place to develop new technology and pave the way for future economic partnerships," he said.

The UK government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) notes that India is home to a thriving digital sector worth approximately $200-billion and is a growing hub for technologies such as artificial intelligence, cyber security, data analytics and a leading manufacturer of internet-connected devices and services.

India's “core" digital sectors of digital communication service and electronics manufacturing accounted for $170 billion or 7% of the country’s Gross State Product (GSP) in 2017-18.

The new programme will focus on tech firms in India's “tech for good" sector.

DCMS describes the Go Global programme as a successful innovation scheme supporting start-ups to work with UK expertise to take their firms to the next level.

The successful Indian start-ups will be expected to act as Go Global champions and share the skills they have learned with other firms across India.

This will help spread digital skills, digital capability and increase entrepreneurial spirit, creating jobs and prosperity.

"Not only will the programme help start-ups in India but it will also play a vital part in making links for UK start-ups in emerging hotspots such as Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Bengaluru," a DCMS statement notes.

The India launch follows the first successful Go Global Africa programme, which saw 18 ambitious tech start-ups from Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa visit London.

They exchanged ideas, learned how to scale and grow their business, and showcased their innovations across fintech, healthtech, agritech and waste to investors and leading figures from the UK’s tech sector.

Applications for Go Global India will open in the coming weeks as part of a wider plan to strengthen the UK-India Tech Partnership.

Go Global itself was a flagship programme of the UK Israel Tech Hub and over the last four years it has helped develop new UK-Israel collaborations in the digital economy.

According to the most recent official report on its impact, the UK Israel Tech Hub has led 175 tech partnerships in deals worth 85 million pounds.