India and UK forge a path for future migration and mobility

IN FOCUS
India and UK forge a path for future migration and mobility
External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar with UK Home Secretary Priti Patel, in London. The new migration partnership will see both countries benefit from a new scheme for young Indian and British professionals to live and work in one another's countries.Courtesy: ANI

The MoU will benefit Indian students, academics and researchers, as well as migrants for professional and economic reasons and those willing to contribute through various projects to the economic development of both countries.

The Indian Cabinet’s approval of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) between India and the UK on migration and mobility partnership paves the way for liberalising issuance of visas promoting mobility of students, researchers and skilled professionals.

The landmark MoU will benefit Indian students, academics and researchers, as well as migrants for professional and economic reasons and those willing to contribute through various projects to the economic development of both countries, apart from strengthening cooperation on issues related to irregular migration and human trafficking between the two sides, according to the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).

“This MoU can support the innovation ecosystem in both countries by facilitating free flow of talent,” it said.

The landmark migration and mobility partnership will create new opportunities for young Indian professionals in the UK whilst also enhancing cooperation to ensure our system supports genuine workers and students.
- Alex Ellis, British High Commissioner to India

Effective implementation

The Ministry of External Affairs would be closely monitoring the effective implementation of the MoU through Joint Working Group mechanism. The new migration partnership will see both countries benefit from a new scheme for young Indian and British professionals to live and work in one another's countries, thereby boosting work visas for Indian nationals and enhancing migration cooperation between the two nations.

Earlier this week, Indian External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar met British Home Secretary Priti Patel in London Tuesday to sign the Migration and Mobility Partnership Agreement, which he said would strengthen the "living bridge" between the two countries.

According to him, the agreement will facilitate legal travel and encourage talent flows between India and the UK, and is one of the successful outcomes from the virtual summit between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

The new migration partnership will see both countries benefit from a new scheme for young Indian and British professionals to live and work in one another's countries, thereby boosting work visas for Indian nationals and enhancing migration cooperation between the two nations.

Fruitful meeting

"A fruitful meeting this morning with Home Secretary Priti Patel. Signed the Migration and Mobility Partnership Agreement that would facilitate legal travel and encourage talent flows,' Jaishankar tweeted alongside images of his meeting with the British-Indian Cabinet minister. "The living bridge between India and the UK will get stronger as a result,' he said.

The agreement will allow thousands of those aged between 18 and 30 years old in India and the UK to work and live in each other's country for up to two years.

Having a front row seat during the engagement between the two prime ministers was India’s foreign affairs minister Dr. S Jaishankar who was attending the G7 Foreign Minister’s Summit for which India was invited as a guest nation.

Speaking during an exclusive interview with India Inc Group Chairman and CEO, Manoj Ladwa, he stated, “I actually sat in on the virtual summit between prime ministers Modi and Johnson. I think the new energy and thinking was visible as you listened in to the discussions. We had four big outcomes…a detailed roadmap. It’s almost like sector-by-sector - things you do across departments, domains and policies. On the economic front we have agreed to an Enhanced Trade Partnership, but the bottom line is there will be early decisions which will increase trade on both sides. I hope that we negotiate seriously and expeditiously a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the UK. It’s a very big step.”

Dr. Jaishankar spoke on a wide range of issues – the second wave of the pandemic which has hit India; the spotlight on India’s healthcare system; the efforts of Indians overseas, including the diaspora in the UK, who were mobilising assistance; India’s relationship with China - with questions pouring in from Indians at home and worldwide. The candid discussion was titled Does India Have A Plan? From Survival To Revival. It was a part of India Inc’s Global Dialogue Series and can be viewed here.

Commenting on the migration and mobility partnership, Alex Ellis, British High Commissioner to India said, “The landmark migration and mobility partnership announced today will create new opportunities for young Indian professionals in the UK whilst also enhancing cooperation to ensure our system supports genuine workers and students.”

Dr Jaishankar’s meeting with Priti Patel follows an announcement by Downing Street on Monday, revealing details of an Enhanced Trade Partnership (ETP) with India. The UK government said it has finalised a 1-billion pound worth of trade and investment with India and that the ETP sets an ambition to double the value of UK-India trade by 2030 and declare a shared intent to begin work towards a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

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