India’s true growth potential can be realised in partnership with the diaspora, two senior Indian ministers said today as they concluded their visit to the UK. Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu and Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju addressed members of the diaspora from the UK at a special event organised by the Indian High Commission in London. “I strongly believe in the strength of the diaspora in realising India’s growth potential… together we will shape tomorrow’s India,” said Prabhu, as he laid out examples of the achievements of the Narendra Modi-led government as a “flavour of New India”. “For the first time, we have a Prime Minister who has set a timeline of 2022 by when most of the country’s problems will be addressed,” Prabhu said, soon after a visit to Ambedkar Memorial in north London to pay respects to the Dalit leader earlier on Saturday. Stressing that he was keen to focus on the “entry” of new ideas rather than Britain’s exit from the European Union (EU), the minister said that his tour of the UK had proved successful in setting a positive post-Brexit agenda.
His colleague, Rijiju, highlighted steps taken to assist the diaspora worldwide, such as merging the persons of Indian origin (PIO) card with Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) document and expansion of the e-visa scheme to 160 countries. “Wherever we go our strength is our diaspora, which is our pride. We must stand together and help each other to ensure India reaches its rightful place in the community of nations,” said Rijiju, who was praised by Prabhu as a promising young leader and “symbol of new India”. Both ministers have been on a UK visit to hold bilateral dialogues with their counterparts.
Prabhu, here to co-chair the India-UK Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO) meeting in London earlier this week, held talks with UK international trade minister Liam Fox to review the work of the India-UK Joint Working Group on Trade to remove hurdles in the path of closer ties.
Rijiju initialled two memoranda of understanding (MoUs) on criminal record sharing and illegal migrant returns agreement with UK security minister Caroline Nokes, which will be formally signed during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the UK for the Commonwealth Heads of Government summit in April.