Sunday, February 25, 2024

India, UK engage for civil nuclear agreement

India and Britain have decided to commence negotiations on a bilateral civil nuclear agreement, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Tuesday.

Speaking to media after meeting the visiting British premier, rime Minister Manmohan Singh said: “I thanked Prime Minister (David) Cameron for the UK’s support for India’s full membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group and other multilateral export control regimes.”

“We have also decided to commence negotiations on a bilateral civil nuclear agreement,” said Singh.
Cameron is in India on a three-day official visit.

The two leaders also discussed the prospects of enhanced cooperation in the development of the defence industrial base of India through greater emphasis on technology transfer, co-development and co-production.

“I have sought his (Cameron) support in ensuring an early conclusion of a fair, balanced and forward looking broad-based India-EU trade and investment agreement, which will open new opportunities for trade and investment between our two countries,” said Manmohan Singh.

“Education and science and technology are special areas of India-UK cooperation. I have impressed upon the prime minister (Cameron), the need for a visa regime that facilitates greater movement of people between our two countries so that this cooperation can be further energized,” he said.

Britain offers help in chopper scam probe
India and Britain agreed on Tuesday to work together to investigate any possible wrongdoing by a British company involved in a major deal to sell helicopters to India that has been clouded by charges of kickbacks and bribes.

Visiting British Prime Minister David Cameron said Britain would respond to any request for information on the deal by the Italian firm Finmeccanica and its British subsidiary, AgustaWestland. Under the deal, the companies were to sell 12 helicopters to India.

“In Britain we have introduced anti-bribery legislation that is probably the strongest anywhere in the world. And we will root out any problems of bribery or corruption wherever they appear, and whenever they appear,” Cameron told reporters.

The helicopter deal threatened to overshadow Cameron’s visit, which he had hoped to use to boost trade and investment in the areas of energy, infrastructure, insurance, banking and retail.

Cameron said he was accompanied by Britain’s largest trade delegation ever, and that his country was on track to double trade between the two countries by 2015.

Cameron, Aamir interact with students
British Prime Minister David Cameron on Tuesday launched his charm offensive when he met young students of a women’s college here by taking time off his diplomatic assignments and had none other than Bollywood actor Aamir Khan for company.

Three hundred-odd students at Janki Devi Memorial College in Central Delhi could not believe their ears and went on cheering as their lecturers announced that Cameron and Khan would be interacting with them in a few minutes.

The students, who waited for almost four hours, did not know that Cameron was the “VVIP” and Khan was the “big star” who would be calling on them at their college.

The programme, kept a secret till the last minute, saw 46-year-old Cameron and Khan, a year older to him, walking into the auditorium of the college at 4 PM and spending nearly 45 minutes going around the hall and interacting with the students.

Cameron, dressed in a blue suit, and Khan, clad in a sweat shirt and a black blazer, fielded questions from students who wanted to know why the society was biased towards women.

More articles