Opportunities in India-UK relations

Synopsis:  Through this article, we will discuss the contentious issue hampering India-UK relations as well as possible opportunities of convergence for mutual development.

Background
  • India- Britain summit is set to take place digitally. The two leaders are expected to announce a 10-year roadmap to transform the bilateral relationship that will cover a range of areas.
What are the contentious issues hampering India-UK relations?

While India’s relations with western countries such as the US and France have dramatically improved in recent years. However, ties with Britain have lagged because of the following reasons,

  • First, mistrust between the two countries owing to the colonial legacy. The bitter experience of the Partition and Britain’s perceived tilt to Pakistan have hampered India-U. K relation.
  • Second, the British Labour Party’s growing political negativity towards India. For instance,
    • Supporting for self-determination for Kashmiris.
    • Criticism of government over recent farmers’ agitation.
What are the possible areas of convergence for mutual development?

India and Britain need each other to achieve their larger goals.

  • Firstly, Cooperation in the health sector. Bilateral strategic cooperation in the health sector can help India to benefit from the enormous potential of U.K in public health sector.
    • Further, both nations should work towards building a resilient medical supply chain to control the global Pandemic.
    • Britain along with the G-7 countries can help transform India’s internal capabilities in the Health sector.
  • Secondly, building new global economic partnerships. Since both the countries have moved away from their regional blocs (India-RCEP, Britain-EU) a new economic partnership will benefit both the nations immensely.
  • Thirdly, cooperation in geopolitical issues. For instance, Britain is tilting to the Indo-Pacific, where India is a natural ally. Whereas, India needs a wider coalition as possible to balance aggressive China.
  • Fourthly, Cooperation in mitigation of Climate change. The U.K Can support India for the adoption of a Clean mechanism and e-mobility in the transport sector.
  • Fifthly, cooperation in labour movement. Agreement on “migration and mobility” to facilitate the legal movement of Indians into Britain can benefit India’s skilled workforce.

Source:  Indian Express

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