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Indian Envoy on the UK Student Visa Issue

February 2017, 21
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Indian envoy on the UK student visa issue
Indian envoy, Yashvardhan Kumar Sinha, gave his first interview to the UK press recently, describing “exciting times” and his optimism for a positive partnership where both parties will benefit. 

He expects free movement for Indian professionals and visas to be on the schedule for approaching talks between UK Chancellor Phillip Hammond and Indian Finance Minister ArunJaitley. The upcoming talks will occur during the Indian Finance Minister’s visit to the UK for the UK-India Year of Culture hosted by Queen Elizabeth II this month. 

India is arguing for the free movement of professionals as part of free trade negotiations. UK Prime Minister Theresa May has a vision of a global British economy and Sinha hopes that India will be a primary part of this. New Visa quotas were discussed when the Indian Prime Minister met with Teresa May last November but there were some negotiations regarding May’s concerns about the number of visa overstayers currently in the UK. Positive outcomes are hoped for as India is one of the UK’s oldest trading partners and financial trading is currently very positive for both countries. 

Yashvardhan Kumar Sinha has expressed his concern for the number of India students studying at UK universities falling and suggested it should be a concern for the Indian government as the UK has always been such a sought after location for international students. Many of India’s key figures and politicians were educated in the UK which has some of the best universities and colleges in the globe. The estimation is that the number of Indian students enrolling in the UK is down from 30,000 to roughly half that number at 16,000. Students from India are however attending other renowned universities in Europe the USA and Australia.

Sinha’s thoughts are that Indian firms will not be put off by the recent Brexit decision as the devolvement from the EU begins. He also stresses the validity of the Indian economy and its successful growth in recent decades to exporter rather than an importer. India and the UK have traditionally been strong trade and education allies and it’s hoped this relationship will continue to develop for both parties.

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