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PM Modi asks Theresa May for relaxation in visa norms for students headed to UK

UK was already able to attract "the brightest and the best" from outside the EU, Theresa May was quoted as saying. "Nine out of 10 visa applications from India are already accepted."

By: PTI | New Delhi | Updated: November 7, 2016 7:07 pm
India, Britain, Theresa May, Narendrta Modi, UK visa norms, UK visa norms news, Latest news, India news, National news British Prime Minister Theresa May and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (File Photo)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday asked Britain to relax student visa rules saying greater mobility of young people must be encouraged, even as Prime Minister Theresa May has said her country has a “good system” for applications.

Addressing India-UK Tech Summit with May in attendance, Modi said education is vital for Indian students and will define the country’s engagement in a shared future.

“We must therefore encourage greater mobility and participation of young people in education and research opportunities,” he said.

May, who arrived here on Sunday to pave way for UK’s first post-Brexit trade deal, however has said the UK has a “good system” for applications.

WATCH VIDEO: Find Out What PM Narendra Modi & British Prime Minister Theresa May Discussed

UK was already able to attract “the brightest and the best” from outside the EU, she was quoted by BBC as saying. “Nine out of 10 visa applications from India are already accepted.”

Bloomberg quoted her as telling reporters on flight to New Delhi that Britain has “a visa system for countries outside the European Union which ensures that the brightest and the best are able to come to the United Kingdom.”

“The figures show that we issued more work visas to India than I think the US, Australia, Canada and China put together,” she was quoted as saying.

UK’s new policy requires students to return home after their courses end, a move that has led to fall in Indian students enrolling in British universities by 50 per cent.

The number of study visas issued to Indian nationals fell from 68,238 in 2010 to 11,864 this year, official UK figures show.

At the Summit, May however announced easier visa regime for the businessmen coming to UK.

“So we will offer, for the first time to any country that needs visas to enter Britain, what we called ‘Registered Traveller Scheme’.

“That means the Indian nationals who frequently come to the UK and to fuel growth in both our countries, the entry process will become significantly easier,” she said.

High net worth individuals and their families will be offered to the Great Club – a bespoke visa and immigration service – to make visa applications smoother.

Also, Indians on work visas would be able to join the Registered Travellers Scheme which will mean they can get through UK border controls more quickly.

“We want to attract more Indian businesses to the UK, which is why it’s right to offer Indian business executives a world-class visa service tailored to their needs,” Bloomberg quoted May as saying in a statement to journalists traveling with her.

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  1. K
    Nov 7, 2016 at 3:54 pm
    I think a key reason why Indians get incensed by British policies esp. with regards to students and higher education is because their primary and secondary education is conducted primarily in English, well, at least for the ones who apply for further studies in the UK. For them, options are limited, and it is the Indian government, with their policy since 1947 of promoting English education in India that has led to this very sublime slave mentality among Indians. The world is much bigger than the English-speaking world. The English world is limited to about 500 million people who are native speakers. In India, which accounts for the bulk of non-native speakers, it is only a few million that speak it fluently, and that's not a big number. Other major language groups include Mandarin Chinese and Spanish each of which have well over 600 million speakers. Relatively smaller but still important language groups include Arabic, Russian and French. It is time the Indian education system at the primary and secondary gave importance to one of these non-English foreign languages so that the Indians of tomorrow can compete in a multi-polar world. As Wittgenstein the philosopher said "Your world is limited to the languages you know." Maybe the Indian system of language education should be - at the state level - native state language, another Indian language, foreign language (where English competes with other languages such as Russian, French, Arabic, Spanish, Mandarin etc.) Like hi and his salt march, this small step can be the beginning of the end of the British Empire on Indian minds. Indians need to have more career options than US, UK, Canada, Australia, English-speaking African cities and the GCC in the future, as the majority of the world's markets lie elsewhere, in Spanish-speaking America, Russian-speaking Eastern Europe and Northern Asia, Arabic-speaking Middle East, French-speaking Africa, and of-course, Mandarin-seng China. The time is nigh when India orients herself to the outer world beyond her ex-colonial English yoke. And it all begins with language policy in education.
    1. S
      Nov 7, 2016 at 3:50 pm
      UK has no problem with Indian students coming to the UK but why it should allow these students to work there after their study is complete. In that case, they start competing against locals in the job market.