India asks UK to open doors to its IT professionals

President Pratibha Devisingh Patil arrives to meet British Prime Minister Gordon Brown at his residence in London on Wednesday. PTI

The suggestion was made by President Pratibha Patil to British Prime Minister Gordon Brown during a meeting here at the 10, Downing Street last night.

Patil stressed on the need for greater participation of Indian IT professionals in UK, which Brown assured to look into, Foreign Ministry Officials accompanying the President told reporters.

The US and other major EU nations have allowed greater flow of Indian IT professionals, which has led to a boom in the sector in these countries and apparently Patil's suggestion was to ensure that Britain did not lag behind.
Brown said India-UK cooperation in IT was a very important area for the growing bilateral strategic partnership, officials said.

The 30-minute long meeting between the two leaders also focused on issues of bilateral cooperation in economy and education.
Brown told the President that business ties between the two countries were flourishing with a large number of Indian companies now listed on London Stock Exchange.
Britian is also one of the largest foreign direct investors in India.

During the meeting, Brown also expressed keenness in further boosting India-UK cooperation in the field of education, the officials said.
The UK has recently opened the doors of most of its varsities to Indian students, and in this regard the discussion between two leaders covered expanding the cooperation to premium institutions of higher education in India, including IIT and a Central University.

Brown said that the UK was again becoming a large destination for Indian students, a fact pointed out by Patil and Queen Elizabeth during the State Banquet hosted at Windsor Castle.
Patil is the first Indian head of state to visit United Kingdom in last 20 years.
The two leaders exchanged their views on various issues pertaining to social spectrum, Millennium Development Goals and various aspects of women empowerment and dwelt on the role of women in contributing to democracy and development, the officials said.
The Prime Minister said that UK was very keen to partner India in socio-economic sector, the officials said.

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