Millennium Post

Prime Minister's UK visit

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has a reputation of regaling his audience with lucid speeches. He has undertaken umpteen foreign visits ever since he became the Prime Minister and wherever he goes, he tries to connect with the India diaspora motivating them to reconnect with their motherland. His public speeches at diaspora events in the US, Australia, Abu Dhabi, etc., were big hits with the people of Indian origin. Now, he is headed for the UK on a four-day visit and, here too, he will conduct the anticipated diaspora meeting. But, here, the number of participants has been capped at 2,000. There would a question and answer session in which questions from around the world will be taken up. PM Modi's foreign visits are marked by foreign policy initiatives, where he articulates the country's aspirations vis a vis the changing world realities. His foreign trips are also marked by a focus on business and commerce. PM Modi's upcoming UK visit is also expected to firm up some of the decisions in the pipeline. Technical and business collaborations are likely to remain at the top of his agenda. India-UK bilateral trade stands at $13 billion and UK is the largest G20 investor in India. PM Modi will land in the UK on Tuesday and in an unprecedented welcome, he will hold two meetings with his British counterpart Theresa May on Wednesday. This will be followed by formal deliberations of the multilateral Commonwealth summit on Thursday. His royal welcome includes a special event hosted by Prince Charles, who will drive up in a Tata Motors' first-ever electric Jaguar to symbolise the growing India-UK technical collaboration. "It reflects the importance the UK attaches to the visit and shows the mature level of India-UK ties," said an official. Modi will kick off the bilateral leg of the UK tour with talks with Theresa May on Wednesday morning. The two leaders are expected to discuss issues of mutual interest, including separatism, cross-border terrorism, visa, and immigration. A memorandum of understanding on the return of illegal immigrants will be renewed after its expiry in 2014. The prime minister will visit the Science Museum in London and attend an exhibition on '5000 Years of Science and Innovation'. He will also interact with Indian scientists and innovators. The Indian Prime Minister will launch a new Ayurvedic Centre of Excellence, which has been jointly set up by the All India Institute of Ayurveda and the College of Medicine in the UK. The centre aims at creating a global network of Indian and British academics and medical professionals. They will coordinate on evidence-based research on yoga and Ayurveda. Prime Minister Modi is also scheduled to pay tribute at the Basaveshwara statue, which he had inaugurated during his last visit to the UK in 2015. PM Modi's UK visit will have a special focus on the India-UK technological partnership. This will be discussed in his second meeting with Theresa May on Wednesday at the Francis Crick Institute in London. Here, a new India-UK Technical Alliance is expected to be announced. He will also meet Indian-origin scientists working on cancer research, malaria, and other tropical diseases. This will be followed by a meeting of the India-UK CEOs Forum.
During his visit to the UK, the Indian Prime Minister is also expected to have an audience with the Queen at Buckingham Palace. From here, he will go on to address the Bharat Ki Baat, Sabke Saath diaspora event to be telecast live from an iconic central London venue on Wednesday evening. The event will involve PM Modi responding to questions from across the world. These questions have already been received via social media and video links. About 2,000 people have received confirmations to attend the event. The decision to host a smaller event was made to ensure that the Indian diaspora from across the world are able to participate in the event. This will be followed by the Prime Minister joining the Heads of Government from 52 other countries at a formal dinner hosted by British Prime Minister May to mark the launch of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM). Official deliberations between the heads of government will take place in London on Thursday. After this, all the world leaders will head for Windsor for the CHOGM retreat. Here, the world leaders will interact freely on an informal basis. There would be no structured agenda. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the only head of government to hold bilateral meetings ahead of the CHOGM.

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