Vidya Ram

Resolve visa issue for students, IT sector, says Indian High Commissioner

Vidya Ram London | Updated on January 12, 2018 Published on January 17, 2017

Indian High Commissioner to UK Yashvardhan Kumar Sinha

“Of course Brexit is a challenge but I see it more as an opportunity. Indian companies and businesses are looking forward to engaging more closely with their British counterparts.”

India’s new High Commissioner called on the UK and Indian governments to work together to tackle the issue of visas for students and IT professionals in the UK, and that Brexit presented opportunities to Indian companies, and a chance to further deepen the relationship between the two nations.

Speaking on Monday evening, Yashvardhan Kumar Sinha, who was appointed as High Commissioner last year, pointed to the need to work on both areas, at a time of “very good economic engagement between the two countries,” which were set to be further enhanced following May’s visit to India last November.

“Of course Brexit is a challenge but I see it more as an opportunity. Indian companies and businesses are looking forward to engaging more closely with their British counterparts,” he told the gathering of Indian and UK media at India House on Monday.

However, he highlighted the falling number of Indian students in the UK — where numbers had more than halved to 19,000 since 2010.

“In the field of education we have a bit of a problem,” he said, contrasting the situation with other countries including the US, Australia, Germany and France, “They are actively going on to campuses in India and trying to attract students there,” he said.

“There is something going wrong here because the UK has obviously been the first preference for Indian students,” he said.

“We need to see how we can ensure that the UK gets or attracts good students from India. Indian students are doing extremely well wherever they go. We need to sort out the issue of visas and this is where both governments are talking and engaging with each other.”

He also highlighted the position of Indian IT professionals. “In Europe the UK is again our first port of call and I think for us it’s very important our IT professionals can come here and go back. They contribute immensely not only to the local economy but the global economy, which is what they are doing in Silicon Valley and the rest of the world. It is very important that both countries engage in a manner beneficial for both India and the UK.” The High Commissioner’s comments come as figures last week showed a dramatic fall in the number of students from India.

According to the Higher Education Statistics Agency, the numbers fell to 16,745 in 2015-16 from 29,900 in 2011-12. While there is no official cap on international students, a combination of a crackdown on education institutions, and a tightening of the visa regime is being blamed for the fall.

Critics are also concerned that the inclusion of students in the migrant numbers, although they are only temporary visitors, has meant they have been used to help meet government migration targets.

Members of the House of Lords have been pushing for the government to change this policy, though it remains to be seen whether they will succeed. Last year the UK government also introduced new visa restrictions that hit Indian workers coming to the UK, and the IT sector.

Published on January 17, 2017

A letter from the Editor

Dear Readers,

The coronavirus crisis has changed the world completely in the last few months. All of us have been locked into our homes, economic activity has come to a near standstill. Everyone has been impacted.

Including your favourite business and financial newspaper. Our printing and distribution chains have been severely disrupted across the country, leaving readers without access to newspapers. Newspaper delivery agents have also been unable to service their customers because of multiple restrictions.

In these difficult times, we, at BusinessLine have been working continuously every day so that you are informed about all the developments – whether on the pandemic, on policy responses, or the impact on the world of business and finance. Our team has been working round the clock to keep track of developments so that you – the reader – gets accurate information and actionable insights so that you can protect your jobs, businesses, finances and investments.

We are trying our best to ensure the newspaper reaches your hands every day. We have also ensured that even if your paper is not delivered, you can access BusinessLine in the e-paper format – just as it appears in print. Our website and apps too, are updated every minute, so that you can access the information you want anywhere, anytime.

But all this comes at a heavy cost. As you are aware, the lockdowns have wiped out almost all our entire revenue stream. Sustaining our quality journalism has become extremely challenging. That we have managed so far is thanks to your support. I thank all our subscribers – print and digital – for your support.

I appeal to all or readers to help us navigate these challenging times and help sustain one of the truly independent and credible voices in the world of Indian journalism. Doing so is easy. You can help us enormously simply by subscribing to our digital or e-paper editions. We offer several affordable subscription plans for our website, which includes Portfolio, our investment advisory section that offers rich investment advice from our highly qualified, in-house Research Bureau, the only such team in the Indian newspaper industry.

A little help from you can make a huge difference to the cause of quality journalism!


Support Quality Journalism
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor
You have read 1 out of 3 free articles for this week. For full access, please subscribe and get unlimited access to all sections.